Limerick is Val O’Connor’s hometown and she showcases its food to perfection on her Limerick Food Trails.
Early one Saturday morning in November I met herself and a collection of fellow food tourists at Cornstore at Home for a little pre-tour tasting – think Limerick vs Cork via two platters of breakfast meats, one from Caroline Rigney of Curraghcase Meats, the other from Kanturk butcher Sir Jack McCarthy.
Kamal Mouzawak was the first person I ever interviewed for Culture File. At the time – September 2010 – the inspirational Lebanese chef and food activist was visiting the Taste of West Cork food conference to discuss sustainability and food for the future.
He’s had first hand experience of this. In 2004 he had a vision of uniting his divided country through food. Souk el-Tayeb, the farmers’ market that he set up in Beirut has become a place where people – of all backgrounds and beliefs – can come together to share food, feed their fellow countrymen and relish the culinary traditions of Lebanon.
It was all a bit Caroline-goes-down-to-the-sea this week for Culture File.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to scramble about on a beach in West Cork with Sally McKenna, author of Extreme Greens, a fascinating and accessible look at foraging for, cooking with and using seaweed in a matter-of-fact everyday manner.
It doesn’t have to be all about eating it with seafood either. You can use the umami of seaweed to highlight the flavour in a simple loaf of bread, a bowl of popcorn, homemade lemonade or some crackers.