Sisters Karen and Natalie began making chocolate back in 2014, from their farmhouse in the scenic and beautiful rural countryside just outside Ferns Village.
They began by using the traditional methods of hand tampering the chocolate on marble slabs, and experimenting with flavours grown in their kitchen garden and foraged on the lanes surrounding the farmhouse.
Selling at first at various farmers markets and Artisan Food Fairs, in a very short time they became a staple in the Dublin Street Food Scene, growing their business, finding suppliers and creating a firm following of loyal chocolate lovers.
Today, Bean & Goose, supplies to stores across Ireland, and their online chocolate tasting club sends chocolate bars across the world for people to enjoy.
Today, they still practice in much the same way, using only single origin chocolate infused with ingredients and flavours that reflect the Irish seasons.
From the countryside lanes heavy with elderflower, lovage, gorse and blackberries or their herb garden full of lavender, mint, bay, fennel, rosemary and thyme and the summer fruits and orchard trees that grow in abundance in Wexford and edible flowers such as violas, marigolds, borage and scented roses. Their creations are more than just chocolate bars, but actual works of culinary art.
This food tour includes an intimate 2 hour workshop with Karen Keane herself, in the kitchen of the Farmhouse.
Here you will sample some of their most popular bars in milk, dark and white chocolate. You will learn how the chocolate is tempered, how to select the right ingredients and flavour combinations.
You will also have the opportunity to create your own bar of chocolate, under Karen’s watchful eye, coming up with your own combinations of ingredients.
Finally, when you are finished, assuming it hasn’t been eaten already (!) your bar will be wrapped and placed in a gift box along with two other bars from their limited edition range to take home.
Leaving Bean and Goose behind us, we travel on to the busy and bustling town of Enniscorthy. Passing over the Slaney river and up past the Castle to The Wilds for a spot of lunch.
The Wilds is an award winning Cafe, Craft & Design Shop, showcasing some of the best food in the county.
The Menu focuses on local produce and taking advantage of our strong organic and free range farming practices. Fresh baking, great coffee, seasonal salads to die for, light and fluffy quiches with Wexford Cheddar, delectable sourdough sandwiches and so much more.
You can even purchase some of their relishes and sauces to take away on display along with more Bean & Goose Chocolate!
After lunch its time to move on to the salty part of our tour! When butchers, farmers and Irish Mammies all agree on a product, you know its got to be good! O’Neills Dry Cure Bacon is made using only traditional methods, and all by hand using a unique secret family recipe (All we know is that it contains Atlantic sea salt and a little sugar!) As there are no added phosphates and certainly no added water, there is no shrinkage in the pan, just extra flavour!
Pat and Mary O’Neill are purists, and have extremely high standards, this is evident when you see the sheer number of food awards they have won. While number one in Wexford, the rest of the country is only just catching on. So discover O’Neills Bacon before everyone else!
Your tour, lead by Mary O’Neill herself, takes you through not just the curing process, but also how some bacon is smoked and some turned into Bacon Jam. You will also discover what goes into their delicious black and white puddings and tasty sausages. Your tour will finish with some samples served the best way, a simple “Bacon Buttie” along with a little bacon to bring home!
Leaving Enniscorthy we head towards Wexford town, but en route we’ll make a quick stop at Kates Farm Shop. This is one of the three fantastic farmshops we have across the county. You can pick up some locally made jams, preserves and chutneys along with cheeses, cooked meats and a great selection of freshly baked breads. There is also a great selection of seasonal fruits to choose from too
Our Final Destination is the Drew Fox Brewery in Wexford Town, home of the Cleverman Ales. Here husband and wife team, Malcolm and Andrea, have created a select range of 4 divine Craft Beers. A Kolsch style beer, a full bodied amber ale, an American pale ale and gorgeously rich turf smoked stout.
Drew Fox Brewing is Wexford’s newest Irish Craft Brewery and was founded by Malcolm and Andrea Molloy. Malcolm, a Dublin native, lived in the USA for many years and met his Texan wife Andrea in Chicago. The couple own a pub in Chicago called The Grafton Pub & Grill.
Their love of craft beer developed in the windy city. Malcolm and Andrea moved to Ireland with their three kids in 2010 and relocated to Wexford in the sunny southeast. Cleverman Ales can now be found in many bars across Wexford and beyond.
You can enjoy samples of each as Malcolm explains the story behind each bottle, the ingredients, the brewing methodology and the clever men that each Cleverman Beer is named after! Afterwards, you can choose two bottles of your favourite to take home, and you can also purchase more if you choose!