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April 2, 2018

This was Ireland's worst winter in a quarter century.  The weather sent my wife and me to seek shelter in our locals which include such cozy havens as O'Loclainn's Whiskey Bar in Ballyvaughan and Daly’s Pub in Bellharbour. While the snow, hail and sleet pelted the windows, we made a deep dive into Irish whiskey.

In the States,...

March 21, 2018

“You’ve never heard of a Pouldoody oyster?” My friend Dave Donohue was surprised. He was sure I must have encountered the name while researching the Irish chapter of my book, Sex, Death & Oysters.

A few days later, Dave showed up at my house for Sunday brunch with a two dozen gigas oysters. They came from a couple of sacks he kept at his...

March 13, 2018

A spread of smoked Irish salmon, local oysters, seafood chowder, fish & chips and a few pints of Guinness was the reward waiting for the four of us at the end of our Saturday hike along the ramparts of Kinsale harbor on what's known as the Scilly Walk.

The idea of taking this amazing hike started as we were leaving...

February 28, 2018

Kinsale was already a thriving fishing center and market town when the Anglo-Normans drove the Irish out and built a fortified castle there in the 13th century. It remained the headquarters of a large fishing fleet during the days of sailing ships and is still one of the best places to eat fresh seafood in Ireland.

If you have never trie...

February 9, 2018

The Burren is quite a place. There's mountains, sheep and cattle farms, ancient ruins and a seashore that runs for miles along the Wild Atlantic Way. Last weekend, son Joe and I went foraging at low tide a few kilometers from our rent house.  It was a spectacular day that resulted in some amazing eating.

My first sample of pepper di...

January 24, 2018

This silky smoked salmon with lots of buttery white striations seasoned with a little Irish seaweed made a delcious lunch--its also offers an intriguing glimpse into Ireland's ancient food traditions.

I bought the smoked fish at the The Burren Smokehouse, which is a highly recommended stopover on the Wild Atlantic Way. The sales room is...

December 29, 2017

 No. 1 Killary Mussels on the banks of the fjord  

The farm-raised mussels of Killary Fjord are extraordinarily fat and sweet thanks to the waters they grow in. The unique merroir of the Connemara fjord is a result of the abundant nutrients provided by the freshwater run-off from the surrounding watershed mixing with the c...

December 20, 2017

No. 3 Irish Producers Plate at O'Connell's   

Okay, granted--it's a bit of a cheat to make my number 3 on the countdown an appetizer plate made up of wonderful artisan foods from all over Ireland, but I couldn't resist.

The Irish Producers Plate at O'Connell's in Dublin includes (clockwise) Co. Wicklow Firehouse Bakery focc...

December 17, 2017

No. 4 Lobster & Chips at The King's Head Bistro, Galway   

Steak frites, fish & chips, its an old formula, after all. But how is it I've never seen a whole lobster split open and served with a cone of crispy frites before?

Wow! What a treat. The dish looked as good as it tasted. This was one of the specials that King's Head...

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