A host of award-winning producers, growers, chefs, cafés and restaurants from West Limerick will launch the West Limerick Food Destination at a special event tomorrow (12 November). Fiercely proud of their food heritage and the natural bounty of West Limerick, and eager to share their food and heritage with the world, this group seeks to encourage visitors to spend more time in the area by enjoying local foods and finding our more about the people behind those foods.
Participating businesses are located all around the area, from Abbeyfeale to Dromcolloger, Adare to Newcastle West and many places in between. The launch event takes place at the Leahy Family Farm in Monagea, home to one of the newest products to emerge from West Limerick, Bally Goat Cheese. In fact, this cheese has already been recognised for quality and excellence at the recent Blas na hÉireann awards.
The group has produced a visitor leaflet that introduces all the great food locations and people in West Limerick and will host a series of food events over the course of the 2020 season.
In the rolling pastures of West Limerick you will find the finest agricultural land on the entire island. No surprise then that it’s home to producers and purveyors of the very finest dairy, beef, pork and lamb produce in the country. It has been renowned for centuries as 'The Larder of Ireland'. It’s a place of great castles and quaint villages, where every turn in the road reveals a landscape rich in history, folklore and legend. From this background comes the group’s slogan of ‘Taste the History’.
The project has been led by West Limerick Resources, who secured funding through the LEADER programme for a comprehensive training and networking programme for West Limerick Food Destination. “We saw that there are amazing growers, producers, chefs and restaurateurs all around West Limerick working with some of the finest produce in Ireland. We felt there was a wonderful opportunity to bring these businesses together in order to share the great heritage and taste of West Limerick Food with visitors from all around Ireland and further afield”, explains Caitriona Scully of West Limerick Resources.
Food Tourism has become very important over the last decade. More and more visitors are interested in hearing about and tasting local food, the so-called ‘place on a plate’ effect. This year, Fáilte Ireland launched Taste the Island, an international campaign designed to grow Ireland’s reputation as a food destination of distinction. “The time is right for West Limerick to bring its story to the world and encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more in the area” according to Caitriona Scully.