Northern Irish artisans combine to create innovative ice cream flavour

Two Food NI members have joined forces to create a novel ice cream for the forthcoming peak season.

The two companies are Morelli’s Ice Cream, Northern Ireland’s most successful producer of Italian-style ice cream for over a century, and the more recent Irish Black Butter, a unique sweet/savoury spread.

Irish Black Butter is rippled through Morelli’s multi-award-winning double vanilla ice cream. Both companies are based in Northern Ireland’s picturesque north coast, a magnet for holidaymakers and tourists, Morelli’s at Coleraine in county Derry and Irish Black Butter nearby in Portrush, county Antrim.

Arnaldo Morelli, managing director of Morelli’s, commenting on the new product, launched at Northern Ireland’s biggest food and drink industry exhibition, says: “We are always seeking to develop innovative flavours especially using local ingredients as well as milk sourced from local farms.

“It made sense, therefore, to see how the recently launched Irish Black Butter would work with our highly acclaimed double vanilla. It’s made from bramley apples from county Armagh. It has proved to be popular in our taste tests, feedback which encouraged us to include it among our extensive range of original flavours,” he adds.

Alastair Bell, the founder of the Irish Black Butter Company last November, continues: “I was delighted when Morelli’s, one of Ireland’s best-known and most respected producers of ice cream and sorbets on the island of Ireland. Working with Morelli’s on the creation of the new ice cream, which adds an important new dimension to my product, was a tremendous experience.

“It’s great to see such a longstanding success in the local food industry embracing a new product as an ingredient in the creation of an innovative ice cream. I believe this will also encourage other processors to consider Irish Black Butter consider it for other new and exciting products,” he adds.

Morelli’s has been producing award-winning ice cream in Northern Ireland since 1911 and now sells its range of products, including low-fat sorbet and frozen yoghurt across the island of Ireland. Major retailers such as Tesco Ireland list the company’s ice cream.

The family owned and managed business has won a string of UK Great Taste Awards, National Ice Cream Championship titles and Blas na hEireann awards for its ice cream and frozen yoghurt.

Irish Black Butter, launched last November, is on sale in around 50 delis in Northern Ireland and has recently signed distribution agreements with Centaur in Bristol and Sheridans Cheesemongers in Dublin.