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Galway Bakers, a source for Irish baked goods

Galway Bakers, a source for Irish baked goods
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  • Galway Bakers, a source for Irish baked goods

    Post #1 - March 16th, 2005, 10:35 pm
    Post #1 - March 16th, 2005, 10:35 pm Post #1 - March 16th, 2005, 10:35 pm
    Last weekend was the St. Patrick's Day celebration at the Irish American Heritage Center, which always coincides with the parade downtown. This year, probably due to insurance costs, the food service shifted from mostly an in-house volunteer effort to catering. So rather than homemade Irish soda bread, there was a bakery present who specializes in Irish baked goods.

    Galway Bakers is co-owned by two sisters whose friends were always requesting favors of Irish baked goods. They do not have a shop to casually drop in, they are known by word of mouth and all orders are placed in advance.

    Galway Tea Cake
    Image

    I'm 2nd generation American on both sides of the family, so a lot of goods they offer I know by reputation rather than personal consumption. Galway Bakers offer: Nana's Brown Bread, Treacle Bread, Boiled Raisin Cake, Plum Pudding, Christmas Cake, Traditional Irish Wedding Cakes and "much more." I am sure they make Irish Soda Bread and scones, though I was happy to see their range was beyond that.

    What is a traditional Irish Wedding Cake? I learned it is a fruitcake, not as densely packed with fruits as we experience Christmas fruitcakes. The cake has Irish whiskey or brandy pour over it, then it rests for a month. The frosting is marzipan, which looked like it was rolled out like a sheet and fitted. They apply white (royal?) icing piped on the marzipan like Irish lace and silver horseshoe decorations are applied. In many respects, their Christmas Cake seemed similar to the Wedding Cake in composition; if you ever wanted to try a smaller scale production.

    Boiled Raisin Bread
    Image

    Their plum puddings are made in two variants: suet or margarine for vegetarians. I remembered JiminLoganSquare commenting on the challenges of grating the suet on his own because nobody would prepare it for him. I learned there is a specially prepared suet for making plum puddings called atora. It is available frozen from October through December at Irish imports.

    Our conversation drifted to Treacle Bread, she believes Treacle is better tasting product than molasses. I inquired if she had ever had Treacle pie, which she had never heard of before. I told her I made a Molasses pie, which is closely related to Treacle pie and a forerunner of the pecan pie. Her source for Treacle is Irish Imports. She remarked, if it is Irish and its available, then it is at Irish Imports. If they don't have, then nobody has it.

    I purchased two cakes to sample Galway Bakers range. The boiled raisin cake was moist, fruity and tangy from what I presume is treacle, rather than molasses. The Galway Tea Cake was dry principally due to the packing. Instead of containing the cake in a plastic bag, they used a stiffer plastic and twine that allowed moisture to escape. Otherwise it was quite good, though I would ask for a better packaging.

    I learned they also make some gluten-free cakes. These ladies explained the Irish population has a higher incidence of gluten-related allergies, which was news to me.

    Galway Bakers
    Wheeling, IL
    Phone: 847/813-5159
    E-mail: galwaybakers@sbcglobal.net

    Irish Imports Teahan
    2505 North Harlem Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60707
    773-637-3800
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - April 8th, 2008, 8:42 pm
    Post #2 - April 8th, 2008, 8:42 pm Post #2 - April 8th, 2008, 8:42 pm
    Hello,

    The ladies of the Galway Bakers now have a site up at www.galwaybakers.com for anyone who might be interested.

    Thanks a million!
  • Post #3 - April 9th, 2008, 12:43 am
    Post #3 - April 9th, 2008, 12:43 am Post #3 - April 9th, 2008, 12:43 am
    Brendan,

    Thank you! My first response to this thread in 3 years!

    I'm glad the ladies are continuing to flourish.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #4 - April 9th, 2008, 11:15 am
    Post #4 - April 9th, 2008, 11:15 am Post #4 - April 9th, 2008, 11:15 am
    Those breads look awesome.
  • Post #5 - April 9th, 2008, 12:04 pm
    Post #5 - April 9th, 2008, 12:04 pm Post #5 - April 9th, 2008, 12:04 pm
    Looks awesome. FY, Atora is a common grocery item in the UK & available year round - its also necessary ingredient for the suet pastry that wraps steak & kidney & similar puddings.

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