For our next ‘Meet the Producers’ feature, we’ve headed to Southern Ireland. More specifically, Clonakilty in West Cork, to meet The Clonakilty Food Company to find out why Clonakilty Blackpudding is regarded as “Ireland’s Favourite”.
The Clonakilty Food Company is owned and managed by Colette Twomey. The family business started back in the mid 70’s with the acquisition of a Butcher’s shop on Pearse Street in Clonakilty and has since grown into an International Company, with products sold through the UK, Mainland Europe, U.A.E. and Australia. The company are of course known, first and foremost, for their black pudding, a recipe they inherited through the butcher shop that dates back to the 1880’s. There is a full history of the company on their website, but we wanted to ask Colette some more specific questions, starting with one about possibly the best kept secret in Ireland!
Yes, it’s true, I am the only one that knows the secret spice mix. The recipe dates back to the 1880’s and was closely guarded down through the generations in order to protect the very unique blend of spices that gives our pudding its distinctive flavour. We believe it’s that distinctive flavour that sets us apart from other puddings, so naturally, we want to keep it a secret.
Of course, when the time is right, but for now it sticks with me!
I sure do. I usually mix it on a weekly basis. I tuck myself away in the spice room which is in a quiet area of our facility away from the day to day buzz. I can also prepare ahead for a few weeks and store in sealed containers if I need to.
The majority of Irish black pudding is actually made from pork, but because our recipe originated in the butcher shop the availability of beef and beef blood at the time was more plentiful. We continue to keep true to that original recipe – tradition is what we are about.
Currently we use dehydrated blood, not by choice but because of strict food production regulations. Our wish would be that we return to using fresh beef blood in the near future.
Yes, they are and it’s extremely important to us. Buying Irish is a central part of our business values.
Quality, Irishness, Passion and Family, as simple as that.
Where to start?! Our taste is so distinctive thanks to our quality and natural ingredients, and our texture unique too thanks to our Irish pinhead oats. Just ask any of our customers, they’ll tell you why.
Our white pudding is made with pork which is a key difference and also does not contain blood. If you’ve not tried it you should, it’s a fantastic complement to our black pudding, bacon and sausages on a breakfast plate.
Also in the Clonakilty range are our very popular breakfast sausages and a variety of bacon products.
The best way for people to find out where to buy our products is to visit our website.
We supply to retailers, local butcher shops, and food services. We are lucky to be on menus of restaurants up and down the country and to be independently championed by some of Ireland’s top chefs, including Neven Maguire and Rachel Allen.
We are and we’re so excited. All is going to plan and we should be opening by next Summer. The visitors centre will give our visitors a chance to see our black pudding being made first hand and immerse themselves in the history of our brand.
Update Oct17: The new factory complex officially opened in early October 2017… “It’s great to be home!”
There are so many great ways to eat it but you can’t beat a leisurely Saturday brunch with Clonakilty blackpudding, whitepudding, sausages and bacon and a nice cup of tea.
Thank you to Colette!
Telephone No.: +353 (0)23 88 34835
Updated Oct17: The prize draw accompanying this article was won by James with runners-up prizes to Jackie and Linda.