Monday, March 17, 2014

Irish Food

by Sheila Connolly

(With a tip o' the hat to Krista Davis, who kindly let me slip into her slot for this special day.) I gave you an Irish recipe last week, but since today is Saint Patrick's Day, I want to wallow in the glories of current Irish food, both raw and prepared. If there's any doubt that Ireland has joined the ranks of foodie nations, I hope these pictures will lay that to rest.

That's me and "the tart with the cart," perhaps better known as Mollie Malone, with her cockles and mussels, in Dublin.

Shall we begin with the "full Irish"?
(that would be breakfast)

And then on to lunch: a nice ordinary sandwich, with a bit of brown bread and smoked salmon

And then a bit of dinner, with mussels and samphire (which grows on rocks, I'm told)

And now off to the country, where I will have a kitchen to play in.

Bread at Field's Market in

My favorite fishmonger in Union Hall
(he was thrilled to have a real writer
in his shop)

The cheeses at the Skibbereen
weekly market
Fresh greens in November!
No, the baby's not for sale

And don't forget dessert!
(Known somewhere else as
mille feuilles or Napoleons)
Bramley apples
Is it any wonder that I've set my County Cork series in Ireland? I go for the food. And the craic. And the people. And the views. And the history.
(And if I've convinced you--go buy the books (Buried in a Bog and Scandal in Skibbereen), más é do thoil é! (And go visit!)


  1. I thought reading about Skibbereen was fun.

    Now I want to shop there! What marvelous shops.

    1. Ah, Libby, you don't know the half of it! Three bookstores (one antiquarian), a lovely local crafts shop (run by a couple from Wales), a delightful small art gallery, a lot of very good restaurants--and all this in a town with a population of 2,700 (and little crime!). And a heritage/genealogy center, and a new regional arts center. And a weekly cattle market in warmer weather (yes, the cattle are right there in the middle of town). It's a great place.

    2. My friends and I are reading your Irish books this month. Almost finished the first one and really enjoying the atmosphere you've provided in the story. All those treasured stores you speak of here make me want to visit. Since I have some "issues" that preclude my traveling, I so enjoy an author that can give me these experiences in fun cozies! I love vicariously tasting the foods too---all the joy and none of the calories. Must say soda bread is a favorite though!!! Off topic--Apple orchard books give me a "crunchy" thrill too!! Happy St Patrick's Day to you!!

    3. Sheila, it really sounds fantastic! I'd love to go there. Actually, I'd love to go almost anywhere in Ireland! I got to visit years ago (high school--back with the dinosaurs) and did a Shannon to Dublin tour. Kissed the Blarney stone and all. Loved it!

  2. Happy St. Pat's! What a perfect post, Sheila. Take me with you - I love Ireland and the books too.



  3. Sheila, what a fun pictorial history. Love the full breakfast. Yum! And the pretty bread. How I wish I could dig into that.

    Wishing you the best of an Irish blessing. :)
    Daryl / Avery

  4. Wonderful Sheila, I like the looks of the breakfast too! and the bread! and the desserts! and the produce! some else can have the mussels...

    1. I had to laugh at myself with the samphire--one of those moments when you ask "what the heck am I eating?" But I did it anyway. It's sort of like a cross between seaweed and asparagus. But I do like mussels--it's oysters I simply don't get.

  5. Sheila, what a wonderful tour through Irish food. Thanks so much, I envy their breads, and fish and pastries! And I'm most curious about that hearty breakfast. Are those beans?


    1. Yes, beans, and black and white "pudding"--and you don't want to know what's in the black pudding. Great way to start the day, along with lots of strong tea. Gives you strength for all that sightseeing!

  6. Thanks for this wonderful post :)