Goatsbridge Trout Farm are bringing caviar to the masses with the announcement today that their new Irish Trout Caviar is going public and will be available in Irish restaurants in the coming weeks. A product some two years in the making, I’m delighted for Mag and Ger and all at Goatsbridge with their continuing product innovation, the caviar something which should be a great hit with the export market.
While sturgeon-derived caviar has been known to go for anything up to $16,000 a kilogram, the Irish Trout Caviar, according to the Irish Times, will retail at €19.95 for a 100g tin, definitely the most exclusive product at the moment in the Goatsbridge range. Though trout caviar, and smoked trout caviar, is available globally, this is the first time it has ever been produced for retail in Ireland, and no better place to do it than in Kilkenny in my books.
“Trout caviar is good enough to eat off the spoon. It has large, golden-orange beads and a subtle flavour with a nice ‘pop’ when you bite into it. We are thrilled to be the first making it in Ireland and believe it represents the sort of innovation required in the food industry here. We have been very heartened by the response from the restaurant and food sector here so far… We weren’t sure how the Russian visitors would respond to the Irish-made caviar but the samples went down a treat with them and this has given us confidence that we can achieve strong export sales as well,” says Mags Kirwan of Goatsbridge.
The Irish Trout Caviar has been a long time in the making, with help along the way from Sunburst Trout Farm in North Carolina (who were over in Kilkenny for the first Foodcamp at Savour Kilkenny in 2010), food technologist John Fagan (BIM) along with innovation voucher funding from Enterprise Ireland, shelf life monitoring from Teagasc and market assistance from Bord Bia.
Mag has long been talking about replacing the role of smoked salmon in the house and restaurant with smoked trout and having sampled the trout herself and Ger farm to cook at home along with, the paté, and cold smoked trout (which made it into some of my Christmas hampers last year), I’ll be looking forward to trying the caviar in due course. Granted, it was far from caviar I was raised but for a luxury product like it to be available at the sub-€20 price point, I can see it popping up on a few tables at home around special occasions later this year, as well as the restaurants. All the provided it’s not like gold dust…
The next step for the caviar is to hit restaurants around the country for tastings and feedbacks but it could be the end of 2012 before it will be seen on shop shelves.
Perhaps the Savour Kilkenny Food Festival would be a nice way to introduce it to the visiting masses in October?
Again, my congratulations to Mag and Ger and long may the development and success continue.