“ Brand: Irwin's / Type: Bread „
Anyone who likes smooth potato cakes will absolutely love these potato farls.
I love potato cakes, no Sunday morning fry up is the same with potato cakes, or potato farls. I'd seen them on the top shelf at Sainsbury's a few times but always decided on one of a couple of other brands as they aren't particularly cheap. One week the farls were on special offer at 1/3 off bringing them to less than £1.00 so I had to buy them.
The packet is a weird combination, feeling somewhere between grease paper and plastic, it's very odd, it rips like paper anyway and feels very quality. There's a picture of Paul Rankin, the famous chef, on the front, he is the face of Rankin foods, the other things in the range includes soda bread, soda farls and potato farls, amongst other cakes, breads and bakes.
The potato farls are square and quite solid although the soften up a lot when cooked. I like to have them fried then smothered with butter, they are really delicious, although for the sake of my heart I tend to have them toasted in the toaster and either part of a healthy cooked breakfast or "fry up" or just with my Dad's chicken's eggs mmmm.
So you've toasted or fried your farl, as you bite into it you hear the crisp outside crack a little as you teeth slip through it to the velvety smooth centre. The taste isn't overpowering, as you probably guessed they are potato farls after all. The centre is creamy and just simply put the perfect consistency, it's like the Rolls Royce of potato cakes.
I only buy Rankin potato farls now, I have them less often because they're more expensive but I enjoy them more. I don't know what the actually difference between potato cakes and potato farls is, or if it's just a different name for the same thing but in my eyes they're the same thing except Farls are a better quality potato cake, it's like shops own potato cakes are nice, Warburton's potato cakes are nicer but Rankin Potato Farls are Johnny Depp's looks paired with Michael Buble's voice, need I say more?
The other day I spotted these in Asda reduced. Stocking up with bread at the time for the freezer I purchased these without taking a lot of notice of them and was surprised when I went to shove them in the freezer that they are not bread.... as such!
Course I know who the chef Paul Rankin is. He may not be as popular now as he once was but I remember seeing him on cookery shows in the past and sometimes with his wife on a regular basis and not once have I seen a food product offered by him so I was rather interested to try these as an endorsement by a chef has to be a good thing lol!
Oblong see through plastic wrapper with olive green sections of colour on it. On the front of the wrapper there is a photograph of a grinning Paul Rankin and I'm told that these are Rankin Selection, 4 Irish Potato Farls 'Great toasted with butter or fried as part of a hearty cooked breakfast' and that they are yeast free, lower in sodium and contain no hydrogenated fat within them. On the back of the wrapper other information given includes ingredients and allergy advice being listed, a full nutritional rundown chart is shown, storage details are given (these are suitable for freezing by the way!) and contact details for the manufacturer are of course stated. Easy to open and informative packaging this though no cooking details are given but of course we are told that you can fry or toast them on the front of the packaging though timings or anything are not listed so you have to use what you have as a brain with these lol.
Well what you get when you open the packet are 4 square and rather large creamy coloured and stiffish...well flattish squares. Easy to handle and dry to the touch you simply toast them or fry them of course. I have now eaten 5 packets of these and toasted them and fried them and to me frying them in a little olive oil is best and takes about 4 minutes both sides in a hot pan!
When cooked they stay whole, are none messy and take on a nice colour (whether you are grilling or frying them) and even fried they don't go greasy! What they basically are, are farls made from wheat and potato and are well seasoned. Both me and my mate love these and they really are versatile! Great on a fry up, lovely with butter and on there own, today we had them instead of bread and chips with battered fish! They cook in a flash and really do taste soft and smooth and of both bread and potato and the quality of these is truly excellent and we've become a wee bit addicted to them lol.
Although we got these reduced both my friend and myself are in total agreement we well purchase these whether they are on offer, reduced or not in the future as these tasty, juicy farls are worth every penny we have to pay for them!
Nutritional Information Per Potato Farl:
of which sugars: 6.4g
of which saturates: 0.1g
Available in all good supermarkets at about £1.12 for four.
I see I am not the only one who thinks that Paul Rankin has a winner on his hands with his potato farls. Our local Sainsbury's stock them at £1.08p for a pack of four farls.
Maybe I had better take time out here and just run through what a potato farl is, in all honesty it wasn't until I had tried them that I realised what they were either.
The potato farl is in fact a griddle bread that originated in Northern Ireland , they are also known as `slims` or `fadge` and are similar to a potato scone.
The word Farl is taken from the old Gaelic word Fardel which means four parts, the large farl was cooked on the griddle and then divided into four equal portions.
Towards the end of the 19th century the inhabitants of Northern Ireland wanted to find a way of using up any left over mashed potato, the potato at that time being a staple part of Northern Ireland's diet.
The mashed potato was mixed with some ordinary plain flour and then seasoned, shaped into large patties about a quarter of an inch thick, dusted with flour and then fried on a hot griddle until they were cooked through and had turned golden brown on both sides.
Traditionally they accompany a full fried breakfast, in Ireland this is known as the Ulster fry and comprises of fried bacon egg and sausage along with the fried farl.
But the farls are also delicious just toasted and then smothered in creamy butter.
The well known chef Paul Rankin is an Irishman himself so he should know how to turn out an excellent farl.
In the packet you get four rectangle potato farls, each farl represents one portion. The farls aren't very thick and on the surface they are golden brown, bubbly and uneven.
Though years ago the potato farl played a big part in the staple diet of the Northern Irish nowadays it seems Paul Rankin has other ideas for them, he recommends topping the farls with spiced roast onion and smoked salmon or prosciutto, marscapone and tomato salad, I wonder what the old villagers would have thought of his extravagant ideas!
My potato farls usually get a whirl in the toaster and then they are spread with butter, they taste good with a spoonful of jam spread on the top too.
For a tasty lunchtime snack just lightly fry a potato farl and then put a soft fried egg on the top, absolutely delicious.
Irwin's are a large independent bakers based in Northern Ireland, they keep our supermarkets well supplied with traditional Irish breads.
In 2002 Irwin's bakery launched their first celebrity chef range. The range was known as the Rankin range and was made up of four different types of bread but it has now gone on to include luxury cakes and biscuits too.
The Rankin potato farl is suitable for vegetarians though they do contain wheat and gluten. The farls are yeast free and contain no hydrogenated fats. You can freeze the farls too.
One serving contains 101 calories and they are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Once the packet has been opened they need to be stored in a cool place, I usually put them in the fridge.
Potato farls must be incredibly inexpensive to make and I have been looking at the recipe on the Internet. I am going to try and make some myself and I have included the recipe in case any others fancy joining me.
852 g potatoes, peeled and halved
1 g salt
30 g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
15 g melted butter
In a pot, cover potatoes with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer on medium-high heat until the center of the potatoes are tender when pricked with a fork, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat. Drain, return potatoes to pot and allow to completely dry out over remaining heat. Mash with a potato masher until smooth.
Place warm mashed potato in medium bowl. Stir in flour, salt and melted butter. Mix lightly until dough forms.
On a well floured surface, knead the dough lightly. The dough will be sticky. Use a floured rolling pin to flatten into a 9 inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into quarters using a floured knife.
Sprinkle a little flour into the base of the skillet and cook the farls for 3 minutes on each side or until evenly browned. Season with a little salt and serve straight away.
The recipe looks simple enough to follow, i'm not sure that my farls will be as tempting as Paul Rankin's beauties but as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained!
I absolutely adore these!
They are from the Paul Rankin range and made by Irwins, who I believe are an Irish company.
These are probably better known in the UK as potato cakes, potato scones or tattie scones - I will refer to them as scones for the review, because that is what I am used to calling them.
These are flat scones and I believe they are made from potatoes and flour.
They are so versatile and can be eaten as part of breakfast, lunch, evening meal, supper or just snack on its own.
In my opinion they are at their most delicious when fried, but you can also eat them toasted. When in you are in a hurry just grab one or two and butter it as if you are having bread and butter.
They really do come into their own when served as part of a fry up and they are probably more relevant to an Irish or Scottish breakfast.
I like to have these with bacon and Scottish black pudding, which is 'smoother' and much less fatty than other UK varieties. I am actually quite satisfied with that, although sometimes an egg with a slightly runny middle to give me something to mop up with the scone.
The potato scone and black pudding combination is also great in a sandwich. No posh bread necessary, just a normal white loaf, make sure this is lovely and soft to really enjoy it.
A variation on this is to use Scottish 'plain' bread. Plain bread really is an acquired taste, as it really is quite plain, with distinctive crusts. It is taller, so when you cut it in half you get more of a square shape, coincidentally about the size of a potato farl (or a square sausage, but that is another story for the uninitiated to Scottish cuisine)!
If you want to try your sandwich in 'plain' bread, you can get it in England in Tescos and Farmfoods.
Plain or pan, still delicious!
As I said I absolutely adore these. They are a little thicker than a standard potato scone - I don't know if that is why they are called farls, or if that is just the Irish name for a scone (I have also seen what I know as soda scones referred to as soda farls). This extra thickness makes them a little more enjoyable.
I hate to end on a criticism, but you really do need to keep an eye on the sell by/use by date. I have had a number of occasions where, even before the sell by date was expired, these had gone off and taken on the blue mould you get on bread. I am just hoping this was one of those things that happen from time to time.
Still, despite this I am going to give these 5 stars, they really are delicious.
Like Soda Farls, Potato Farls can be savoured during a copious breakfast or for a tasty snack. This traditional Irish product owes its name to its potato-based recipe, as it was baked when potato was the main food in Irish country cottages.