It is lucky for me that potatoes in general, and chips in particular, are such versatile creatures. Week after week, they keep me, and this Spud Sunday slot, alive with potatoey possibilities.
A side of chips: methinks every blog post should have some.
These came courtesy of Dublin's Cliff Town House.
It is also lucky for me that, through this blog, I have had the opportunity to experience all kinds of food made by all kinds of people – and not always involving spuds either. A case in point is the invitation that came my way the other day to visit the Cliff Town House – the Dublin outpost of Ardmore’s wonderful Cliff House Hotel – for a masterclass on fish with head chef Seán Smith, followed by a sampling of their new menu, one which has a decidely seafood slant. Safe, nay, smug in the knowledge that, where there was fish, there would also be chips, I packed my bloggy bag and headed along.
“I’m a Swede, I never buy potatoes in Ireland.”
So ran the subject line of an email I received a while back from a Swedish reader who was clearly very exercised by the all-too-frequent sight in of potatoes lying exposed to daylight in Irish shops. “Spuds should be kept in darkness,” he protested, “they develop poisonous solanine in daylight” and he was emphatic about not being prepared to buy potatoes thusly displayed at any price.
And my Scandinavian correspondent, I have to say, had a point.
And lo, exhibit A: Golden Wonders on display
Ah yes, it’s that rare-ish bird, the Spud Sunday that arrives on a Monday. Still, better a late spud than no spud at all, eh?
Bizarrely enough, it was a car park that I had, at first, been most excited about as I set off on my travels to Limerick.
Not just any old car park, mind, but the Potato Market Car Park (the clue to my excitement was, of course, in the name – I am nothing if not predictable in the matter of all things tuber). Established on the banks of the Shannon in Limerick around 1843, the Potato Market’s primary purpose has not, however, been as a place of trade in potatoes or any other commodity for quite some time. Though the market buildings were refurbished in the 1980s, the riverside location mainly functions as a place in which to park – though admittedly it’s somewhat picturesque as car parks go – with a series of open bays lined along the river and a footbridge leading to the Hunt Museum in the old Custom House building on the opposite bank of the Shannon. Though there was nary a spud to be seen, I think, perhaps, that I just like the fact that Limerick once had such a thing as a Potato Market, even if I can only imagine, fancifully, what it might, at one time, have been like.
The Potato Market, Limerick: nowadays, the only spuds you'll find are the ones in the signage