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Why You’d Be Mad to Miss the Sheridans Irish Food Festival

Your post-Ballymaloe foodie bliss-out…

Missing the Ballymaloe Litfest already? Scroll down to see why we’re excited for the sixth annual Sheridans Irish Food Festival this Sunday, which promises everything from spit-roast hogs to freshly prepared sushi and the National Irish Brown Bread Competition. And did we mention that this mouthwatering gourmet gathering in Meath is free in? Hand us a plate!

1 The old country-fair feel. Take a step back in time and wander around the traditional fairground, or while away the hours listening to some live jazz. This is a not-for-profit festival held purely to promote the best of Irish handmade food, and this ethos really adds to its old-fashioned sense of community.

2 The all-star line-up. The strict criteria for entry mean this fair is certain to impress even the most canny foodies out there, with stalls from the likes of Cashel Blue Cheese, Ballymaloe, BlackSheep Foods, Craigie’s Cider and Gubbeen Farmhouse Products.

3 The personal touch. Each of the 90 artisan food stalls is manned by the producers themselves, so if you have questions about their process or just want to know more about the produce, you can hear it straight from the horse’s mouth!

4 The expert-run workshops. Be enlightened by some of the best in the business, dispensing their wisdom at workshops and demos galore. Don’t miss the Wild Foods & Foraging walk with Enda McEvoy of hip Galway eatery Loam or the delectable wine-tasting hosted by grape guru Enrico Fantasia (above). There will also be a host of workshops celebrating Irish dairy, with a focus this year on raw milk, cheese and butter.

5 The National Irish Brown Bread Competition. Sometimes the basics are the hardest to perfect, and we Irish are obsessed with our brown bread, so you won’t want to miss this. Ear to the Ground’s Ella McSweeney and Chapter One head chef Cathal Leonard will crown the 2015 winner after a hotly contested bake-off. See you in the Brown Bread Tent!

Visitor information Free admission (parking €5 for the day). Opening times: Sunday (May 23) 10am-6pm, Sheridans Cheesemongers Warehouse, Virginia Road Station, Pottlereagh, Kells, Co. Meath.

For more foodie destination inspiration this summer, read about food editor Lizzie Gore-Grimes’ Aran Islands experience at Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites.

Michelle Hanley for @Image_Interiors / @hanleymi

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