The eating of the Barm Brack then became an event of household theatre: if you got the rag, you were destined to be poor; the pea meant you'd be an old maid; the bean a bachelor; the stick a fighter, and the ring meant you'd be wed within the year. Difficult to decide which is the worst fate!!


The Irish term for cake centuries ago was 'Bairgin' and if the 'Bairgin' contained rich currants and raisins it became a 'Bairgin Brack' or speckled cake, now more commonly known as Barm Brack.Barm Brack is unusual in the sense that it does not follow the traditional loaf shape and instead of being oblong is round.


In bygone days Barm Brack was traditionally eaten at Halloween in Ireland (on All Saints Day), when a host of myths and customs surrounded the product. Several unusual ingredients would have been included in the traditional Halloween brack: a pea, a bean, a little piece of cloth (symbolizing a rag), a stick and a Cladagh ring.


For a particularly special treat try McCann's Luxury Barm Brack, a blend of fruits and spices, matured with Black Bush Special Old Irish Whiskey, ideal for afternoon tea or a nightime snack. Cakes include Irish Porter Cake made with genuine Irish stout, and packed with sultanas, cherries, and orange and lemon zest, a moist cake rich in flavour and suitable for special occasions. And McCann's Irish Whiskey Cake is made with a delicious blend of sultanas, cherries, oranges, lemons, apple, cinnamon and Black Bush Special Old Irish Whiskey. Bushmills has been distilling whiskey since 1609 and is the oldest distillery in the world. McCann's Cream liqueur cake is made with finest fruits and St Brendan's Irish Cream Liqueur, a superb Irish Cream liqueur produced to the highest standards in the Northwest of Ireland. Apple and Citrus cake, a rare blend of fruits, sultanas, cherries, oranges and lemons provides a distinctively crisp and tangy flavour. All of these cakes make ideal gift items. All McCann's cakes boast a shelf life of nine months.


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McCanns Barm Bracks
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