Ínis Óirr

Thanks to a family recipe, plenty of experimentation and a lot of feedback from others, Tomás has built up an impressive array of over 20 different flavours of butter and cream fudge. Tigerbutter Fudge is designed for those who cherish the original, traditional flavour. Yes, we too have heard stories that he is well able to catch and milk any tigers that roam on Inís Óirr but it is perhaps fanciful.

Aran Island Oarsmen, how Tomas made it to the mainland growing up! When Tomás was young times were very hard on Inis Oirr, there was no secondary school on the island so when Tomás was 12 he had to be sent to school in Galway: imagine the culture shock. He ached for his home and his people. His grandmother somehow managed to scrape enough together to send him some treats and he enjoyed them very sparingly.

Years passed, Tomás finished his education at an agricultural college and continued to work with farming folk around the country; there was never going to be enough at home for him to return there to live. As agriculture declined and the bank manager became increasingly reluctant to continue lending money to rent land he looked again at other interests. He remembered enjoying the treats his grandmother had so lovingly prepared and thought everyone should have a chance to share his sweet memories of childhood.

The fudges and Tomás thrive by being part of the atmosphere of markets and fairs. As Tomás says: “ people enjoy it as part of a day out having fun. What I like best is the face-to-face contact with my customers, the chat and the feedback from people eating what I make – they are tasting my happy memories”.