The News from Cobh

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
  • Ditty's Smoked Oatcakes

A note from Caroline of the Belvelly Smokehouse in Cobh, about all their goings on...

“I'm making Mrs Hederman's fish pies, chowders, and fishcakes for the markets and we intend to make those more available in the shop. From time to time I do smoked fish pasties with roasted root veg and smoked haddock - and filo parcels - with smoked salmon and goat's cheese - and in the summer there will be tarts.

I was doing a different pie every week - say spinach/tomato & egg/mushroom or I varied the top - champ/ garlicky/carrot and potato mash/parsley mash etc etc, but the demand is for the traditional onion, leek, celery, carrot and pea, not to mention a 50:50 mix of smoked haddock and salmon - but I do make stuff to order for the shop.

The fish cakes are champ based - the raws scallion works very well - with carrot, and I finish them in pinhead oatmeal. And I use a mix of the chilli hot smoked salmon and traditional smoked salmon for them. In the summer they'll be a bit fancier with garden - and allotment! - herbs.

We trade pies for Siobhan and David Barry's vegetables which are really delicious, we use Willie's spuds - also a trade – and they're all made fresh for market and they're all stuffed with fish - rather than the 4% you get in supermarket pies!

The shop has a range of savoury and sweet biscuits including of course the Ditty's smoked oatcakes. I also stock Suki teas - fab & from Belfast; very nice olive oil and pasta which I sourced from the very respectable deli in North Main Street (La Botteghina - great for salamis and slices of pizza, not bad wee resto next door). Jams and chutneys from Filligans, anything
else I make - we're building a new kitchen so I have more free rein, as I'm not allowed to use anything raw in my domestic kitchen.

Brenda - the Love Fish Brenda - supplies fresh haddock to Frank and we have become a drop off point for any one in Cobh wanting her delicious fish. The haddock is a huge hit, and even better sliced and eaten straight from the smoker on toast or with a poached egg. They catch it one day, its smoked the next and in the market the next, so you really can't get fresher!”.

The artisan life in all its brilliance...