Compiled by MARIE-CLAIRE DIGBY
Italy to your door
Catríona and Ken Norton are the brother and sister team behind The Best of Italy food shop on Dunville Avenue in Dublin 6. The siblings, who live in separate houses next door to the shop, have launched an online store. “We had lots of customers, Italians mostly, coming from Cork and Galway to stock up for a month or two. Now we ship products to them,” Catríona says. Delivery in Ireland, in insulated chill boxes, costs a very reasonable €6.30 for up to 30kg. Things worth stocking up on are rice and dried pasta. It has great brands and a variety of hard-to-get shapes – there are 25 De Cecco short pasta shapes alone. Prices are good too, with most pastas at €1.79 a bag. There are fresh cheeses, such as buffalo mozzarella and scamorza, and a variety of hams and salamis too. See thebestofitaly.ie
The buzz food tweets
Grant Achatz (@Gachatz): What’s with carrots? Every chef is cooking tiny, cellared aged, purple fancy carrots. Carrots are the new foie gras.... JPMcMahon(@mistereat
galway): It’s official! Cava is popping up in Harrys in Inishowen, Friday 24th May
@CharlotteMende1: Just had apology email re: tedious admin confusion: ‘Sorry it was such a pavlova.’ If only. #HealingPowerofMeringue
Connemara Hill Lamb; Toonsbridge buffalo mozzarella, made in Co Cork; crackers made by Sheridans and by Cookies of Character, and Highbank Orchard Syrup, are the products members of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild chose as the recipients of its 2013 awards. An environmental award was given to the Irish Seed Savers Association for its work in preserving native varieties of fruit and vegetables. The awards were presented at a lunch in L’Ecrivain restaurant this week where chef patron Derry Clarke designed a menu using the winning products, including this tasting plate of Connemara Hill Lamb, roast leg and rack, braised shoulder pie, kidney and sweetbread tortellini, buttery greens, smoked bacon. For more on the winners, see irishfoodwritersguild.ie.
Book of the week
Wild Food, Nature’s Harvest: How to Gather, Cook Preserve, by Biddy White Lennon and Evan Doyle (O’Brien Press, €16.99) Going for a walk with Biddy White Lennon can be a slow process, as she scours the landscape for nature’s hidden bounty. Her partner in this lovely book is chef Evan Doyle. It was important to the pair that the book was compact enough to fit in a pocket so it can be taken on walks, but they still manage to pack in tons of information, images and recipes from Doyle’s Strawberry Tree restaurant.