Lough Neagh pollan are fresh water herrings, mainly found in Lough Neagh, and were trapped in the deep murky waters during the last ice age. They’re in season only for a limited time in the months of February and March and they’re as elusive as the scarlet pimpernel! Only a few fishermen catch them now and sadly most of this beautiful silver hued fish is exported to Switzerland where it’s prized and cherished. Back home it’s rare to see it on menus and most people aren’t aware of this national treasure. My mother remembers having pollan in the now closed, Bluebird Cafe in Antrim when she was young. They fried it simply in butter and then served it with straight off the griddle, hot soda farls.read more
Venison was once known as the “King of Meats” and it’s consumption was restricted to royalty and wealthy landowners. Nowadays you’re more than likely to see venison burgers and sausages on supermarket shelves and it’s ready available to the unwashed masses!
There’s been a surge in popularity of this meat, with sales up by 400%.
It is naturally lean and has levels of iron and Vitamin B slightly higher than beef. It has been classified as a red meat “superfood”, which only adds to its appeal.read more
One of our most treasured traditions is churning butter and it’s one that thankfully is being kept alive by Will and Alison Abernethy in Dromara, County Down. They make pure butter from Lisburn dairy Draynes Farm cream, on their farm and then send it to good local restaurants and other illustrious addresses like Fortnum and Mason in London and to the establishments of household culinary names like Heston Blumenthal and Marcus Waring. When you make butter, you’re left with proper buttermilk, a watery liquid, flecked with tiny, golden nuggets of fat. Unfortunately environmental health don’t allow the Abernethys to sell on this fabulous liquid as they say it needs to be pasteurised again.read more