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Archive for May, 2016

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Seven IPAs on a Sunday Morning
Hops and Glory at LITFEST 2016

Pete Brown

“Canning has moved on enormously,” declared beer expert Pete Brown as the Litfest 2016 beer tasting got underway in Ballymaloe last Sunday morning. “It’s the freshest way to keep beer”. The session was named Hops and Glory, after one of Pete’s books, and he was accompanied on the panel by Caroline Hennessy, co-author of Slainte.  Continue reading »

Taste of the Week. Ummera Hot Smoked Rump Steak

Always something new out of the west. In Ballymaloe for the Litfest, I met up with Anthony Cresswell of the Ummera Smokehouse at his stall in the famous Big Shed. And he had something new for me, indeed I got the very first bite of his Hot Smoked Rump Steak.

He tried cold smoke too but eventually settled on the hot; it is then marinated and allowed rest for a couple of weeks.  Continue reading »

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Take pity on the poor Irish blogger. We are a simple lot. We are not used to being regulated. Many of us have been happy to purloin images from around the Internet for our own use, not knowing nor bothered that those images, and the revenue rights appended, are owned by others. The Irish Bloggers group on Facebook has been doing a deal to educate us of late.  Continue reading »

Take pity on the poor Irish blogger. We are a simple lot. We are not used to being regulated. Many of us have been happy to purloin images from around the Internet for our own use, not knowing nor bothered that those images, and the revenue rights appended, are owned by others. The Irish Bloggers group on Facebook has been doing a deal to educate us of late.  Continue reading »

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Irish Craft Cider
A Litfest16 Event

Pete Brown, author of the World’s Best Cider, said the Irish craft cider scene is one of the most exciting right now. The ciders have “high juice content” and the makers “love their apples”. One of the most exciting yes, despite rankling under a very unfair tax regime that would seem to be designed to stifle innovation rather than encourage it.

Take Longueville House Cider Mór as an example.  Continue reading »

This week’s special offers on fresh items are interesting from a shopping tips point of view. For example, you can get 500g of Irish Beef Mince for as low as €2, but is it as good as the 1kg of Irish Beef Mince you can get for €5.29 in one store, or €4 in another? I’ll answer this below, don’t worry! There’s more and more barbecue specials in the supermarkets, let’s hope we get the weather to enjoy it.  Continue reading »

Beaujolais: Wines of Character.
Gamay and Granite good for each other!

Liam Campbell (standing)

Did you know that the Gamay grape is an exile? In 1395, it was outlawed by Royal decree as being “a very bad and disloyal plant”. Sixty years later another edict was issued against it. And so it was pushed out of Burgundy and south into neighbouring Beaujolais where it has thrived on the granite based soils.  Continue reading »

Black hops

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

There’s a bit of a buzz going round about the “Discovery IPA Series” recently released by Black’s of Kinsale. You’ll find glowing reviews from Simon, Reuben and Wayne, so I was sufficiently convinced to go and get some myself.
It did help that there’s a Mosaic IPA in the set. Mosaic can do no wrong. This is 6.5% ABV and slightly hazy. There is a bee-yootiful juicy aroma, all satsuma, tangerine, mango and possibly a variety of other good things.  Continue reading »

Since I ventured into the world of blogging, many years back, Imen’s blog, Farmette, and formerly I Married an Irish Farmer, has always been one of my favourites. It’s certainly one of the most visually pleasing blogs I’ve followed through the years. Lucky for me, I’ve had the pleasure to meet, eat and chat with Imen on many an occasion, so I can truly call her a friend.  Continue reading »

I grew up in an Ireland where vegetarian food was generally carnivore food minus the meat. Happily things have changed and I find myself drifting more and more towards meatless meals. 

I’ve been experimenting recently with quinoa burgers and made them for a family gathering so that my newly-vegetarian sister had an alternative to my mum’s gorgeous roast Wicklow lamb. Surprisingly, several carnivores opted for them too and nearly everyone was curious enough to at least taste them.  Continue reading »

If you love the flavour of coconut but are not sure about cooking with coconut oil I hope that this recipe will convert you. I confess I’m not a fan of using coconut oil in my daily beauty routine, simply because if I do, I end up craving Bounty bars all day! This coconut beef recipe is simple to make, full of flavour, and that’s the kind of food that I like to cook at home for my family.  Continue reading »

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Ballymaloe’s LITFEST Up and RunningIn the sun, of course!Just a quick sample of what’s on offer in the 2016 LITFEST at Ballymaloe. Early start at the Irish Craft Cider event in the Drinks Theatre and then a ramble around, especially in the Big Shed. See the full programme here. Better still, call down or call up and enjoy. 

Amazing cheeses from Toons Bridge.

Colm McCan (left) introduces the Irish Craft Cider panel at 9.30am!

Rocketman!  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche

A post by Billy Lyons at RESTAURANTS AND FOOD IN CORK

Champagne has about the same alcohol content as other French white wines, but its alcohol becomes effective more quickly because the dissolved carbon dioxide in the wine goes straight to your bloodstream. Your circulation reacts by speeding up, just as it does when you are running, to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen. So a faster bloodstream carries the alcohol around your system. You giggle sooner, but the effects pass off more rapidly.

From How To Enjoy Your Wine by Hugh Johnson (1985).  Continue reading »

Chasing Trouble

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

Lately I’ve been all over the southside, looking for Trouble. It started with the grand re-opening of Ranelagh’s The Hill as a craft beer bar. I lived around the corner when I first moved to Dublin so remember this as a dark and slightly down-at-heel football pub. Darragh (pictured, right) and Derek from Ugly Duckling have taken it on, brightened it up, and installed a wide selection of good draught beers.  Continue reading »

Cahors and its Marvellous Malbec
And an Argentinian Gem

A meander of the Lot

This little piece was originally intended to put the spotlight on the under-rated Malbecs of Cahors (France), often regarded as the home of the grape. I had picked up two excellent examples, one organic, in Bradley’s, North Main Street. And then along came the outstanding Bousquet (also organic), from Argentina, where Malbec has found a new and very agreeable home.  Continue reading »