Limerick producers can taste the prize

EIGHT Limerick food producers have proven that soda cakes and county cheese lovers have great taste as they make the finals of the Blas na hÉireann Irish Food Awards.

Those making the final cut in the face of stiff competition from 3,000 entries in the prestigious competition include Ballyhoura Apple Farm, Glen Aine, Gourmet Green, Kearney’s Home Baking Ltd, O’Connells Butchers, Old Irish Creamery Cheese, The Limerick Ladle, and Twomey’s Bakery.

“The eight finalists and the range of added value products reflect the quality of enterprise and innovation by food entrepreneurs in Limerick,” said Mike Cantwell, Head of Enterprise at LEO Limerick, who are sponsors of the competition.

“Local producers are key to job creation and sustaining our communities. We are delighted to see so many of the businesses we have supported in the Blas final and look forward to presenting the best in county winner later this year.”

The shortlist has been made and the countdown is now on for the return of the awards weekend to the seaside town of Dingle. The three-day event will take place from Thursday September 28 to Saturday September 30.

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Now in its 16th year, Blas na hÉireann saw its highest entries from across all categories along with many new producers entering the awards for the first time this year. During the judging, which took place over June and July, over 3,000 entries were judged, the highest on record.

Speaking as the finalists were announced, Blas na hÉireann Chairperson Artie Clifford said: “After last year’s success, we are thrilled to be back again. The Blas village and Eat Ireland in a Day tents were a fantastic addition and created brilliant awareness for the finalists and winners to both the public and key industry people.

This year’s Blas na hÉireann awards in Dingle will see the return of last year’s new additions including the Eat Ireland in a Day tent and the Blas Village where the 2023 finalists will get the opportunity to showcase their products, engage with customers, and meet key industry buyers.