WHEN Pope Francis flew out of Dublin on board the Aer Lingus A321 ‘St Aidan’ jet last Sunday evening, he was dining on top quality West Cork produce.
Toby Simmonds, who runs the Toons Bridge Dairy and the Real Olive Company, with his wife Jenny-Rose Clarke told The Southern Star that they were delighted with the social media reaction to their mozzarella cheese, which they produce using unpasteurised cow and sheep milk at their farm.
‘We have been on the Aer Lingus Business/ First Class menu for a few years now, but we were surprised when people started contacting us to say they had read that our cheese was on the starter menu for Pope Francis,’ said Toby.
‘It’s fantastic for us and it reminds me of when Queen Elizabeth visited our olive stall in the English Market in Cork in 2011, where we presented her with our mozzarella cheese.’
The starter served on board the flight included Toons Bridge mozzarella, with fresh leek salad and sun dried tomato tartar with basil pesto.
Another well-known West Cork food company, Glenilen Farm in Drimoleague, told The Southern Star that they were also delighted and honoured that their farmhouse butter was on the Papal menu.
‘We are particularly proud of our butter which we batch-make on the farm in Drimoleague in a traditional type butter churn, from sweet cream, slightly salted with sea salt flakes. Grass-fed cows from the local area provide the cream to make this butter,’ said Amy O’Donoghue, marketing executive with Glenilen.