Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019
If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, then you can cut your medical bills in half during the four-day Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019.
The annual Armagh Food and Cider Festival is a very healthy celebration. It takes place Thursday through to Sunday the 19th to 22nd of September 2019.
Why healthy I hear you ask? Well, it’s a celebration of all things apple. Fun fact, about 1/3 of the world’s supply of Bramley apples is grown in Ireland.
And, the Bramley Apples grown in County Armagh have PGI status.
PGI stands for Protected Geographical Indication and it is given to foods that are recognised as being original and unique to a specific geographical region. Examples include Parma Ham, Feta Cheese, Champagne and Port.
PGI status helps protect the name, production and marketing of the product.
The Armagh Bramley apple joins the ranks of Clare Island Salmon, the Comber Early Potato from County Down, Connemara Hill Lamb, Imokilly Regata Cheese, Lough Neagh Eel, Timoleague Brown Pudding and the Waterford Blaa, to achieve PGI status is Ireland.
But what marks the Armagh Bramley Apple out from other Bramley Apples?
Well, Armagh Bramley Apples are slightly bigger with a flatter top and bottom and solid green in colour with a reddish blush. When it comes to cooking with them, they have a mouth-watering tangy flavour and retain their taste and texture when cooked.
Although the Armagh Bramly Apple receive PGI status in 2012, apple growing has been happening in Ireland for thousands of years. In fact, archaeologists discovered a well-preserved apple tree which was over 3,000 years old at a site close to Armagh City.
Even St. Patrick was an apple grower, allegedly planting an apple tree at Ceangoba, an ancient settlement east of the City of Armagh.
With over 40,000 acres of orchards, stretching from Armagh city to Portadown, with the greatest concentration on the gentle slopes around Loughgall, it’s no wonder Armagh is fondly known as the Orchard of Ireland. And let me tell you, there are few scenes more beautiful than rural Armagh during the Apple Blossom.
If you what to know what all the fuss is about, then get thee to the Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019.
The festival is also part of the Failte Ireland ‘Taste the Island’ initiative. For more details on the events that are part of Taste the Ireland, head over to the Failte Ireland Taste the Island website.
The Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019 Highlights
From Thursday 19th September 2019 – Sunday 22nd September 2019
There are plenty of masterclasses and cookery demonstrations including a sushi workshop using Lough Neagh Eel, Ardglass crab and locally grown wasabi. What’s it got to do with apples, I hear you ask? Well, you’ll do a tasting to learn how to pair cider with sushi.
There’s also a Mediterranean masterclass which will teach you how to make some of the best dishes from sunnier climes using locally sourced ingredients.
If you like to forage for your food, there is a wonderful event called The Cook and the Gardener. You’ll walk the gardens of beautiful Crannagael House and learn how to identify, select and gather fruit, vegetables and plants. You gather your own crop and then head to the kitchen where Joyce Brownless, Proprietor and Chef at the award-wining 5-star Blackwell House will teach you how to prepare and plate your food. You’ll then devour your dishes dining festival style under luxury tepees on the grounds of Crannagael House. What a magnificent experience.
Leave it to the professionals
If you’d rather sit back and let the professionals do all the work, there are loads of banquets and dinners. At these ticketed events, all you have to do is eat, drink and be merry.
In Linen Hall Kitchen and Bar you can sample Armagh Cider Company products. You can try its range of ciders which will be paired with Irish tapas and an apple dessert.
You can also chow down at the Armagh Cider, Pizza and Pie event in The Vault in Banbridge. Here you’ll try local ciders that have been selected to match different wood-fired pizzas and Armagh Brambly apple desserts.
The event I’m looking forward to the most is the Wine versus Cider Dinner. This is set among the apple orchards of Crannagael House. Here you’ll learn whether wine or cider pairs better with certain dishes and flavours. The pairing will be lead by local cider makers and Alex Graffard owner of Henri Champliau winery in Burgundy. They will explain the science and art of pairing cider and wine with food. The evening soundtrack will be performed by the band Gypsy’s Wish.
Free events at the Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019
These include a sundown open-air market on Friday 20th September in Solitude Park in Banbridge. There’s also another open-air market on Saturday 21st of September in the Shambles Yard in Armagh City.
When you are absolutely stuffed and need a wee break from all the eating, attend some non-eating events. There is a screening of The Godfather II (the best Godfather movie in my opinion). There are also a few floral art masterclasses where you’ll can learn how to make floral displays. Blooming marvellous.
There are many, many, more events at the Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019 which I haven’t mentioned. Rather than bombard you with info, click here for the timetable for the Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019. There is a list of all the events and the description as well as how much each event costs.
Feeling your waistband expand? (rookie error not to wear your stretchy eating pants)! You can take a tour of the Long Meadow orchard in Portadown. You can also join the Heritage and Food Walking Tour.
Of course, I’ll be going to the Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019. Will I be seeing you there?
“Thanks for reading”
If you are going to the Armagh Food and Cider Festival 2019 you could stay in the fabulous The Coach House Boutique B&B. Click the link for my review.
Looking for a recipe that uses apples? Here’s my Blueberry and Apple Crumble recipe.
Stocked up on cider and want to know what to do with it apart from drink it? Here’s my recipe for hot apple cider.
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