Artie Clifford, Chairman Blas na hÉireann / Irish Food Awards and David Henderson, Henderson Food Machinery with Pat Whelan and his son Ben accepting the award.
Family owned and run Clonmel butchers, James Whelan Butchers, was awarded the Gold seal of approval for their Heritage Cure Ham, at the 10th Blás na hÉireann, held in Dingle, Co. Kerry.
Cured on the bone, using a process passed down for generations within the Whelan family, the Heritage Cured Irish Ham which was also awarded the Great Taste 3 Star Award in 2016, has a distinctive flavour with a hint of smoky hickory undertones and succulent sweetness that comes from cooking on the bone.
Whelan's have been multiple award winners at good food competitions in recent years, including the overall Great Taste award for their dripping.
Speaking about the win and why their Heritage Cure Ham is so special, Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers said - “Our Heritage Ham is a family favourite. I discovered this secret recipe in my grandfather’s old ‘shop day book’, and started to work on re-creating this delicious heritage ham a few years ago. I am extremely proud that it has been noted yet again for its magnificent flavour at this year’s Blás na hÉireann Awards”.
The Blás na hÉireann, Irish Food Awards are the biggest blind tasting of produce in Ireland and the criteria on which the product is judged as well as the judging system itself, was developed by Blas na hEireann with the Food Science Dept of UCC and is now recognised as an international industry standard. The awards are open to all 32 counties, and this year more than 400 finalists competed across 130 categories.
James Whelan Butchers is passionate about food and its customers. Their artisan produce can be found in any of the their five craft butcher shops at Dunnes Stores, Cornelscourt and the Swan Centre, Rathmines, as well as Avoca, Rathcoole and Avoca Kilmacanogue and at their home shop where it all started in Oakville Shopping Centre, Clonmel.
James Whelan Butchers is a fifth generation family-owned and run butcher business and producing high quality products is part of their DNA. In 1960 James Whelan Butchers first opened their doors in Clonmel.