Monday, April 26, 2010
The Irish and Irish Food
I had a truly wonderful time in Ireland. We drove from Dublin, down to Cashel, to the West Coast then back to Dublin again. One of the first things I noticed is that the Irish are definitely thinner then us. Not that they are stick thin, but you don't see the any really fat or obese people walking around the way you do here.
The Irish, however, aren't all that svelte either, and I was pretty amazed at the number of miracle, fat burning products advertised. My favorite was the band you wrapped around your waist, thighs etc. that burned fat as you slept.
The food itself was wonderful. It's not haute cuisine, but my husband and I were impressed by how flavorful every ingredient was. Because we had a large breakfast every day, we generally skipped sit down lunches in favor of just snacking on bread, cheese and fresh fruit. But no matter where we bought the bread, cheese and fruit, is was first quality. Even if we went into the SPAR, which is kind of an Irish equivalent to 7/11 the apples were fresh and not at all mealy.
And, fruit was abundant everywhere. Fruit was available in every "fast food" place we saw, and it not only looked good but was good.
The bread was also amazing. I usually avoid Croissants here in the states because they're just soggy and greasy, but the Croissants we had for breakfast there, while not as great as those in France, were still light and flaky.
And, I never knew potatoes could taste so good. No wonder the Irish love them. Even a simple boiled potato with no sauce on it was a revelation food-wise.
Someone explained to us that as a rule, food doesn't travel far in Ireland, or the EU in general. They eat what's produced close, and they don't mass produce food and ship it long distances the way we do here. The difference in the approach is what accounts for the difference in food taste. The emphasis is on producing good tasting food, not food that can withstand travel.