Food File: the weekly food news round-up

A foraging masterclass, rainwater sorbet and a slick idea for olive oil

 

Foraged fare
Chef Evan Doyle, co-author with Biddy White Lennon of Wild Food (O’Brien Press), takes immense pride in the vast larder of products made from foraged foods that he maintains with the help of his team at Macreddin Village and BrookLodge hotel in Co Wicklow.

He is inviting a small group into his kitchen for a wild foods masterclass on June 18th and again on July 9th, at which he will share some of the secrets of cooking and preserving wild foods. The day will also include a foraging walk with instruction on what’s good to pick, and what should be left behind. At the moment wild wood sorrel, sheep sorrel and wild pea (vetch) will be on the sought-after list.

The class, walk and lunch costs €95 and will run from 11am-3.30pm. Places can be booked by telephoning 0402 36444, and there are special rates if you decide to stay overnight.

Ice, ice, baby
Rain water sorbets, whatever next? Kieran and Sean Murphy (above) of Murphy’s Ice Cream have been capitalising on our abundant rainfall by harvesting Dingle’s finest and turning it into sorbets.

“Water is a key ingredient of sorbets, so we’ve collected and distilled Dingle rain water and we now have the cleanest, purest water possible.” Visitors and locals alike can now “enjoy the Irish weather”, whatever the forecast, they say.

The ices are on sale now in the four Murphy’s shops in Dublin, Killarney and Dingle, where a second outlet opened last week – in order to cope with demand for the rainwater sorbets no doubt.

There are two flavours in the range – chocolate, made with Valrhona chocolate and cocoa, and raspberry, which has a 35 per cent fruit content. See murphysicecream.ie

Slick idea for olive oil
It’s not just Prosecco that’s in short supply, there’s a world shortage of that other Italian export, olive oil, too. The effects of last winter’s poor harvest is now being felt and prices are on the rise. Lino Olivieri, who sells the extra virgin olive oil that he makes on his family farm in Puglia at markets in Leopardstown (Friday) and The Dublin Food Co-Op (Saturday), as well as at olivierioliveoil.com, says the harvest in Puglia, where 40 per cent of Italy’s olive oil is produced, was the worst in 70 years.

It’s a good time, then, for the Slow Food movement to establish a presidium dedicated to Italian extra virgin olive oil. Slow Food describes its presidia as “projects that support quality production at risk of extinction”. To date, 26 Italian olive oil producers have signed up and membership involves adherence to strict guidelines on growing and processing.

“The presidium is a very good idea to help to promote a product and sector in deep crisis,” Olivieri says. “It will also help the consumer to choose a good product, if they look for the Slow Food logo on it.” Look out for the labels when next season’s oil begins to arrive from December onwards.

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