It may surprise, or even shock you to learn that, in almost three years of writing this blog, and with its avowed affection for all things potato, that sweet potatoes have never been called for in any of the recipes published herein. Yep, that’s right, not once. Ever. Have a looksee and you’ll find that those other potatoes barely even warrant a mention.
It’s not that I don’t like sweet potatoes – quite the contrary – but, not being a common vegetable in these parts, they tend to be a bit of a rarity in my kitchen. The truth of the matter, frankly, is that I don’t think of them as potatoes at all. That, in turn, may have something to do with the fact that, botanically speaking, the two are not even closely related.
No, not the kind of potato I'm used to...
The food sector is the main driver of growth in the economy.
Simon Coveney quoting Michael Noonan.
It seemed that everyone started scribbling or typing when Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, let us in on what his colleague, Michael Noonan, the Minister for Finance, had said at that morning’s cabinet meeting. For once, it appeared that the importance of our native Irish food industries was being recognised at the highest levels.
The Minister’s address closed out the first Bord Bia Taste Council Food Summer School. The event had been billed as the first national symposium on the current and future contribution of artisan and speciality food producers to the Irish economy and was held in the lovely surroundings of Brooklodge, Co. Wicklow last Tuesday.
The attendees were a veritable who’s-who of movers and shakers in the Irish food scene: from Ballymaloe’s legendary Darina and Myrtle Allen to Bridgestone Guide author John McKenna, from Georgina Campbell of the Ireland Guide to Margaret Jaffares of Good Food Ireland, from Kevin and Seamus Sheridan of Sheridan’s Cheesemongers to Pat Smith, general secretary of the Irish Farmer’s Association (IFA). There were butchers, bakers and fine food makers, and there was, as is only right and proper, plenty of that fine food to eat.
John McKenna poses with a bountiful array of local foods at the Food Summer School