Here’s the thing. Send me abroad – to Australia, say – and, on top of the thousands of miles it’ll take me to get there, I’ll travel hundreds, or perhaps thousands more in order to explore the country’s furthest reaches.** Here in Dublin, however, what with the day-to-day business – and busy-ness – of living, there are plenty of must-see items on my doorstep that must, it seems, remain decidedly unseen.
Certainly, if I were in almost any other part of the world, I’d be first in the queue for any kind of food-led tour. Here at home, while I’d known about the Dublin Tasting Trail for quite some time, it wasn’t until I happened to talk to Eveleen Coyle, one of the founders of Fabulous Food Trails, that I took up an invitation to join one of their city-based walking and tasting tours. When it came down to it, it was an easy sell, requiring only that I swap my normal Saturday morning routine for a two and a half hour food-focused jaunt around the city centre. Done and deal were the words that sprang to mind.
** Needless to remark, if anyone would
like to send me to Australia, that would be bonza
and I can start packing now…
Going on a food trail? You'll want a guide who knows their onions (and their garlic too).
I don’t suppose it’s down to my influence necessarily, but a friend, the other day, did remark on how it seemed that everyone was now jumping on the potato bandwagon. You could certainly be forgiven for thinking as much based on coverage this week alone, where, hot on the heels of my own newspaper piece last week, we had Irish chef (and new dad) Neven Maguire featuring potatoes in general, and Tayto crisps in particular, on this week’s episode of his Home Chef series on RTE televison. And then, in his latest series on Channel 4, Heston Blumenthal, too, turned his gloriously scientific attention, this week, to the potato (you may be able to catch said episode of How To Cook Like Heston for a limited time here on Channel 4’s 4OD service). Triple cooked chips and Heston’s mashed spud perfection were followed by the lesser known delights of smoked potato doughnuts and potato milk jam – the latter a recipe that was right up there with the spud shake in the unusual (and, for some, challenging) spud recipes league. In other words, it had my name written all over it.
I’ll tell you what folks, it’s been quite the weekend here at The Daily Spud.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being mentioned (along with some of my favourite spuds) in Fionnuala Fallon’s piece in the Irish Times magazine on the dilemma of picking potato varieties (and yes, it’s the kind of thing that can keep a girl awake at night).
Then today, in what might just be the most epic Spud Sunday to date, a piece written by my good self appeared as the cover story in the new Sunday magazine supplement published with the Irish edition of the Sunday Times (sadly the Sunday Times implements a pay-wall, so I can’t link directly to an online version of the article, which was on the topic of the falling consumption of potatoes in Ireland).
What with editors and sub-editors involved, the piece that ran is not as I had written it, but that’s newspapers for you – an addition (not one of mine) which noted the occurrence of a National Potato Conference on Valentine’s Day was, alas, erroneous (the conference, in fact, takes place on February 22nd, with more information for any interested parties available here).
Below is the story as originally submitted. Enjoy.
Spuds on the cover: now that's what I call a real Spud Sunday