Two local men are hoping to put the Kerry village of Sneem on the map for its food speciality.
Butchers Peter O’Sullivan and Kieran Burns have applied to get official EU recognition and protection for the locally made Sneem black pudding.
Although the two men run rival butcher shops in a village with a population of around 300 they have come together to seek special designation for a product that is relatively unknown outside the Iveragh peninsula.
The deep red-brown coloured pudding is made from beef and lamb suet, oatmeal, onions, water, spice mixture, and fresh blood from animals slaughtered in abattoirs run by Peter and Kieran.
Almost all the product is sold in local shops, restaurants, and hotels.
One of the unique features of the pudding is that it is baked, unlike most others which are boiled, as well as being commonly sold in rectangular blocks of 0.5kg and 1kg.
Made without additives or preservatives, its shelf life is relatively short at 14-21 days.
The Department of Agriculture has launched a national consultation on the application for Sneem black pudding to be given protected designation of origin (PDO) status.
The PDO quality regime gives recognition and protection to foods with a unique links to a distinct geographical area, benefitting local economies and food tourism Its regard by food manufacturers as a form of intellectual property as it affords producers in that area protection against imitation and use of the name outside the region.
Some of the best known products to get PDO approval are Parma ham and feta cheese.
“Sneem black pudding is a totally natural product with a very distinctive taste,” said Peter who credited Michael Gleeson, a lecturer at the Institute of Technology, for the initiative.
“Most people don’t have a clue about the scheme but once you explain it they all think it’s a great idea,” he added.
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