Learn how to smoke fish this summer in west Cork

Food File: A new vegan addition to the Irish market, made from jackfruit; cake grazing tables and a Galway food app


Sally Barnes is a legend in the realms of fish smoking, with 40 years experience in wild fish preservation. This summer you can join her at Woodcock Smokery in Skibbereen, west Cork for a variety of masterclasses at which you can learn how to fillet, as well as hot and cold smoke, in her purpose-built open air demonstration space, The Keep.

“We were ready to begin this new venture almost as soon as the first lockdown came in last year. The space is very airy, so it’s perfect,” says Barnes. “My new, easier life, that was the original plan, to share the skills and knowledge built up over 40 years and more. It’s time to pass on to another generation the old ways for conserving fresh fish. And it’s great fun too.”

A full-day masterclass, including lunch, costs €240 and participants will learn about both hot and cold smoking; the half day course, covering hot smoking only, is €165 also including lunch. Alternatively, gather up a gang of friends (from five upwards, pandemic restrictions allowing), for an early evening aperitif and tasting session in The Keep. See woodcocksmokery.com for more information, and to book.

New vegan addition

Gursharan Singh and Binu Varghese are business partners who have recently introduced Jacked-Up, a vegan meat replacement product, to the Irish market. It is made from jackfruit, the texture of which is often compared to pulled pork, comes in three varieties, Indian curry, barbecue and Tex-Mex. The flavours in all three are really excellent. You'll find it in branches of SuperValu and it costs €3.99 for a two-portion pack that can be eaten cold or heated in a microwave.

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Galway food app

Galway Food Tours has released an app, to compliment the self-guide pocket book they launched last summer. Sheena Dignam and Gosia Letowska share 40 of the city's best places to visit for culture, food and drink in the guidebook, which costs €35 (plus €2 postage) and includes vouchers and discounts valued at €55.

The app is free to download and you’ll find it under StoryTracks on Apple or Android. “Within the app there are videos chatting to all the amazing suppliers, producers and business owners we work with, meaning that you get that real sense of place and of course that Galway buzz which is like no other,” Dignam says.

At-home cake delivery

Laura Colhoun is the 24-year-old owner of Colhoun Creations, a Dublin-based wedding and special occasion cake company. During the pandemic, Colhoun has branched out into selling cakes at farmers' markets, filling orders for collection and delivery, and supplying cafes and coffee trucks.

Next month, she begins a cake delivery and set-up service. For a party or celebration, she will stge a dessert grazing table in a client's home or garden, styled with "rustic linens, wooden boards, fresh flowers and a variety of my bestselling market bakes and cakes." It costs from €25 per person, for a minimum of 12 guests (regulations allowing). See colhouncreations.com.