Ice cream production in Ireland is on the up. The latest to join Good Food Ireland's ice cream making ranks is Linnalla Ice Cream, a small farmhouse based production on the Co Clare coastline in the foothills of the Burren. This picturesque spot is along the way from the ''Flaggy Shore' which was made famous in the poem by Seamus Heaney. In fact the story is quoted on the tubs of Linnalla ice cream and many visitors walk along the stony shoreline here, to stop at the farm for a refreshing scoop or two, enjoyed outdoors on the nice days.
The farm is owned by husband and wife team of Roger and Bríd Fahey the fifth generation of Fahey's to run the place. Roger's father Tommy a farmer and local storyteller of some repute, still lives in the original farmhouse along the road. You can spot it by the monument he erected just outside to mark the year 2000. Tommy hand built it from stone and inscribed it with the words ''The Finvarra man loves his native lands like the Barnach (barnacle) loves the stone." In other words, there's no place like home - and in this particular case that home is now a pretty special place making a pretty special product.
Roger's forty eight strong herds of Friesians and Shorthorn cattle graze the lands around the farm, sometimes travelling across the sea inlet to Scannell Island where he has a little land. He walks them over at low tide and has to wait for the tide to go out again before bringing them back for milking. The end result is worth it since the milk takes on a salty freshness from the sea mist bathed grasses and wild flowers there. All this adds to the unique flavour of Linnalla.
This ice cream has been produced since 2006 following the Fahey's decision to investigate a way to increase turnover on the farm. They visited producers extensively in England and Italy, the home of ice cream, before starting up themselves. Bríd is responsible for developing recipes and all the wonderful flavours on offer at the shop. The base of good quality rich milk is a starting point for her creativity and boy, does she come up with some seriously good ideas. She makes her ice cream in small batches, starting with the farm's pasteurised milk and cream then adding the flavours and absolutely nothing else. Chefs in some local restaurants have Linnalla ice creams created especially for them and the public just love the ever growing range.
Linnalla ice creams include mellow Honeycomb Crunch, refreshing Strawberry Sensation, Superior Vanilla, Intense Chocolate - living up to it's name and to die for - fruity Wild Berry and cool Mint Choc Chip - all supremely balanced, creamy and delicious. We can vouch for that since we've tried them all! Bríd makes her own honeycomb, wild berry purees from local fruits and uses as many other local ingredients as possible, such as seasonal apples, rhubarb and hazelnuts. You can find Linnalla in selected local supermarkets in 500ml tubs and 120ml tubs for the ''to go' trade - which are available at the visitor centre at the nearby Cliffs of Moher, Ailwee Caves and Bunratty Folk Park. Good Food Ireland member, the Burren Smokehouse and Visitors Centre also stocks this delicious product. Catering tubs of 2.5litres and 5 litres are also available. The farm also makes some fruit sorbets and frozen yogurts too.
The Fahey's sell by the scoop at the shop and always have some extra surprise flavours depending on what's available at the time. This is really the best way to sample it- sitting at a sunny outdoor table looking out over to Ballyvaughan to one side and Galway bay and coastline to the other... Heaven!
Read more about Linnalla Pure Irish Ice Cream, here is their Food Shop Review