Saturday, June 21, 2008

What is the Taste of Dublin?

I'll try to describe Dublin using the food analogies. It's both metropolitan and provincial at the same time, like... new Irish potatoes with fresh dill, roasted salmon (from morning delivery in the harbour), mushrooms, some herby aromatic salad with vinaigrette sauce and a glass of wine? All served in a sophisticated way in a small apartment in Howth (thank you Gosia for the inspiration in April 2007, my first time in Dublin).

On the 12th of June, holding proudly the VIP tickets (thanks to my husband's Boss) , we went to the opening evening of Taste Festival. Soon after entering the Iveagh Gardens we abandoned our initial plan of interviewing the exhibitors about the gluten free food - any delay in serving those tiny portions would have caused riots among hungry people waiting in lines.
We expected a lot of Irish artisan food, local produce (slow food, not to mention the organic stuff), but the reality was disappointing. Max was able to count them all on his (one hand) fingers.

The choice of what to spend on our florins (festival currency) was very tough - there was over 100 stalls with food and drinks (a lot of chocolate and alcohol) but only a few things worth buying. Do you know this feeling when you take part in some event by chance and you discover that you don't fit to the place, people ? It's my experience.

I liked Clodagh McKenna's demonstration which reminded me the Italian holidays (aubergine and goat's cheese rolls, baked gubeen cheese with thyme and rosemary, summer roast asparagus salad).
In the end, I was given a small punnet of local raspberries (Tesco stall) for Max. I couldn't believe they are in season (!) but their producer was there and he swore they were 100% Irish :-) Next day Max ate this dessert:

Raspberries with almond "cream":
  • a small punnet of raspberries;
  • handful of almonds;
  • cinnamon;
  • fresh ground golden linseed;
Almond "cream":
soak the almonds overnight (not so much water, just to cover them!), peel the skin and blend well everything (water from soaking and almonds), you can add some honey if you like more sweetness.

Put a little bit of fresh ground golden linseed on the bottom of a plate, then raspberries and the almond cream and cinnamon on top.

Max ate all the raspberries, we didn't even try one...

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