This past week I had the chance to gather at Murray’s Cheese (one of my absolute favorite places in the city~) to sample Ballymaloe Gourmet Irish Ketchup. This sounds weird, I know, but let me explain.
Ballymaloe is an Irish brand of condiments based in Cork, Ireland. The company started back in the 1930’s and has grown to include the Ballymaloe House and Ballymaloe Cookery School. They have been in the US market for 15 years, but Sean Hyde, the head of sales and marketing for Ballymaloe US, wants this year to really develop and change the perception of Irish food in the US.
So the event at Murray’s was a launch party of sorts. We got to try four dishes using Murray’s cheese and the Ballymaloe condiments. I think the most famous is the Original Tomato Relish, but we also tried lamb meatballs with mint sauce, as well a dessert. Paired with some red wine, it was a lovely event with a great story.
What I took away from this event was that you can take just about anything and top it with these condiments to take it to the next level. I was especially impressed by the lamb meatball with mint sauce. How easy would that be for a dinner party?! And all you have to do is put the mint sauce on the side and you have a way more elegant meal than you ever could have imagined.
I got to speak to Sean, who was incredibly nice and knowledgeable, and he said that they carry Ballymaloe condiments in places like Dean and Deluca and other specialty food stores. While they are not sold at Murray’s, maybe a partnership will come around soon enough!