Black Butter

story of the Irish Black Butter Co.
Awards

The Irish Black Butter Company was launched  in October 2017.  Alastair Bell  who had a family background in farming took time out from his events management and  farm model customisation business  to explore the potential for an exciting new business.

Our Story

how it all came to be!

“During the 2016  successful Year Of Food and Drink in Northern Ireland  I was inspired by the enthusiasm and drive of local producers  taking  great local produce  to home  and overseas markets. That inspiration motivated me to launch  ‘a new taste of Ireland’ which is Irish Black Butter. Over some years I had been aware of black butter and how it was said to date from medieval times. It is an old traditional recipe which has been in use here on the island of Ireland. A combination of bygone days spent  in the serenity of the Garry Bog near Ballymoney  cutting turf,  enjoying homemade scones and  pancakes with apple jelly were some of the seeds of inspiration for  Alastair’s new venture – Irish Black Butter.

 

“I remember many a time going out and picking apples, damsons and  gooseberrys for homemade jams and pies.  Good times and happy family memories of days gone by.” Of course it was a working farm with cows and sheep and pigs as well. There were also the regular crops of barley, potatoes and turnips.  The big Shire horses were away before my time but the  bridals and saddles were still there in the old stables – a dusty  echo of a past powerful presence traversing the land.

 

Based at Portrush in County Antrim,  Alastair teamed up with multi award winning chef Paul Clarke,  the managing director of the En Place Foods at Cookstown in County Tyrone to create the perfect recipe for the very first Irish Black Butter product.

 

“In essence we took something very old and traditional  and  brought it into the twenty first century.”  Using Euro PGI status Armagh Bramley Apples gives Irish Black Butter a core  steeped in locality, quality and provenance.  The Armagh Bramley has a rich heritage dating back hundreds of years and Armagh has long been recognised as the ‘orchard county’ of Ireland.

 

 

Influenced by the many exciting developments during the successful 2016 Year of Food and Drink in Northern Ireland,  Alastair approached Paul Clarke at En Place Foods for advice on how to develop this apple  based product which he had in mind. Paul was tremendously  supportive  and helped to perfect the ingredients and recipe for the butter. The ensuing Irish Black Butter has a delicious flavour, a rich warm aroma with  a firm texture. The Butter which is dark and rich can be used in a variety of ways. It makes an ideal accompaniment for cheese and cold meats, for use as a glaze on  ham, a spread on toast, soda farls or with scones and cream. Drawing together sweet and savoury this is truly a versatile product and  ‘a new taste of Ireland.’

 

Paul Clarke, who has won a series of UK Great Taste and Blas na hEireann Awards for innovative products including jams and sauces has said. “It’s great to see another original product developed using Armagh Bramley Apples, which have EU PGI status. Irish Black Butter is an outstandingly tasty and balanced product with nice acidity.”

 

Since launch in late 2017 Irish Black Butter has won  the Business Eye / First Trust Bank ‘Start-Up Business of the Year 2018 and Chef’s Choice Award in The Blas na hEireann Irish Food Awards 2018.

 

Irish Black Butter is available in 225g and 115g retail jars with larger tubs available for food service.

 

You can connect with  Irish Black Butter on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube  and help ‘spread’ the word to friends and family, far and near who would love a new taste of Ireland –  Irish Black Butter.