Podcast Episode 76: Where to Eat and Drink in Ireland


An interview with Helen McDaid


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Helen McDaid

Helen McDaid

In this episode of the Find Dining Podcast,  Helen McDaid, Manager of Food Tourism at Failte Ireland tells us about the culinary scene in Ireland.  We discuss the Guinness Storehouse, the potato famine, and how St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated in Ireland.

  •  There are close to 50 food festivals in Ireland, such as the Oyster Festival, Waterford Festival of Food, the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, and Dingle Food Festival.
  • Ireland is approximately the size of Indiana. About 20% of the population lives in Dublin. The rest of the country is very agrarian.
  • Read about the “Place on a Plate” program to encourage local sourcing for Irish restaurants.
  • Ireland exports about 85% of the products they produce. Beef, dairy, and lamb are main exports.
  • Irish cuisine is evolving. For examples of modern Irish cooking, check out Chapter One or Seven Social in Dublin or Aniar in Galway.
  • Food-focused television, such as Nationwide and Master Chef, is increasing in popularity in Ireland.
  • Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated as a multi-day festival in Dublin and smaller local festivals throughout Ireland.
  • When in Dublin, be sure to visit Guinness and have a pint at the Gravity Bar.
  • Craft breweries and cider makers  like Dungarven Brewery, Metalman Brewery,  Stonewall Cider, and Galway Hooker  are also popping up around Ireland.
  • Travel the Irish Whiskey Trail.
  • Fly into Dublin and explore South Williams Street or Camden Street. There are good rail links between the major cities.
  • Go seaweed foraging in The Burren,  meet the cheese makers in Boyne Valley, or  do a “catch and cook” trip in the Dingle Peninsula.
  • March through October is a good time to visit. Plan for ever-changing weather conditions at all times of year.


Food for Thought:

  • Q: What Irish food can you forage for, eat, bathe in, cook with, and use as a fertilizer?
  • A: Seaweed. Nori, for example, grows abundantly in Ireland.

Out of the Frying Pan:

  • Chefs to Watch: Ross Lewis from Chapter OneNeven Maguire; JP McMahon from Aniar; Euro-Toque’s young chef winner Mark Moriarty 
  • Irish Breakfast: Have a simple porridge with honey and yogurt or go all out with a full Irish breakfast of sausages, bacon, Black & White Pudding, Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Eggs
  • Big Food Events: Get the full list at www.discoverIreland.ie/food
  • How would you go about planning a romantic foodie vacation: DiscoverIreland, McKenna Guides, Ireland Guide by Georgina Campbell, Good Food Ireland, Wild Atlantic Way
  • Restaurant with the Best View: Cliffhouse Hotel in Ardmore
  • Must-visit foodie destination: The Burren
  • Prediction for Food Tourism in Ireland: food experiences will become more integrated into the overall travel experience


 



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