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October 2, 2019

Cork is the Culinary Capital of Ireland. Though it's population of 120,000 is dwarfed by the million plus in Dublin, it's the undisputed hub of the Irish food scene.

Cork boasts the English Market, which is easily the nation's best food market; Ballymaloe Cooking School, Cafe and Organic Farm, home of Darina Allen's food empire, and a we...

September 21, 2019

Mungo Murphy's Seaweed Company offers one of the most interesting tours in Ireland for seafood lovers. At their mariculture operation on the Connemara coast the Japanese species of abalone is farm-raised in large tanks full of seawater. 

Abalone flesh is a luxury in China that might show up on a banquet buffet alongside shark fin soup. I...

September 13, 2019

Native oysters from 6 Irish bays were presented for a public tasting Thursday night at the 65th annual Clarinbridge Oyster Festival. No such side-by-side comparative tasting of Irish oysters has been held in recent memory, according to participants.

From south to north, the oysters came from: 

1.) Tralee Bay (Kerry)

2.) Galway Bay (Clarinb...

August 10, 2019

We had a big lobster dinner last Saturday. Nine fat ones were steamed for family and friends and served up with drawn butter, crusty bread, a big salad and some Moet Brut Champagne.

We ate at a table in the backyard decorated with linens and flowers. Ramekins of melted butter were kept warm on candle-heated metal stands.

Our lobsters were...

June 30, 2019

The most useful eateries for slapdash travelers like me are notable places that serve excellent food and are likely to have a table on short notice.

Call and try to get a booking if you can, or just show up and see if there's room for you at the bar: 

Clanbrassil House

9 Clanbrassil St. Upper, Merchant's Quay

The housemade pork sausage with...

May 21, 2019

The Game of Thrones hype has Nothern Ireland's tourist scene buzzing. And in July, the British Open will be played in Northern Ireland for the first time in decades. I have family and friends coming to visit Royal Portrush golf course during the practice rounds, so I figured I ought to run up to Ulster and check out the scene. My whirlw...

April 15, 2019

 On  April 15, 2017, my family was touring Connemarra in a 17-seater van. (I was driving.) It was well after noon and everyone was hungry.

There weren't a lot of restaurants along the rural highway, but out of the blue, A food truck appeared on the banks of the Killary Fjord, like a vision from the end of the rainbow. Our lunch...

March 4, 2019

Sunday was the annual Seed Swap Meet at the Irish Seed Savers farm in East Clare. I met quite a few characters and picked up a dozen paper envelopes containing interesting seeds for this year's garden. I also contributed quite a few seeds from my dried chile pepper collection. If New Mexican Chimayo chiles start sprouting all over Irela...

January 1, 2019

Black Pudding and Foie Gras with Pistachios at Vaughan's Anchor Inn in Liscannor

Humble Irish black pudding and sinfully rich French foie gras hitch up in this intriguing appetizer by chef Denis Vaughan at Vaughan's Anchor Inn. The combination lights up the palate while it tweaks the culinary imagination. 

The combination o...

December 31, 2018

Tempura monkfish tacos with mango slaw & chile-lime mayo at McHugh's in Ennis.

Hot, crispy Irish monkfish, tangy tropical fruit slaw and cool chile mayo all wrapped up in a soft Mexico City-style corn tortilla. This is Eire-Mex at its finest. And as the former curator and head judge of Houston's Tacolandia taco festival, I can...

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