From the land of milk, honey - dried fruit.
Traditional dried fruit has been recorded as being used for millennia. Early hunter-gatherers observed that fallen fruit which had naturally dried out in the sun took on an edible form which was long lasting and provided a concentrated sweetness in their diet. Hence drying or dehydration became one of the earliest forms of food preservation and to this day, little has changed.
A good dried fruit display is a sight to behold and each year here at Ardkeen Quality Food Store we pride ourselves on the quality and range of our dried fruit offering. Carefully sourced and packaged especially for us, the full selection is displayed and on promotion with 20% off the whole range on the first week in October each year, allowing customers to avail of quality and value well in advance for Halloween and Christmas baking.
Our Thursday Tasting this week will look at all the dried fruits on offer. From golden sultanas, organic dates, beautiful plump cherries and everything in between, it will be a tasting experience reminiscent of The Fertile Crescent lands of Sumer and Ancient Egypt whose climate, rivers and biodiversity allowed their lands to be so abundant and brought us many of these fruits.
A bake long associated with dried fruit and held very dear in Irish Folklore as much for its fortune telling prowess as its delicious texture and flavour and still often known by young Irish school children by its traditional Irish language name Bairín Breac, the Irish Barm Brack has much in common with the Welsh Bara Brith. A plain yet richly fruited bread, barn brack is leavened with yeast, in fact the word barm itself denotes the foam that collects at the top of fermenting liquids such as beer, which would have been scooped off for use in baking.
Irish Tea Brack is also a firm favourite and is with a good cup of tea, as we all know, the answer to most problems at this time of year. We will be tasting a traditional Tea Brack and there will be recipe so do pop in on Thursday for a taste, a chat.
Look forward to seeing you from 3.