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'Historical Irish Dairy Products' Book Launch

The official launch of a new book, 'Historical Irish Dairy Products' which traces from earliest times the historical-cultural heritage of Irish dairy products took place virtually on 15th December. The launch was hosted by Mark Gibson, Teagasc and featured contributions from a panel of guests.

The official launch, which was hosted by Hosted by Mark Gibson, Teagasc, featured contributions from Prof. Frank O’Mara, Director of Teagasc; former Director of Teagasc, Prof. Gerry Boyle and the authors of the book, Dr. Dara Downey, Dr. Liam Downey, and Derry O’Donovan.

The book draws together information spread across a diverse range of historical, archaeological, economic and scientific publications and it aims to provide a platform that may be used in reviewing the current state of knowledge, and identifying notable gaps pertaining to the development of dairy products from prehistory, through the medieval period, and on into recent centuries.

You can order your copy of Historical Irish Dairy Products directly from Wordwell. Order Here

Watch the recording of the official launch below

Summary of Historical Irish Dairy Products

This new book – Historical Irish Dairy Products – just published, traces from earliest times the historical-cultural heritage of Irish dairy products. Butter has been made in Ireland for over four thousand years and it can be said to be Ireland’s oldest food product. The book, co-authored by Dara Downey, Liam Downey, and Derry O’Donovan, chronologically documents the evolution and development of Ireland’s premier dairy products. It focuses on butter and cheese in particular, from pre history through medieval times and on into recent centuries. It highlights technological advances such as salt preservation and the iconic cream separator which underpinned the production of our dairy products in recent centuries.

This book comprises ten stand-alone chapters, including:

  • Prehistoric butter
  • Butter making over the centuries
  • Cheese making
  • Public butter markets
  • The creamery system
  • Food research and product development.

The book presents an integrated account of Ireland’s long-standing history in dairy products, and it documents a number of important research initiatives and commercial developments that underpinned the global success of the Irish dairy industry in recent decades. It describes salt and sugar manufacture and their use in food preservation. It also charts the institutional framework, especially the public butter markets in the 19th century (such as in Cork and Tipperary), and the emergence of the creamery system, in particular the co-operative movement as the main driver of change in the 20th century.

The book presents an opportunity for Ireland to capitalise on its historical-cultural heritage of butter and cheese based on the authentic story outlined in this book. It is is a must for all those involved in the dairy industry, including farmers, processors, and dairy marketeers and will make a wonderful Christmas gift to all of the aforementioned and the many retired creamery managers who played a major role in building Ireland’s greatest rural industry.