Belfast Telegraph

Will Brexit push up the cost of an Ulster Fry?


By David Young

The price of an Ulster Fry could soar after Brexit, according to economists.

Number-crunchers at international accountancy firm KPMG claim to have worked out that the fry on your plate could rise by a whopping 13% if the UK leaves the EU without finalising a trade deal.

But last night award-winning Ulster chef and broadcaster Paula McIntyre scoffed at what she described as Brexit "scaremongering", and gave the KPMG experts a roasting over the ingredients they had included in their Ulster Fry price hike report.

"Nobody knows what will happen post-Brexit, but I'm sure it won't push prices up by that much," she said.

"Most of our farmers are pro-Brexit, and they know a thing or two about doing business.

"We could be self-sufficient in food in Northern Ireland, if we only would buy more good local produce.

"This kind of story will probably just give the big food conglomerates an excuse to beef up prices.

"It's scaremongering."

Aghadowey woman Paula, who has more than 25 years of experience in the restaurant world, is one of Northern Ireland's most popular broadcasters.

She was shocked that KPMG had left out soda, potato farls and tea from their list of Ulster Fry ingredients.

But they did include the likes of olive oil, instant coffee, chopped tomatoes and strawberry jam.

But the inclusion of baked beans in the list of ingredients made her blood boil.

"Baked beans? In a fry? That's an abomination!" she spluttered.

"And you have to have fried soda and potato farls!

"It's not an Ulster Fry without them!"

Orange juice also got the thumbs down from Paula, who favours the traditional glass of buttermilk or some Armagh apple juice.

On a serious note, Paula said it was important for Northern Ireland's hospitality industry to use the best local produce.

"Tourists expect when they come to Northern Ireland that they can experience the traditional foods of the province, like the Ulster Fry," she said.

"It's important we use the best local produce to show off the wonderful food we have here - our sausages, dry cured bacon, butter, indigenous breads, cider and more."

A straw poll of the Belfast Telegraph newsroom also produced gasps at the idea of olive oil in an Ulster Fry - and horror at the lack of farls.

Traditionalists rebelled at the inclusion of baked beans. "Sacrilege!" said one journalist.

Reacting to the KPMG Ulster Fry price hike report, Belfast Telegraph restaurant critic Joris Minne appealed for calm.

"This is a real concern for every Ulster Fry lover," he said.

"Ulster Bank's Ulster Fry Index (which does not look at olive oil prices) shows a 2.8% rise overall in the proper ingredients (bacon, eggs, soda farls etc) although some commodities are rising faster than others."

But, like Paula, the top foodie said he was confident that Ulster's love affair with the humble fry would continue - Brexit or no Brexit.

"I would seek to reassure people that when you can still see excellent Ulster Frys on offer at various cafes and restaurants for under a fiver, there is no need to panic just yet."

Paula's local super 6 to try

1. Forthill Farm Tandragee: sausages, 2. Cavanagh eggs: N'butler 3. Long Meadow Cider: Portadown, 4.Gracehill FineFoods Ballymena: black pudding, 5.Kennedy's Bacon, Omagh: dry cure bacon, 6. Broighter Gold Limavady: rapeseed oil

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