The Perfect Ploughman’s Lunch
While many of us are busy with back to school lunches, for this week’s Thursday Tasting we are looking at one of the earliest recorded lunches; The Ploughman’s Lunch.
Though in itself the term only dates back to the 1950’s when in a bid to increase sales of cheese in post rationing England, the term Ploughman’s Lunch was coined. However, the tradition of eating bread, cheese, onions and butter with a measure of beer or cider has been mentioned as far back as the 13C.
Traditionally associated with farm labourers eating in the fields where they worked, the ploughman’s lunch, though simple in content, was nourishing and sustaining for a day full of physical work. The workers brought the lunch to the fields or had it brought by the women of the house and it was often accompanied by a condiment like chutney to enhance the flavours. The inclusion of meat and sometimes hard-boiled eggs, green leaves and an apple transformed this simple fare into something that remains a great midday meal to this day.
As always, quality ingredients are so important and this week our Ploughman’s lunch will remind us again of just what great produce we have on our door step.
The anchor of the ploughman’s lunch, cheese is all important and we just love 15 Fields’ cheddar from Eamonn Lonergan of Knockanore. Made by traditional cheddar methods using Eamonn’s raw milk and vegetarian rennet, production of 15 Fields is limited from May to October when the cows are out on pasture (on those 15 fields) and then matured at Sheridan’s Cheesemongers for 8 months, it has the rich character and smoothness that is needed to carry this meal.
Our own Hennessy’s Ham named after long time and now retired Deli Manager Eddie Hennessy, has all the flavour and texture you want in a great sandwich, a firm favourite here at Ardkeen Quality Food Store.
A great ploughman’s demands a great chutney and we have them in spades. Ciara’s Pantry Chunky Chutney form Killinerin in Co. Wexford, Joan and Bob’s Pear and Apricot and Orchard Apple Chutney or Big Red Kitchen Mixed Onion Chutney to name but a few. All adding flavour, texture, sweet or tart, the choice is yours.
Tinnock Country Butter is hand made by Peggy and uses only full-fat Irish cream with less than 1% sea salt added. The perfect Ploughman’s butter.
Where there is butter there must be bread and our baked in store country sandwich loaf is just the receptacle for all these great Irish Ploughman’s lunch ingredients.
An apple a day doesn’t get much better that Richard Galvin’s Sissired Organic apples straight from the orchard in Portlaw just 12 miles from Waterford. These are the perfect finish to any lunch, their sweet tartness memorable of days gone by but thankfully not passed.
The traditional ploughman’s lunch would always include a measure of cider or beer. Not the washy and sour one described from 1870’s Devon thankfully but the best of Irish Cider from Longueville House in Mallow, Legacy Irish Cider from Dungarvan and Highbank Orchard in Cuffes Grange Kilkenny. These are traditional ciders lovingly produced from cider apples on home orchards.
So, do pop in this Thursday at 3pm for a taste of a truly, traditional lunch that has without doubt, stood the test of time.
Look forward to seeing you,
Sheridan’s Cheesemongers 15 Fields Mature Irish Farmhouse Cheddar 150g
15 Fiels Mature Irish Farmhouse Cheddar
Made by the Lonergan Family on their farm in Co. Waterford using raw summer milk matured by Sheridan's Cheesemongers in Co. Meath
Joan & Bob’s Pear & Apricot Chutney 230g
A perfect partner to your favourite cheeses. Enjoy!
Legacy Irish Craft Cider Medium Dry 500ml
My Grandfather, Willsie Mc Donnell “The Boss” grew apples in the Bride Valley, West Waterford since the 1930s. This inspired his son to research and grow apple trees throughout his life and his grandson (me!) to bring you this cider.
We are a small passionate team dedicated to bringing you the best cider the land can produce. Relax and enjoy with friends, with food or simply on its own.
Legacy Irish Craft Cider is splendidly blended to release a distinctive fruity aroma and bring out its natural sweetness.
Knockanore Irish Farmhouse Cheese Cheddar with Garlic & Chive 150g
Handmade on the Lonergan family farm in County Waterford, using raw milk from our pedigree herd of friesian cows.
Ciara’s Pantry Chunky Chutney 245g
Made over two days, the secret to the amazing texture is a truly delicious mix of exotic and traditional fruits and vegetables, bound in a mild blend of spices, ginger and chilli – just enough to enhance this sweet chutney and give it additional taste. It always leaves you wanting more! This chutney is a limited edition each year so get it while you can. Displaying a balance of sharp and sweet flavours, this fragrant chutney with just a hint of coriander, makes a beautiful accompaniment to hot and cold dishes, meat platters, pâté and cheese. All natural ingredients, Freshly picked courgettes, apples, cucumber, onions, mixed dried fruits, lemon, garlic, ginger, chillies, coriander, Cider Vinegar, sugar. The perfect end to any day. Some wine and cheese, and a wonderful chutney for company !
Highbank Medieval Cider 500ml
Highbank, the Irish Organic Cider Growers, in their never ending quest to offer their customers different products, have blended their Organic cider with Organic Honey to produce a sensational drink with subtle honey overtones and a long tannic finish. They have called this “Highbank Medieval Cider” in honor of their medieval home towns of Callan and Kilkenny and the fact that honey and cider were famously popular in medieval times in the fertile hinterland of County Kilkenny, drawing visitors from afar. Try and get a bottle to try if you can because Highbank produce their ciders in small batches which are very quickly snapped up.
Knockanore Oakwood Smoked Mature Irish Farmhouse Cheddar 150g
Made by the Lonergan family on their farm in Co. Waterford using raw milk.
Longueville House Cider 50cl
100% natural, medium dry artisan cider from our orchards in the Blackwater Valley.
Longueville Artisan Cider is a medium dry cider made on our 500-acre farm in the Blackwater Valley, County Cork. Longueville House (c 1720) has been owned by the O’Callaghan family since the 10th century except for 200 years when they were driven “to Hell or to Connaught” by Oliver Cromwell. Our 100% natural cider is hand-made from Dabinett and Michelin apples and contains no artificial sweeteners, additives, colourings, preservative or sulphites and is coeliac friendly. In Autumn we crush and press our apples on the farm within hours of harvesting. This apple juice is then naturally fermented by the action of a unique natural yeast. The result is a cloudy, natural yeast. The result is a cloudy, medium dry cider, rich in amber colour. It is best drunk well chilled with no ice and is an ideal accompaniment to fish and meat.
Joan & Bob’s Orchard Apple Chutney 230g
Orchard Apple Chutney. Ideal with pork and bacon or try it with some of your favourite cheeses.