Author(s): Giana Ferguson
Gubbeen is a 250-acre, traditional farm on the most south-westerly tip of Ireland and is renowned for its award-winning cheese (called Gubbeen) and its smoked meats. The Ferguson family produces more than 50 types of food from the farm and nothing is wasted so that the circle of life sustains the family whilst creating the highest quality products for speciality shops around the world. Gubbeen: The story of a working farm and its foods is an exceptional insight into the running of this traditional farm, and encompasses the four voices of the family who runs it Giana, Tom, Fingal and Clovisse and what they do. Tom has worked the land all his life, following the old farming ways of his forbearers; Giana controls the dairy as well as keeping a keen eye on the poultry; their son Fingal uses the pigs to make bacon and smoked goods from the Smokehouse (and has a side-line in creating beautiful knives for famous chefs); and their daughter Clovisse grows chemical-free vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers in the Kitchen Garden. Recipes are included in every section to illustrate and celebrate the farm produce, resulting in a truly inspirational read. Try Spring Lamb, Butter Beans and Dulse from the Gubbeen kitchen, or prepare the sumptuous Roast Crown of Goose, inspired by the farmyard. Gubbeen is undoubtedly most renowned for its dairy and you can have a go at creating your own Home-made Farm Cheese, or using it in recipes such as Mattie s Cauliflower and Gubbeen Ravioli or try the gorgeously gooey Gubbeen Meltdown, Gubbeen cheese baked with garlic, rosemary and thyme and served with toasted sourdough.
As a child, Giana Ferguson helped to make the cheese on her father's small farm in the mountains above Alora in Spain. In her early twenties, she moved to Ireland where she met and married Tom Ferguson, whose family has lived on the Gubbeen farm for many generations. They started making cheese in 1979 and its popularity and recognition have steadily grown. The uniqueness of the cheese is proved by the fact the bacteria that helps to develop the rind has been named microbacterium gubbeenense.