Marks & SPencers recently decided to stock a range of branded artisan foods, featuring an array of unique foods from small producers, having been sourced from a select range of food products from across the British Isles. One artisan brand beingfeatured are one of Irelands best loved brands, Sheridans Cheesemongers.
I was recently sent a box of their Irish Brown-bread Crackers to try out. Fundamental to the creation and production of the brown bread crackers is simplicity and integrity of ingredients and process. Apart from sea salt, the crackers are created from only three ingredients . . . butter, buttermilk and stone ground wholemeal flour, all of these ingredients being produced a short distance from the bakery in Clonakilty in rural West Cork.
Traditional brown soda bread, baked daily in the Sheridan Family home, was the inspiration for these crackers. Unsatisfied with the crackers available to accompany the great cheeses of Ireland and Britain, they decided to create their own and in 2012 Sheridans teamed up with artisan baker Richard Graham Leigh and created a unique range of handmade crackers, their Irish Brown Bread ones now forming a part of the M&S heritage range of artisan foods.
We enjoyed these crackers along with some good cheddar and some grapes for lunch the other day. What did we think of them?
They had a nice crispness and texture. They had a slightly nutty flavour, but there were no flavours present which would demean or take away from the integrity or flavour of the cheese we were eating them with. They were not too salty, just right. Cheese itself is very salty so you don't need a really salty cracker to be eating it with. There was the merest tang of buttermilk, but only in the background, which again did not take away from the integrity of the cheese we were eating. In short we enjoyed them very much.
Available now in M&S food shops across the UK.