New business to showcase Northern Ireland’s baking heritage

A small food producer is hoping to highlight the “great baking tradition in Northern Ireland” with a themed biscuit.

Iconic Biscuits, based in Lisburn, Co Antrim, has created a hexagonal shaped sweet treat reflecting tourist landmark the Giant’s Causeway.

Made from locally sourced butter, honey and whiskey, the product will debut next month and has been developed to address a gap in the market for a distinctive Northern Ireland biscuit in the tourism and hospitality sectors, director Michael Thompson said.

“All the complimentary biscuits used by hotels here are either from England or Scotland,” he explained.

“Scottish shortbreads, for example, are featured in rooms in hotels and guest houses. Even the shop in the Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim sells shortbreads made with English clotted cream, featuring an image of the Causeway.

“I’ve nothing whatsoever against these biscuits - their quality and taste are good. But it seemed to me that we’ve a great baking tradition in Northern Ireland and could be doing more to showcase this.”

Local bakery Yellow Door, based in Portadown, Co Armagh, will make the biscuits on behalf of Thompson, a food marketing professional by trade, who is also baking small batches in his home kitchen.

A second biscuit is also in development and should be ready for production by Christmas, Thompson added.

"I want visitors to Northern Ireland to have an opportunity to savour genuine flavours of Northern Ireland, such as grass-fed butter, Antrim honey and whiskey, along with tea or coffee in their rooms and other facilities in their hotels, guest houses and B&Bs.

“I think the hospitality sector here should be offering more locally branded food. We need to be showcasing our excellent produce at every opportunity and particularly on menus to tourists and other visitors. More distinctive Northern Ireland-branded foods are essential to enable us to build on the success of the recent Year of Food and Drink."

Yellow Door Bakery recently partnered with craft brewery Pokertree Brewing of Carrickmore to create a new beer from sourdough yeast.

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