Welcome to Shelf Help, a new weekly food column that will search supermarket shelves, market stalls and artisan food shops in search of outstandingly good things to eat and drink. They won’t all be super-premium, organic and artisan, as we know price is increasingly important. But we will aim to seek out interesting and useful products that will be a really useful addition to your weekly shop, and good value for money, whether own brand gems, or more costly products that justify the expense by being outstandingly good.
What’s in other people’s shopping baskets and trolleys is always interesting, and we would love to hear about the things you have discovered too. Tell me about them and I will track them down, try them out and report back.
What is it?
Revolution Chilli, a vegan ready meal (RRP €7.95-€8.50, 370g).
What’s great about it?
It is a new product made with oyster mushrooms grown in spent coffee grounds. The mushrooms, which are grown in a refrigerated container on the University College Dublin campus, are the main ingredient in the chilli, as well as in the farm’s Revolution Ragù. The chili is beautifully spiced, with a top note of cinnamon and a gentle kick from chipotle. The list of ingredients is oyster mushrooms, red peppers, onion, tomato, red kidney beans, olive oil, red wine, garlic, salt, yeast extract, smoked paprika, cayenne, cumin, cinnamon, chipotle chili peppers.
How do I use it?
The glass jar contains enough chili to serve two, with rice or another starch. It’s quite rich, so a little goes a long way. It should be gently reheated on the stovetop or in a microwave.
Where can I buy it?
The chilli and the ragu are on sale in independent food stores and cafes across Dublin. A list of stockists can be found on Revolution Farm Kitchen’s website. They can also be purchased online in a case of six jars.
Who makes it?
The UpCycle Farm is a social enterprise founded by Paddy Arnold and James Egan, in partnership with the UCD Innovation Academy and Convene. Arnold, a former chef, created the recipe for both products, which he makes himself in a commercial kitchen in Co Wicklow.
Top-notch. Apart from the recycling of the coffee grounds as a growing medium, the jars have removable labels, and if you return the clean jars to selected stores, you can get 20 percent off your next purchase.