This is Cavan 2015

Aug 9, 2015 by

Aine’s Chocolates 

The Taste of Cavan 2015 is over for another year after a mammoth event which saw the Cavan Equestrian Centre probably more packed to the rafters than it ever has been before. The main arena more used to horses and riders competing, had a myriad of food and beverage stands set up in rows and between the rows the crowds milled – tasting, talking, buying and marvelling at the crowds which grew bigger every hour.

Outside the cars queued to get in and an army of volunteers directed them quickly and efficiently to parking.

4pm on the last day

Last year’s attendance numbered over 35,000. I think the first day this year came close to surpassing that.

Most of the exhibitors came from Cavan and the surrounding counties. A whole aisle given over to new micro breweries with tables and chairs at the end where you could sit and sample their wares and watch the world go by.

Local Virginia micro brew

Brehon from Carrickmacross

Cockagee from Meath 
Piedmontese beef burger and a Celtic Warrier beer 

The tables and chairs were a stroke of genius as you could buy from the stalls selling food and wash it down with a craft beer or a cider. Others just took the weight off their feet with a coffee or an ice cream.

Really good organic coffee

At various stages during the day there were cookery demonstrations from well-known local and not so local chefs. These took place in a large area with seating at the back of the venue. Sound and lighting were superb and even standing at the back you could see and hear clearly. Shane Smith from Fallon and Byrne made some stunning looking cakes. Gearoid Lynch gave a coeliac friendly demo and Anjula Devi who came from London made some fabulous Indian food. And of course no Cavan food festival would be complete without the man himself, Neven Maguire.

Rachel Allen from Ballymaloe
Neven Maguire
Sampling the food from Anjula Devi’s demo

Gearoid Lynch from The Olde Post Inn 

Glorious cakes from Shane Smith’s demo

A walk around the food stands where most were giving taste samples and selling their wares. What struck me was so many doing the same thing. Any amount of the ubiquitous cup cake (when will we tire of these?) Some looked great, some were just horrendous. In fact I stood beside one stand which had the worst excess of sugar, artificial flavouring and colouring and listened to all the comments. The vast majority were positive……..

Red velvet cakes pretty and simple

There were jams, chutneys and sauces. There were puddings, relishes, handmade chocolates, meats, ice cream, mushrooms, poultry, honey, fudge and marshmallow. I particularly liked Moran’s jam packaging. So many great products were badly let down by bad packaging and just as clothes make the man, they certainly help to make a sale.

Wildwood Vinegars have the packaging lark sewn up. I would buy them just for the bottles alone. It helps that they make the most amazing vinegars from wild berries and flowers grown around them in Co. Mayo. We bought some and left them with him for safe keeping. When we returned the stand had been cleaned out. The proof is in the pudding.

Wildwood Vinegars

Lovely packaging from Delish Melish

And I think this final photo sums up what were a brilliant couple of days.

The official photographer and some curious small girls

I have to hand it to Cavan. A great festival of food organised by people who are passionate about what they do and work tirelessly to achieve it. Onwards and upwards.

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