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21st - 22nd September 2013
We would like to welcome you to Applefest, the second Slow Food Apple and Craft Cider Festival, the only festival of it’s kind in Ireland.
Our objective is to celebrate the apple and all the wonderful food and drink that we make from it. In particular, we want to promote Irish apple varieties and to encourage people to take a fresh look at the humble fruit.
We also want people to have some fun. That is what festivals are for. In Slow Food we very much enjoy the conviviality of sharing food and drink with people who appreciate it, not just for what it is but for where it came from and who produced it. We like to know that it is good food, that the environment wasn’t harmed to produce it and that the producer got a fair price. With enjoyment comes responsibility.
The humble Irish apple has been at the heart of many an Irish Kitchen for generations and this year we will celebrate it with the All-Ireland Slow Food Apple Tart Competition. Our mission is to find the best apple tart in the country, a tall order for sure, but the time has come for the amateur bakers of Ireland to step up to the mark and stake their claim. Who will be the best tart-maker in Ireland in 2013?
In 2011 the number of people making pure-juice cider in Ireland jumped significantly. New producers, many of them apple growers themselves, decided to take the leap and start creating high quality craft-cider of their own and in 2012 the number of commercially available Irish craft ciders reached double figures. This year we will have twelve Irish producers making more than twenty craft ciders.
With the tradition of cider-making in Ireland showing signs of a revival, perhaps even a renaissance, we in Slow Food feel it is important to celebrate it. This growth industry has potential to create jobs, especially rural jobs, and it could be a significant employer in years to come. But this is a festival , and festivals are for having fun. Most, if not all, of the new cider-makers will be present or will be represented at the festival. This is the best opportunity you will ever have to try and compare the best Irish-made ciders in one venue. Happy days.
We hope this year's festival will build on the success of last year and that it will keep growing from year to year. We want it to be a landmark event on the festival calendar and one that brings visitors to our beautiful part of the world. But for now we just want you to join us in celebrating a part of our heritage that we may have taken for granted.