When summer comes, Ireland's in her glory. Lazy sunsets linger for hours in a softly glowing night sky. Every nook and cranny of the land turns lush and green. Roses ramble wildly up cottage walls and over stone stiles. Hedgerows turn country lanes into fragrant flowering tunnels. Succulent fruits emerge in gardens and fields everywhere. And Irish cooks turn their prodigious … [Read more...] about Good Cheer: Ireland’s Sweet Summer Treats
Often referred to as “nectar of the gods” mead is possibly the oldest alcoholic beverage on earth. From a banquet in Bunratty Castle to a modern Meadery in Kinsale, our travel writer is raising a glass to the honied wine. On a dark rainy evening in January of this year, I found myself being ushered into the great hall of a 15th century castle in County Clare by a bearded man … [Read more...] about Sláinte! Mead in Ireland
Apples are abundant in Ireland in the fall, and they play a key role not only on the table but in festivities as well. Several years ago after a rigorous day of exploring County Laois, I pulled into a pub for a well-deserved pick-me-up pint. It was a wee bit early for the local drinking crowd and the long bar held only one customer, a young man who looked more like a fellow … [Read more...] about Sláinte! Apples: The Fruit of the Gods
"She wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow, crying "cockles and mussels, alive alive o." The Irish have been eating shellfish since humans first set foot on the Emerald Isle. Huge shell piles called middens have been found at every seaside archaeological site, which proves that shellfish was a dietary mainstay for Ireland’s Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. … [Read more...] about Cockles & Mussels, Alive, Alive-o!
For hundreds of years, Fair Day was an integral part of Ireland's rural community, writes Margaret M. Johnson. The holding of country fairs in rural Ireland goes back so far into the past that their beginnings are delightfully entangled in myth, history and tradition. Whether originally a pagan ritual or an occasion for farmers to sell surplus crops, the country fair has … [Read more...] about The Fair Days of Summer