17 April 2023
By Tom Collins
The East Cork based brand ‘Ballymaloe Relish’ has once again placed Irish food on the global map after winning a much-coveted Snacking d’Or award.
The awards are organised by France Snacking magazine, and every year they reward the most innovative products and equipment in the world of snacking and fast and nomadic catering.
Ballymaloe Relish was one of 40 products, and the only Irish made product, recognised by a jury at the prestigious Sandwich & Snack show in Paris on April 12th. 154,000 votes were registered in the competition which saw 20 percent public votes, and 80 percent jury votes comprising 15 professionals from the food service sector. Each of the winning products will be featured in the next edition of ‘France Snacking,’ and Ballymaloe Relish is showcased in a dedicated area at the Sandwich & Snack show, which is attended by thousands during its two day duration.
Commenting on the prize, Export Manager at Ballymaloe Foods Alexandra Dirand says it’s always fantastic to be recognised on an international level: “The Snacking d’Or Awards are hugely respected in the food service industry and to see Ballymaloe Relish honoured among a host of fantastic products from around the world really was something special. This could not be achieved without the brilliant team we have here and without all the businesses who support us in Ireland so I’d like to thank everyone who has made this happen.”
The story of Ballymaloe Relish dates back almost 100 years to the 1930s when Ivan Allen was growing tomatoes at his glasshouses in Shanagarry. Ivan’s wife Myrtle began to create a delicious relish from the rich yield of tomatoes, naturally preserving them so they could be used all year round with cold meats and sandwiches.
Using her mother’s recipe, Yasmin Hyde, Myrtle’s daughter, began producing Ballymaloe Relish in her own kitchen. This led to Yasmin establishing Ballymaloe Foods in 1990. Starting out as a very small operation in which Yasmin worked out of a portacabin and delivered her produce from a hand-me-down Lada, the company now exports to several countries including Canada, Germany, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates. The original Ballymaloe Relish has become an iconic Irish product and is stocked in kitchens all over the world.
Now producing a wide variety of award-winning relishes, sauces and pickles from its purpose built kitchens in Little Island, County Cork, Ballymaloe Foods remains a family-run business. Yasmin’s three children and her daughter-in-law are among the many employees at the company.