Ireland’s best brown bread baker revealed after final in Dublin

by Gazette Reporter

Marie McCarthy is the winner of The National Brown Bread Baking Competition, run by Aldi and in association with the National Ploughing Association (NPA) and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association (ICA).

Marie, from Carrigaline, Co. Cork, will receive a guaranteed cash prize of €15,000 and her bread will be available in all 143 Aldi stores nationwide in the coming weeks.

Relaunched six years ago by the NPA, the event this year was a huge success with entries from all over Ireland submitted into Aldi stores. This year, over 700 entries were submitted making it the most successful year to date.

Open to all members of the public, all entrants were asked to drop their freshly baked bread to Aldi stores on certain dates, with the breads then judged by a panel, and 4 contestants making it through to the final.

The four finalists were:
• Marie McCarthy from Carrigaline, Co. Cork
• Aisling O’Toole from Monasterevin, Co. Kildare
• Marie Doherty from Ballymote, Co. Sligo
• Kathrina Ruddock from Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim

The final was held at Cooks Academy in Dublin where Marie McCarthy from Carrigaline in Cork rose to the challenge and emerged victorious, commended by the judges for her Brown Bread’s overall appearance, texture, and all important taste. The bread is sure to be popular with Aldi customers nationwide.

Marie commented: “I am thrilled to have won the National Brown Bread Baking Competition this year. I spent much of the lockdown perfecting my brown bread and it has certainly paid off! I can’t wait to see my loaf on all Aldi shelves nationwide in the near future!”

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