You really will have to excuse the tumbleweed that has been rolling around this site for nigh on several months now. I can only plead, in my defence, that there have been assorted distractions of the non-potato kind.
The important thing is, I’m back. And I’m exercised. About cabbage.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax
Of cabbages and kings”
From Lewis Carroll’s ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’, in Through the Looking-Glass
Little did Lewis Carroll know when he penned those words how on-trend he would be years – nay centuries – later, with his cabbage reference. Yes, as 2015 has gotten underway, with its usual deluge of articles, tweets and posts about trends, food and otherwise, I read with a certain degree of bemusement in this article in the U.K. Independent that – and sorry about this kale – cabbage is the new rising star. Yup, cabbage. There is, of course, nothing wrong with cabbage, and a lot to like (except, perhaps, when you have an excess to deal with). So good on the chefs who are, we are told, now doing all sorts of things with cabbage. It’s versatile and available, cheap and green. Is and was. Before it ever took a stroll down the culinary catwalks.
cabbage – enjoying a bit of close attention
If it was your mission to design a new signature dish for Ireland, suitable for service in the finest restaurants, then just what would that dish be?
That’s the question being asked of chefs and cooks, professional and amateur alike, in a competition being run as part of the Só Sligo Food Festival. The festival, one of an increasing number of food-centric events to be found gracing the Irish calendar, will see that particular corner of the north west awash with edible possibilities from the 16th to the 20th of this month.
As to the question of the signature dish, well, I don’t suppose a bowl of coleslaw would cut it?
An Irish coleslaw: it's certainly got the national colours going for it
Ah lovely, colcannon à la Spud
I was thinking about colcannon lately. As you do.
To be honest, it’s been on my mind ever since I heard my niece express the following fond and particularly Irish hope a few weeks back: “I hope my Ma makes colcannon”.
And it occurred to me that I do not make colcannon half often enough. Mashed potatoes, cabbage or kale, butter, milk and maybe some scallions – it’s supremely comforting food.
So, it was with colcannon in mind that I went out the other day in search of cabbage. Only what I found was curly kale. Hmph. Of course I know that kale is the more traditional addition to colcannon, but childhood experience has led me to regard it as cabbage’s tougher and frankly less appealing cousin. It has not, therefore, been a vegetable that I have sought out but one that I feel I have to deal with whenever it is foisted upon me.