Very much with the zeitgeist for wild and foraged foods, Lucy Deegan and Mark Cribbin’s enterprising north Cork company not only grows a unique range of speciality mushrooms - comprising everything from shiitake and oyster mushrooms to velvet pipionni and nameko - but they also supply a wide range of wild and foraged foods including plants like wild garlic, sorrel and wild strawberries in season.
Not content with supplying the raw produce, they also offer dried mushrooms and an interesting range of mushroom products including marinated oyster & shiitake mushrooms, mushroom soups, wild mushroom and oyster mushroom paté.
The marinated mushrooms and the oyster mushroom paté offer a superb vegetarian alternative for starters and light meals, and there are also special flavourings such as cep oils and mushroom seasoning powders, which can give a real lift to food without the need for meat-based stocks. An extraordinary product to seek out is shiitake bacon, which just happens to taste like bacon, but without the pig, and has many uses as a replacement for bacon. Amazing.
You’ll spot Ballyhoura Mushrooms at farmers’ markets in the Cork area, and they also take stands at food shows.
[Farmers’ markets: Mahon Point (Thur, 10-2) Cornmarket Street (Sat 9-3) Midleton (Sat 9-1)]