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The eskimos have nearly 50 words for snow. Why? Because it’s everywhere and it’s a big part of their life. In Northern Ireland we probably have just as many words for rain – my favourite being ‘It’s lashing it down!’ Similarly to the eskimos, what comes out of the sky is very much a part of our lives. Not good for BBQ season, but great for growing food. Which is one of the reasons why we have such great oils, balsamic and vinegars. That and the craftsmanship of our amazing artisan producers. Small in number but high in quality, the often unknown oils and vinegars are world class, punching above our weight. #madeinNI. #NI.

Price and quality analysis | Where do they fit?

Broighter Gold’s rapeseed oils sit in the £4-£6 bracket with their 24 Carat Gold product (with flakes of Gold) at £9.99. Burren Balsamics sit at £8.50 with half bottles for £5. Harnetts rapeseed, hemp and vinaigrettes also sit in the £4-£6. Which means that all 3 sit above the cheaper ranges at the UK supermarkets (£2-£3 per bottle for rapeseed and £3-£4 per bottle for balsamics), but well below the top end prices of £15 plus and indeed £30 per bottle. Arguably though the quality, taste and flavours of the Northern Irish products do compare favourably with the premium imports and with Great Taste Awards in the stable it is fair to say that there are some truly world class products here at extremely reasonable prices. Great for foodies around the world, those wishing to ‘Buy local’ closer to home and for the indigenous food industry to get behind to show that they support #artisanNI producers.

Burren Balsamics

Armagh Bramley Apple, Blackberry & Thyme, Blackcurrant, Rhubarb & Ginger, Strawberry & Mint, Blueberry and Raspberry – Burren Balsamics have a truly mouth-watering range that are designed to enhance recipes but work equally as well as a luxury dressing.

Located in Rich Hill, the Orchard County of Armagh, Burren Balsamics are committed to using local ingredients where possible supporting the local rural economy. The distinct rich, fruity taste is achieved with whole fruit used in making process, not concentrates.

Bottles are also available in fab half ‘Taster’ bottles


Also available at the BITETOSAVOUR shop in Studio Souk, Ann Street, Belfast (opposite Urban Outfitters)

Broighter Gold – cold pressed rapeseed oil

Image courtesy of Pikalily.com

An amazing addition to any kitchen collection – The ‘Infused with’ range: Infused with Basil, Infused with Chilli, Infused with Rosemary & Garlic, Infused with Lemon, Black Truffle Infused and the eye-catching Black Truffle Infused & Wild Porcini Mushroom Infused specials. Great Taste Award winners amongst the crop, proof that these oils punch above their weight.

Limavady based Broighter Gold Rapeseed oil, owned by Richard & Leona Kane was discovered by accident one evening in 2006 when Leona was preparing dinner and ran out of olive oil.  Richard brought up some of the unfiltered cold pressed rapeseed oil from the farm which Leona then used to cook their two fillet steaks and make a salad dressing. Leona says it was the smell of the rapeseed oil that first caught her attention, then the way the steaks didn’t burn in the pan and the taste wasn’t at all bitter… they joked that it was their “Broighter Gold”.

Delighted with her culinary discovery Leona set out to diversify the natural product into a premium cooking oil so that we might all enjoy the taste and health benefits of Broighter Gold. The company now boasts a wide range of delicious and award winning infused oils that take pride of place in many domestic and commercial kitchens throughout Northern Ireland and further afield.

Northern Ireland’s ’24 Ct Gold’

If you’re looking for something different you can’t go far wrong with Broighter’s Liquid Gold. With real flakes of 24 Carat Gold this is certainly something different to excite the dinner guests with and to bring to life all manner of dishes! At only £9.99 it also goes to show that Northern Ireland is able to create some truly magnificent products and incredibly reasonable prices. Which is the vision and ambition of Richard and Leona, the founders of Broighter Gold. View Gold Leaf


Also available at the BITETOSAVOUR shop in Studio Souk, Ann Street, Belfast (opposite Urban Outfitters)

Harnetts Oils

Photo courtesy of McCartneys of Moira

This family have been growing GM free oil seeds in Northern Ireland since 1656! That’s a long time. The fact we also like about them is that Waringstown is named after them, the original family name being the Warings. So with every bottle you’re getting 350 years of family heritage and the DNA of the artisan food industry of NI.

The range
Hemp oil, Lemon & Thyme, Orange & Rosemary, Basil, Pure Rapeseed, Chilli & Garlic, Strawberry Vinaigrette, Raspberry Vinaigrette

Packed with flavour these oils are perfect for foodies looking to enhance their dishes, for interesting dips and ideal as a standard range for your kitchen. Their ‘mini’s’ pack almost makes a great gift item.

The vision and the driving force behind Harnetts has been Jane Harnett. For the past decade Jane has been growing, testing, developing, launching, selling, improving, testing, developing, launching… fine tuning a range that is sold at markets and outlets around the Island of Ireland and overseas. A Great Taste Award winner, this is a fantastic story of the evolution of one of NI’s oldest farming families over the centuries, staying on trend, delivering what the customer wants and sowing the seeds for the next 350 years. I’m sorry to say that we might not be around to report on that anniversary!