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Tag: spuds.ie (Page 2 of 3)

Spud Sunday: Paddy’s Spuds

Nobody, as the Monty Python crew once memorably observed, expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Everyone, on the other hand, expects spuds on Paddy’s Day, but I’ll betcha nobody expects spudakopita (cue Python-esque diabolical laughter). You can get the low down on this potatoey St. Patrick’s Day version of spanakopita below (though there’s no need to restrict its making to one day of the year – remember that potatoes are for life, not just for Paddy’s Day).

What is special about St. Patrick’s Day when it comes to spuds, though, is that it was, and is, a traditional day for planting pototoes in Ireland. Kaethe Burt O’Dea of SPUDS.ie (who is quoted in today’s Washington Post piece on Ireland and the trialling of GM potatoes) wisely suggests that we might do well to reclaim this day as a National Potato Day and relegate the consumption of copious pints to a supporting role. I’ll plant to that.

SPUDS St Patricks 2013

Plant a spud – or several – this St. Patrick’s Day (image from the SPUDS campaign)

Meanwhile, given the season that’s in it, I have found myself awash with samples of a spudly nature generously provided to me by assorted parties who know my taste in edibles only too well.
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Spud Sunday: Fight Or Blight

Members of the Maquis in La Tresorerie

Members of the Maquis (French Resistance) in 1944 (image from Wikimedia Commons)

For some reason, I picture David Shaw, the energy behind the Welsh-based Sárvári Trust, in the beret-topped garb of a WW2 resistance fighter. In David’s case, however, the enemy (and one of Goliath proportions at that) is potato blight and his weapons of choice are the Sárpo line of potatoes, bred to have high levels of natural blight resistance.

Needless to remark, David was not actually beret-clad when I met him at last week’s SPUDS.ie Tastefest (though I daresay a beret would have suited him). What he did display, though, was a resistance fighter’s spirit and determination in the face of battle on two fronts, with the ever-adapting scourge of potato blight on the one hand and the struggle to keep the Sárvári Trust funded on the other. He was eager to hear about people’s experiences with Sárpo potatoes and to share his expansive knowledge of potato blight – amassed during some 40 years of study – with all who were willing to listen.

David Shaw at SPUDS.ie Tastefest

David Shaw of the Sárvári Reseach Trust: a bona fide blight resistance fighter

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Spud Sunday: Food Matters

Sometimes, eating your fill is not just about filling your belly.

Though it may not be the first thing that springs to mind as you inhale a morning bowl of cornflakes or succumb to the salt and vinegar temptation of a post-pub bag of chips, eating is, as author Michael Pollan has said, both an environmental and a political act, “for how we choose to eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world.” Ah yes, you can always trust Michael Pollan to pile on the weightiness when it comes to food and food matters.

Still, the man does have a point. We do not eat in isolation – even the most mundane-seeming meal may be the end result of a complex global production chain and has a bearing on more than just our personal feeling of fullness. As it happens, there are two far from mundane events taking place in Dublin later this month which aim to both fill our plates and get us thinking about how that food got there and what food got left behind.

Next Sunday, November 18th, sees the SPUDS.ie Tastefest at The Fumbally in Dublin 8 – where folks who have grown naturally blight resistant varieties of potato will bring them for tasting – while on the following Saturday, November 24th, those in the vicinity of Dublin city centre are invited to avail of a free meal, as well as plenty of food for thought, at the Feeding the 5000 event, which aims to highlight the global issue that is food waste, and is being held in Wolfe Tone Park in Dublin 1.

Spuds.ie Tastefest

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