October 27 In the Press The Richhill Apple Fayre

Chef Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall gives Armagh Bramley Apple the thumbs up

By Eleanor McGillie

THE chairman of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board cited celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley -Whittingstall on Saturday when he said the Armagh Bramley is ‘hard to beat’ during his speech at the first ever Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre.

Dr Howard Hastings OBE addressed the crowds in the heart of Richhill village during which he delivered a speech on the importance of the community festival, the role such festivals have on food tourism, and the unlocking of stories and authenticity of our culture, heritage and traditions.

Dr Hastings OBE, who was the special guest at the fayre, was speaking about Northern Ireland, food tourism and very specifically, the Bramley Apple, which got PGI status in 2012.

Speaking about the ranges of apples available across the world, Dr Hastings said: “There are 7,500 varieties in the world of which there are 2,500 available in the UK. I know this because it was subject of debate in the Daily Telegraph last week. Some liked Egremont Russet while others preferred Luscombe’s Pine.

“But I have to agree with celebrated TV chef and personality, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall who said ‘for golden compote, the Armagh Bramley is hard to beat – cooked with a tiny bit of orange zest, it’s delicious.”

The fayre, which attracted 2,000 people, boasted over 20 food and drink producers from the county, music was provided by local musicians and choirs from the area, tug of war and other traditional fayre games such as apple peeling contests, guess the apples and more.

Dr Hastings praised the organisers and the producers and said the message the fayre delivers is an important one.

He said: “Food tourism is increasingly important part of what visitors are looking for across the world and I think in Northern Ireland we are ideally placed to catch this wave. It is about the food and drink of the area but it is so much more. The Armagh Bramley Apple and its stories allows us to unlock other stories about our culture, heritage and our traditions.

“Northern Ireland now has a huge opportunity to differentiate itself from other regions in showcasing and promoting our regionally produced, distinctive and high quality and provenance-based local food produce.”

Dr Hastings was joined on stage by MLA Danny Kennedy, Minister for Regional Development, Cllr Jim Speers and Clive Gordon of the Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre Committee.

Cllr Jim Speers said: “I am delighted to welcome you all to the very first Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre. We hope this will become an annual event where people can come to celebrate our rich heritage of food, in particular, the famous Armagh Bramley Apple.

“County Armagh is known throughout Ireland as the Orchard County with apples having grown in the county for 3,000 years. In 2012, the European Union acknowledged the uniqueness of the Armagh Bramley Apple through awarding it Protected Geographical Status (PGI); that means in terms of profile, the Armagh Bramley Apple is in the same league as Champagne, Edam Cheese and the Cornish Pastie.”

ENDS:

Notes To Editor:

  • Richhill Apple Harvest Fayre 2014 is an authentic celebration of Armagh’s distinctive local food and drink. The fayre allows people to explore the charm and natural beauty of the orchard county. Experience the fruit of the Orchard County’s labour.
  • For further information contact Eleanor McGillie of MGMPR Ltd on 028 3756 9569 | 07709805379 | mgmpr.co.uk | Food and Drink PR | Public Relations Northern Ireland | Public Relations UK | Brand Journalism UK | Brand Journalism Northern Ireland | Brand Journalism Experts
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