From the beginning of Dalriata, our goal has been to bring the finest, and the most interesting, foods from all over Ireland – but especially the northern part – and introduce them to Germany. We saw a resurgence in interest in local cuisine, and we were certain people all over Germany would love them if we could just bring them to their attention. This Irish Black Butter is exactly the sort of product we had in mind, and we’re delighted to bring it to you at last.
What is Irish Black Butter?
Black Butter has an extensive history, but has languished, all but forgotten, for a long time. Historical references to it go back hundreds of years, and even the illustrious Jane Austen seems to be a fan, mentioning it several times in her letters.But in recent times it seems to have fallen from favour, and was in danger of disappearing altogether, until its revival in the form of this Irish Black Butter.
Despite the name, Irish Black Butter is not a dairy product, and is in fact made from the famous Armagh Bramley apple. County Armagh, in Ulster, is sometimes known as “Ireland’s orchard”, due to the millions of apples produced there every year. It’s an ideal landscape for growing apples. Sheltered by surrounding mountains, and blessed with fertile soil, its rolling drumlins are dotted with orchards where the Armagh Bramleys grow. These large cooking apples have a sharper, sourer flavour than Bramley apples from elsewhere, and as a result enjoy Protected Geographical Indication status. This means that only apples grown in Armagh can bear the name Armagh Bramley.
But enough about the apples – what about the black butter? Well the main ingredient is Armagh Bramley apples, but it also contains cider (made from Armagh apples, of course!), brandy, and spices. The result is a dark, viscous liquid with a wonderfully complex flavour. It’s sweet, it’s sour, it’s savoury, it’s aromatic… there’s a lot going on in there!
What can I do with Irish Black Butter?
This complex flavour makes Irish Black Butter extremely versatile. At its simplest, it makes a delightful change as a spread on bread, pancakes, scones or even bagels. But it’s also delicious used like a relish or chutney, alongside cheeses and cold meats. Try it as a marinade for barbecue, or a glaze for roasting meats. You can even use it as an intriguing ingredient in cocktails! There are tons of ideas on the Irish Black Butter website.