‘Ireland in a bowl’ on the menu for spring
Food file: This week's food news, including new gin tastings and artisan dairy products at Burren Slow Food Festival
Chef Viv Kelly and his team from the neighbouring Roadside Tavern will be moving into the Burren Storehouse to cook a Burren Slow Food banquet as paret of the food festival next month. Photograph: Yvonne Vaughan
This year’s Burren Slow Food Festival in Lisdoonvarna (May 12th-14th) has Ireland’s best gins and raw milk cheeses as its theme. In addition there will be an opportunity to enjoy a champagne and seafood picnic on board the Doolin ferry (weather permitting) and a Burren Slow Food banquet in the Burren Storehouse.
The makers of some of the new Irish gins, including Blackwater Distillery, Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin from Leitrim, Dingle Original Gin and Shortcross Gin from Northern Ireland, will be on hand for tasting sessions, and mixologist Oisín Davis will be demonstrating how to make Irish gin cocktails with foraged ingredients. The Slow Food Irish Raw Milk Cheese Presidium, made up of 10 artisan dairies, will host workshops and tastings of raw milk cheese.
For the full programme, and to buy tickets online, see slowfoodclare.com.
Joe Rumberger, head chef at Fallon & Byrne in Dublin, has one of the best stocked restaurant larders in the country, downstairs in the food store’s jam-packed aisles.
“Vegetables and plant-based cooking are integral to what we do at this time of year,” says the chef, who has been at F&B for just over two years and previously worked at Restaurant Nora, the first certified organic restaurant in the US.
The spring menu features a dish Rumberger describes as “Ireland in a bowl” – mussels from Killary harbour steamed in Orpens cider, with Pigs on the Green pancetta, Cashel Blue cheese, spinach and leeks.
The claims made for avocado oil are so multifarious that you might struggle to know if you should keep it in your kitchen larder or your bathroom cabinet. Much the same can be said for good extra virgin olive oil, but avocado oil has a quite different flavour profile, being slightly nutty and almost buttery.
Packed with vitamins and antioxidants and Omega 6 Essential Fatty Acids, it is said to be good for skin and hair health, and to improve circulation. It also has a high smoke point, so you can fry with it as well as use it in dressings and as a drizzle. Apparently it makes a tasty mayo, too.
Natures Aid organic cold pressed avocado oil (250ml, €10.95), is available in pharmacies nationwide as part of a range of plant-based, organic food supplements.