Food, wine, travel, music
This article appeared in the Irish Examiner 29/11/13.
Supporting Irish produce is our own small way we can support Ireland’s economy. Think first before buying. We pay a high price for cheap imports, so if we want these companies to stay in business, we need to make wise choices. And our produce is superb, from the newest mozzarella cheese in Toonsbridge to Fainne Oir garlic and parsley breadsticks to delicious chocolate. Chocolate can never be totally Irish, but how imported chocolate is used to make top quality bars and treats is what makes it worthwhile buying.
I didn’t have room for everyone in the article, and was sorry not to have included the Organic Garden wholefood stall at the Princes Street entrance to Cork’s English market where the best dried fruit is to be found. Since the article appeared, the Iago cheese stall has moved outside the market to an impressive premises on Princes Street. Good for city centre trading. I hope a good food stall will replace it in the market.
Watch out too in markets for Golden Bean coffee and Badger and Dodo. A bag of beans or ground coffee makes a great gift.
Buy good sourdough bread now and cut in half to freeze for the festive season. After Christmas fresh bread is not always available. Go for Arbutus bread and if near Cappoquin stock up at Barron’s bakery.
Toonsbridge Dairy in Toonsbridge on the way to Inchigeela, near Macroom, is a lively little shop with delicious salted almonds, large crisp breads, a good variety of olive oils and other treats from Spain and well priced dishes from Morocco. Beware their café isn’t open in the winter and the shop only at weekends. The produce is echoed in the Olive Stall in the English Market, Cork. I would be happy to receive just about anything from there, including the olive oil soaps which look lovely.
Other favorite soaps and oils with an edible connection is L’Occitane’s almond shower oil. Hard to beat. From their shops nationwide.
Buy less, but buy well, is my theme for this year.
Lecture over. Happy Christmas!