The Daily Spud

...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Tag: Irish (page 1 of 3)

Spud Sunday: 50 Ways To Say Potato

So, having spent the last few (admittedly sporadic) posts waxing lyrical on the spuds of Prince Edward Island – a subject with which, I must admit, I’m not quite done yet – it has finally come time to shift focus closer to home – namely to Stradbally in Co. Laois, which plays host to the Electric Picnic this weekend.

electric picnic '14

Though music may be the big draw for the festival, wander down to the Mindfield area and you’ll find the Theatre of Food, with a diverse program of talks, demos, tastes and debates. And – for those Picnic enthusiasts who actually manage to arrive and get set up by that time – you can catch me (yes, me) opening the weekend’s Theatre of Food proceedings on Friday 29th at 4.30pm with my own little Theatre of Spud, a talk MC’ed by food writer Aoife Carrigy.

Theatre of Food

I’ll be looking at the place – or places, even – that the potato occupies in Irish food culture, from your Mammy’s boiled spuds, to the devotion that inspires a collection of 200+ heritage varieties of potato, to the all important bread and butter layering of a crisp sandwich. I’ll also be discussing just how many ways we Irish have of describing our potatoes (of which more below).

thank potato url

When I’m done with that, I’ll be wandering off to check out what the Dublin Urban Farm crew are doing with their roving Thank Potato exhibition in the Picnic’s Global Green area. Back in the Theatre of Food, on Sunday 31st at 12.30pm, I’ll be on stage again, in the knowledgeable – to say nothing of opinionated – company of Ernie Whalley, Leslie Williams and Mei Chin, participating in what should be a tummy rumbling discussion on Food in Literature, moderated by Caroline Byrne.

It is, apparently, a matter of some debate as to whether Eskimo languages really have an unusually large number of words for snow, but it is an oft-quoted example when discussing how a language may reflect the environment in which it has developed. We use language to describe what surrounds and affects us, so it seems only natural that the ways in which a language is used to describe a given entity can tell us something of its cultural significance. So it is, I think, with the Irish language and potatoes.
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Paddy’s Day Food Parade, 2011 Edition

Paddys Day Food Parade

The Paddy’s Day Food Parade is back, folks, and, once again, the floats are heaving with edible delights to help you celebrate the Irish national holiday. Soda bread is as popular as ever this year, as is the combination of beef ‘n’ Guinness, while ice cream, with occasionally surprising ingredients, gets a float all to itself this time ’round. Needless to remark, you’ll find potatoes almost everywhere you look, as is only right and proper.

Click on the links below to zoom directly to your favourite parade floats or browse at your leisure. For your delectation, we have:

– A Drinks float to get you started.
– A Breakfast float, because you’ll be needing some soakage after that early drink.
– A Soda Bread float, because you can never have enough of the stuff.
– There’s a Starters And Sides float to whet your appetite for the dinner to come.
– Moving on to the main course? Try the ever popular Beef ‘n’ Guinness float.
– Beef not your thing? Check out the Meaty Not Beefy float.
– Got room for dessert? There’s a float full of Sweet Stuff right here.
– If you like a bit of cold, creamy dairy goodness, you should skip straight to the Ice Cream float.
– And, finally, when you find yourself with a case of the munchies at the end of the night, the Late Night float is the place to be.

Once again, I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who participated, your efforts are much appreciated. Now, if you’re all quite ready, I’ve got a parade coming through! And if you should have any energy left after the parade, I’m also guest posting over at Boulder Locavore on the topic of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, so hop on over here to see what I had to say.

shamrock

(image from sweetlifebake.com)

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Spud Sunday: Starch-Trekkin’

Fear not. I have not, in point of fact, departed the earth’s cosy atmosphere.

I do, however, have something for you that might be considered, well, a little out there.

To borrow a Star Trekkin’ phrase, it’s risotto Jim, but not as we know it. Because why? Because potatoes have boldly gone where no potatoes have gone before: they have replaced rice as the risotto Chief of Starch.

Potato Guinness Risotto

Risotto but, er, without the rice

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