Food Monday ~ Yellow man

Lammas Day is in fact the 1st August , but nowadays the last Monday and Tuesday in August are when Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, becomes home to the Ould Lammas Fair.   It claims to be Ireland’s oldest traditional market fair, dating back to the 17th century.  Its exact origin is uncertain but one theory is that it began as a Hiring Fair for the area around Ballycastle.

At the present day Fair, horse trading, street entertainment and market stalls attract thousands of people to Ballycastle.  Today it’s famous for dulse, edible seaweed collected from local shores and dried out, and yellow man, which is similar to sweet rock.

There has even been a ballad composed about the fair – The Oul’ Lammas Fair by John Henry MacAuley, a bog-oak carver and well-known fiddle player. He died in 1937, long before the song became popular.

I nearly forgot…. You want a recipe!

Yellow Man

300g White Sugar (caster or granulated)
200g Golden Syrup
100ml Water
1 tblespoon White Wine Vinegar
2 heaped teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda

Prepare your tin/dish by lining with lightly oiled baking parchment.
Heat the sugar, golden syrup, water and vinegar until it starts to turn amber and reaches 150C/the hard crack stage.  Add the bicarbonate and stir thoroughly, then pour into your lined tin. Leave to cool to room temperature.

If you want it to be cut into ordered shapes, cut with an oiled knife when it has cooled to room temperature. I like it to look a little rough and tumble so cut it when it’s cool.
Store in an air tight container. It is delicious covered in chocolate or roughly crushed into chocolate mousse or Ice cream.

Now, mind the fillings when you eat this 😉

10 thoughts on “Food Monday ~ Yellow man

  1. JacquiMcR

    In Scotland we call this “puff candy”. The first time i made it , i didn’t realize that the bicarbonate of soda reacts so quickly and it was like the magic cooking pot, with the mixture spilling over the sides and the cooker. The kids thought it was hysterical. Enjoy your day!

  2. Grannymar Post author

    JacquiMcR – Welcome to my blog and Food Monday. The bicarb certainly adds excitement to the process. A large high-sided pot is advisable for this one.

    Red Top – A new line? Don’t forget me when you make your fortune.

    WWW – When I was adding the note about the ballad, I thought of you singing the song!

  3. blackwatertown

    Happy days in Ballycastle where I spent my childhood summers.
    We were always warned that if we didn’t eat our crusts (of bread) we wouldn’t get to go to Ballycastle. The threat worked.
    And still does . I used to say to my own kids – another odd idiosyncrasy they thought, no doubt – but once they had been for themselves, the threat worked even more effectively.

  4. Grannymar Post author

    blackwatertown – We were too far from Ballycastle for that threat. Ours was… ‘If you don’t eat it for your dinner, you will get it for your tea. Cold!’

    My problem at the table was soup. Mammy made great soup, she put all but the kitchen sink in it. Daddy would pronounce to all about that it was great soup.. “It would put hair on your chest”! The four brothers sat up and ladled in the soup, but I cowered and eat tiny spoonfuls! 😆


A penny for your thoughts...