Mushrooms are magic in Galbally
It has been a magical year for Enniscorthy company Fancy Fungi Mushrooms of Galbally, Ballyhogue run by husband and wife team Catherine and Nikk George.
What started out 18 years ago as a hobby has grown into the only specialist enterprise in the region cultivating edible exotic and gourmet mushrooms and mushroom products such as pate which have won awards for their taste and originality.
This year alone, the company captured two Gold Star Great Taste awards for their Prepak Forest Mix Mushrooms and Prepak Shiitake Mushrooms and two Blas na hÉireann prizes - the Chef's Choice Award for their Wild and Gourmet Umami Paste and a Finalist badge for their Wild and Gourmet Mushroom Pate.
The Forest Mushroom mix contains shiitake, beech, enoki, eryngli, chestnut and grey, gold and pink oyster mushrooms which are low in salt and cholesterol, naturally rich in protein,fibre, minerals and vitamins.
The delicious Umami Paste is made from a delicious combination of Forest Mix Mushrooms with white wine, sherry vinegar, madeira, sunflower oil, fennel sees, oregano, cornflour, salt and black pepper.
'Umami' is not an acutal ingredient but rather a word used to describe the unusual combination of flavours in the paste. It translates from the Japanese as 'pleasant savoury taste'. Umami paste can be spread on crackers, crostini, panini or fresh bread and can also be used in dips,dressings or mayonnaise, added to gravy, marinades, meatloaf and burger mixes and served with cheese, cold meat and eggs and also as a condiment spread over pizza, murgers or sandwiches. It can be used to add depth to savoury dishes during cooking such as stir fries, pasta, soups, sauces, risotto and stews.
The company also prdouces Wild and Gourmet Pickled Mushrooms which can be served as an antipasta with cured meat, olives and cheeses, and on toasted bread or as part of a salad.
'Obviously we are thrilled to have won so many awards this year. They are very important to small producers like ourselves who work very hard and are passionate about what we produce,' said Catherine George.
'The awards also make our local chefs and shops more aware of the great products that are available to them. We are very lucky in Wexford to have such an array of fantastic restaurants and chefs who give us great support by using our mushrooms in their menus', said Catherine.
Fancy Fungi Mushrooms are part of the Wexford Foot family, a network of producers who support each other with the aim of promoting Wexford as a food brand locally, nationally and internationally.'It's vital for all of us to support our local food producers to help to build a sustainable food industry and to support the families who depend on these businesses,' she added.