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I’ve fallen in love with Mexico. Beautiful white soft beaches, mysterious Mayan ruins and azure warm seas. What’s not to love? Well, if you’re staying in an all-inclusive resort, probably the food.

We spent 10 days recently south of Cancun on a blissful holiday. Our first stay was at the Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an, which is the adults only, luxury section of a sprawling resort. It was set amidst the jungle, with easy access to a glorious beach and it was wonderful.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche

A post by Cork Billy at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD

On visits to Moscow, Helmut (Kohl) invariably looked me up at the Gorbachev Foundation. In 2002, in our small dining room there, we arranged an intimate supper with just him, his assistant, myself, my daughter Irina, and a member of the Foundation staff. He cheerfully drank two or three glasses of vodka, followed by beer. Kohl was very proud of his role in the creation of the Euro, and signed a 20-Euro banknote, added the date, 1 January 2002, and gave me it as a souvenir.  Continue reading »

Kelly’s Butchers launch a New Vegetarian White Pudding

A post by noreply@blogger.com (Zack Gallagher) at Irish Food Guide Blog

Kelly’s Butchers, in Newport, County Mayo, are well known for their award winning black and white puddings and for their sausages.
They’ve just officially launched two new products – Kelly’s Vegetarian High Protein Pudding and Kelly’s Hazlett. Both products were prize winners at the recent Blás na hÉireann Irish Food Awards.

Why would a butcher make a vegetarian breakfast pudding?  Continue reading »

They don’t know Jack

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

I had thought that 2016 was going to be the year of Dublin brewing but sadly there hasn’t been the boom I anticipated. It’s great that Hope is now in full production in Donaghmede, and the Stone Barrel/Third Circle joint venture must be nearing completion, but there’s just one other new brewery: Jack Smyth’s on the Greenhills Road.
The brewery is an offshoot of Gallagher’s Boxty House, a Temple Bar institution, serving potato pancakes to tourists since the 1980s.  Continue reading »

Club Brasserie. Out of the ordinary

The Club Brasserie must be the most stylish dining room in Cork.  Continue reading »

Stonewell Cider Cheers!
Win yourself a hamper.

Stonewell Irish Craft Cider have enjoyed  “an astonishing year” and are spreading the cheer on Social Media. 

In 2016, the Nohoval (Cork) cidery were crowned the Supreme Champion at the National Irish Food Awards (Blas na hEireann) and also won accolades at international events.  Continue reading »

This Monday, 5th December, RTE presenters Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Kathriona Devereux and Jonathan McCrea are back with another program in the series: ‘10 Things to Know About’ which showcases the weird and wonderful Irish science behind aspects of modern life; from beef and beer to botox and bats!  Continue reading »

Whiskey and Sherry
Patience and Time

Time, patience

These are two of the best drinks. Two of the best birthday presents also, one I gave myself, the other from a good friend of mine. There is a strong relationship between the distillery in Midleton where the John’s Lane is produced and Jerez area in Spain where the Neo comes from.

Powers John’s Lane Release, Single Pot Still Whiskey

I’ve been enjoying this rather special whiskey recently.  Continue reading »

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Bang for your buck

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

Rye River’s Crafty Brewing Company American Style Pale Wheat Ale arrived in Lidl to much fanfare (and extensive shortages) in late October. I finally tracked some down in the Terenure branch, handed over my €2, and brought it home.
Back in the old days (around 2007), American Wheat Beer meant a travesty of a style, brewed with a weissbier grist but a neutral ale yeast, resulting in an invariably boring grainy outcome.  Continue reading »

First aid from Wines Direct!

Christmas Prezzies
from three euro to 3.5k euro!

First aid from Wines Direct!

Wine App.
Want to know a little bit more about wine? In a hurry? Then download Grape Personalities – a guide to grape varietals and the wines they make. The APP retails for €3.99 in both iOS and Android and is available at http://grape-personalities.appstor.io

Christmas Day Survival Kit 
Wines Direct make Christmas Day easier for you with their Survival Kit.  
Continue reading »

O’Donovan’s 14th Cork Wine and Craft Beer Fair
Some Superb Spirits too

Mary Pawle

I must say I really enjoyed the variety around the room at the 14th Cork Wine Fair, mounted by O’Donovan Off Licences, in the Clarion last weekend. There were more than a few excellent wines, as you might expect. No shortage of good craft beer and some delightful Irish spirits. Not to mention the local food stalls.  Continue reading »

Try saying that with a few drinks on board. “Tongue Numbingly Wonderful Sichuan Pepper Prawns” is a bit of a mouthful, in more ways than one. This is a really easy dish to prepare. There are very few ingredients and it is an absolute delight. I can only encourage you to try it.  Continue reading »

A Hat Trick of Quality Reds

Iniza 4 Cepas 2009, Vino de la Tierra Laujar-Alpujarra, 14%, €18.30 Le Caveau

Here’s a pleasant surprise for me, for you. Made organically by Bodega el Cortijo in the Almeria region of Spain, where summer days are hot and the nights cool, this was an unexpected beauty, an Almerian ambush of the most pleasant kind. It is a blend as you’ve probably guessed from the name and the four grapes are Tempranillo (30%), Syrah (40), Merlot (20) and Petit Verdot (10).  Continue reading »

Franciscan Well’s Shane Long: Now, we can!

Shane Long at the launch

No shortage of craic in the Franciscan Well pub on the North Mall last week when the local brewer officially launched their new can range in Cork.  Continue reading »

A bigger Belly

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

Wexford’s YellowBelly brewery descended on 57 The Headline for a tap takeover in early November, bringing as broad a selection as I’ve seen from one brewery at one of these events. And all, of course, with their distinctive badge artwork from in-house designer Paul.

Naturally I started at the low end, with Harvest Lager, brewed using their own supply of Tipperary-grown Hersbrucker. The ABV is a concerning 3.9% and it’s an extremely pale white-gold colour.  Continue reading »

Tasting The Middle East
With Tang and Glenisk

Carrot, Parsnip, and brilliant Beetroot! All ready for roasting.

Back in the 90s, on a holiday in the South West of France, we came across a brilliant traiteur but he wouldn’t let us have the harissa for his couscous until he was sure we understood it was “très fort” and he got his embarrassed teenage son out-front to reinforce the point with his school English.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche

A post by Cork Billy at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD

September had its miserable strictness of school’s restart and freedom’s loss, its watery, mocking sun, and its big anti-climaxes above in Croke Park, but it also had tarts and crumbles made with the finest of Mothers’s own apples that were still ripening an hour before, and that nearly made up for everything.

from The Thing About December by Donal Ryan (2013). Recommended.  Continue reading »

Of Saints and Rascals

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

There’s much to catch up with as regards new Irish beer in recent months. Going all the way back to early October, St. Mel’s were in town, occupying some of the taps in The Beerhouse for an evening. The new kid was St. Mel’s IPA, which came with the warning that it’s made to be sold in Longford. Which is fine: Longford people need IPA same as the rest of us. It’s 5.2% ABV and a dark red colour.  Continue reading »

The trick to making your chicken dippers taste like dynamite is to use a very small amount of salt and pepper at each stage of the process. Once you master the breadcrumbs there’s very little else to do and serving up this homemade takeaway is a doddle.  Continue reading »