CAROLINE Rigney’s rashers, pork and puddings have been winning awards ever since she set up her business from the family home and farm in Curragh Chase just over five years ago.
Now, Caroline has clocked up yet another award – the All-Ireland Farmers’ Market Award, beating off competition from artisan producers from every county in the country.
Caroline won the award on Sunday when the competition was held as part of the Wexford Strawberry Fair. “It’s great,” Caroline said with great glee on her return home. And she was particularly pleased given the extent of the competition and the high standard.
“There were dozens of stalls there,” she explained. The competition had been advertised in advance at Farmers Markets around the country and a great number of producers turned up. “Everything you could think of from an artisan food producer’s point of view was there– juices, cheeses, pickles, breads, meat products.”
Caroline had her full range of products on display, rashers, sausages, black and white pudding, bacon and pork and she cooked up her pork burgers and hot-dogs. Everything was judged, she explained, from the story behind the product to presentation and of course taste.
Food-writer and The Restaurant judge Paulo Tullio was one of the chief judges and Caroline took the top accolade to her great delight, winning herself a large crystal trophy and a €2000 cheque.
Caroline’s range of products is made from rare breed pigs reared at the family farm in Curragh Chase. She has won medals each year for the past five years at the Great Taste Awards in London, the Olympics of the artisan food world. And each year since 2007, she has won Best in Ireland in the Bridgestone Guide.
Caroline is a regular market-goer, selling at the Crescent Farmers Market each Wednesday and also in Listowel on Fridays. Since Caroline moved with her family to their small-holidng in Curraghchase some years ago, she has been to the forefront of the slow food movement.