Producer in County Antrim;
Irish Black Butter was founded by Alastair Bell from County Antrim in 2017. Inspired by the ‘2016 Year of Food and Drink’, Alastair decided to create a modern version of Black Butter which is said to date from Medieval times and was made in times past here in Ireland.
This unique spread is both sweet and savoury. Alastair wanted to harness the potential of Armagh Bramley Apples, which have EU protected status, and approached leading chef Paul Clarke, who also runs En-Place Foods in Cookstown, a company producing a range of culinary products for chefs, for advice and guidance in developing the recipe. In addition to Bramley apples, Irish Black Butter includes treacle, cider, a touch of brandy and spices for a cross between sweet and savoury. It is both wheat and dairy free and suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
With both sweet and savoury uses, Irish Black Butter is ultra-versatile with uses ranging from a spread to accompaniment for cheese and cold meats, as a marinade, or as a glaze. It is great for Christmas hams and cocktail sausages. It is delicious served with apple pie, ice-cream and even mince pies.
Mr Bell describes the spread as “A New Taste of Ireland” and has been successful in developing sales for the original product in the UK and Ireland. It has also attracted interest from retailers in the US and Germany. The product has won 3 gold stars in the 2019 UK Great Taste Awards and achieved recognition in the Blas Na hEireann awards.
As well as the original Irish Black Butter, Mr Bell has recently launched an Irish Black Butter Peanut Spread and has also worked with other local producers in the development of Irish Black Butter Ice Cream and Irish Black Butter Fudge.