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

Month: July 2013 (Page 1 of 2)

Spud Sunday: Subtropical Spuds

National Potato Day 2013

Given the image above, I may as well get straight to the point: National Potato Day is, once again, on its way.

Started as an initiative by Keogh’s, it’s two years since the inaugural National Potato Day took place and this year, for the first time, it will run with the support of Bord Bia (which, I suppose you could say, makes it official). That, in turn, means that we can expect more in the way of events in the run up to the day itself, Friday August 23rd, and greater media coverage; details of happenings will appear on the potato.ie site from this coming Monday, July 29th, with a number of events announced already, including the plan by Sam’s Potatoes to make an attempt on the record for the largest ever potato sack race at the Tullamore Show on August 11th and a 5K fun run hosted by the Meade Potato Company on National Potato Day itself.

Running and sack racing aside, I chatted to Lorcan Bourke of Bord Bia about their aims for National Potato Day. It was a conversation that had a familiar ring: counteract the perception that carbs are bad; highlight the neat nutritional package that is the potato; broaden people’s perspectives on how a potato can be prepared; bring some colour to the potato palette (***) – in other words, the kind of thing I do on a regular basis. So, with that in mind and anticipating the event to come, here’s a little colour from the warmth of the Canary Islands, where they’ve got salt and spice and aren’t afraid to use ’em.

*** This is a rare bird – a sentence where you could probably get away with using palette, palate or even, at a stretch, pallet (for those who like to think of their potatoes in bulk terms)

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Spud Sunday: Mexican Fave

Tequila Mockingbird Cake

Tequila Mockingbird Cake:
a coconut tres leches (3 milks) cake with chilli caramel shards, pipettes of tequila, lime and cardamom bitters, plus toasted coconut crunchies coated in dark chocolate with dehydrated lime zest dust.
Made by Kate Packwood of Wild Flour Bakery and every bit as stunning as it sounds.

You’d have to admire a food culture that can inspire something like the Tequila Mockingbird Cake (and if you’re wondering just which culture that might be, the tequila is a rather large clue).

This very Mexican dessert – as interpreted by the exceptionally talented Kate Packwood of Wild Flour Bakery – featured at an equally Mexican party hosted by Lily Ramirez-Foran to mark the re-launch, this week, of her Mexican Cook blog. There was molé, there were margaritas and, given the current heat wave, there was even a bit of Mexican weather too. More to the point, though, there were pickled potatoes.

Jars of pickled potatoes

Pickled Potatoes. Made by me.

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Spud Sunday: An Spud-Off Mór

Spuds sign

One word to say it all:
signage for the Spud-Off Mór at Tigh T.P.’s in Baile na nGall (Ballydavid) on the Dingle Peninsula

That’s pure true.

That was T.P.’s response when it was suggested that the story he was spinning might be somewhat less than factual.

I was in the West Kerry Gaeltacht, at the end of the Dingle Peninsula – almost as far west as you can get in Ireland before you fall off the edge – with some newly made acquaintances, scooting between events at the recent Féile an Phráta (Festival of the Potato). T.P., former master of Tigh T.P.’s pub in Ballydavid – now run by his son – had lead a walk that morning along the misty shores of Smerwick Harbour to the site of a famine-era village and had regaled the general company with stories and local lore.

“Ah now, pure truth, that’s a higher order of truth,” said the bould T.P., and you could almost hear the glint in his eye. Something told me that it wasn’t just the spuds hereabouts that might require a large pinch of salt.

TP black and white

T.P., man of pure truth

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