Cocoa Husk Designs brings some West African sunshine into Irish kitchens this festive season

husk-designs1

Posted on: 5th December, 2016

Category: Food & Wine

Contributor: West Cork People

Above: Allison and Claudia launching their new range of aprons at Etain Hickey Collections

Cocoa Husk Designs, Clonakilty Chocolate’s little sister, has just introduced to West Cork a new range of beautiful textiles using batiks and hessians that are inspired by chocolate and West Africa.  The handmade aprons, napkins and meditation cushions echo the colours and textures of Ghana and are guaranteed to bring the memory of sunshine into your wintery Irish home.

The batik fabrics used by Cocoa Husk are imported from Global Mamas, a Fairtrade cooperative from the region in Ghana where Clonakilty Chocolate sources its cocoa beans. Because there are only two cocoa harvests a year, small industries such as fabric production are vital to provide a source of income for cocoa farmers and their families in the off season. Batik plays a large part in West African culture – batiks of a unique colour and pattern are often used as company or school uniforms and expertise in dying batiks has been passed down from generation to generation.

Clonakilty Chocolate’s chief cocoa roaster and winnower (the process of removing the cocoa bean from the husk), studied fashion design and saw an opportunity to use her skills to bring another West African ‘treat for the senses’ to West Cork, this time a visual treat. Claudia transforms the batiks and hessians in her home studio in Clonakilty, which is just around the corner from the chocolate factory.

Cocoa Husk Designs was officially launched last month at Etain Hickey Collections, where well-wishers were invited to also try some warming tea, stout, soaps and lip balms – all made using cocoa husks left over from chocolate production. Clonakilty Chocolate’s Allison Roberts has discovered new ways of using the husk so that none of the cocoa farmers labour goes to waste; she has created an anti-oxidant-rich tea and has supplied brewers Black’s of Kinsale with husks to flavour a special and limited edition of their beer. Allison is also sharing husks with Robyn Allen, who uses them in her new range of soaps and lip balms.

Cocoa Husk products are available wherever you see Clonakilty Chocolate in local markets, from clonakiltychocolate.com and at Etain Hickey Collections, Clonakilty. The aprons are priced at €42 and would make the perfect gift for a keen cook or baker this Christmas.

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11th October, 2017  ·  

Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
by Dr John Borgonovo in The Parish Centre, Clonakilty
on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

In 1917, unrestricted submarine warfare by German U-boats brought the United States into WWI and created a crisis in Britain. To defeat the submarine menace, an American naval fleet was dispatched to County Cork, bringing about 10,000 sailors with it. This talk will explain the circumstances of this extraordinary event, and how Cork residents dealt with their unexpected American guests.

Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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11th October, 2017  ·  

Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

Building on the success of its inaugural 2016 event, local voluntary environmental organisation Sustainable Clonakilty invites people to bring along their apples and press them to extract their own juice to take home, using the group's Apple Press.

Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

This is a free community event and donations will be welcome to cover costs.

For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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26th September, 2017  ·  

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