THE MENU

Irish Examiner - Weekend - - Food - Food news with Joe McNamee

WARM WELCOME

At heart a greatly frus­trated fla­neur, The Menu was tak­ing a rare op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a de­light­fully aim­less con­sti­tu­tional around and about the town with no more mo­tive than to ‘see what he could see, see, see’ when his me­an­der­ings took him into the al­ways won­der­ful English mar­ket.

By the time you read this, the Startup Stall — an out­let for young busi­nesses to road­test their food ideas on the gen­eral pub­lic — will have been va­cated by Legumerié, a plant­based food out­fit owned and op­er­ated by Done­gal sib­lings, Claire and John Duffy but, hav­ing have fallen in love with Cork, they are seek­ing a suit­able site to place a café and pro­duc­tion facility housed in up­cy­cled ship­ping con­tain­ers. (Replies to www.legumerie.ie). Near the Princes St en­trance, are two new per­ma­nent stalls: James Scan­nell of Mealaguala Or­chards, Ovens, op­er­ates the Ap­ple Shop, sell­ing su­perb lo­cal Ir­ish ap­ples along with juices and lo­cal hon­eys; and My Good­ness Food, a farmer’s mar­ket sta­ple, of­fers ex­quis­ite ve­gan food. Scan­nell’s ar­rival is par­tic­u­larly welcome for while The Menu adores the mar­ket, he ac­knowl­edges its of­fer­ing of gen­uinely lo­cal qual­ity Ir­ish fruit and veg is dis­tinctly un­der­whelm­ing and Scan­nell’s pro­duce (some­times sup­ple­mented by ap­ples from other sim­i­larly su­perb Ir­ish grow­ers) are a fine ex­am­ple of an in­fin­itely su­pe­rior al­ter­na­tive.

COM­MU­NITY SPIRIT

Reg­u­lar read­ers will be well aware of The Menu’s great grá for Cloughjor­dan EcoVil­lage and, in par­tic­u­lar, it’s Com­mu­nity Farm, so he was greatly dis­tressed to learn that their barn and all its contents, in­clud­ing farm­ing equipment, hay and over a ton of spuds, have all been in­cin­er­ated. The com­mu­nity farm, which sup­plies mem­bers of the EcoVil­lage and other Cloughjor­dan res­i­dents, is a splen­did ex­am­ple of com­mu­nity sup­ported agri­cul­ture, a lo­cal short sup­ply chain ini­tia­tive that, if repli­cated around the coun­try, could go some­way to re­pair­ing the dam­age to the sus­tain­abil­ity of Ir­ish agri­cul­ture wreaked by in­dus­tri­alised farm­ing.

Any­one in­ter­ested in sup­port­ing the Com­mu­nity Farm, to once more find its feet can check out a new crowd-fund­ing ini­tia­tive at: www.goget­fund­ing.com/cloughjor­dan­farm/

PIG­TOWN

The very ex­cel­lent Pig­town se­ries of food events in Lim­er­ick, a se­ries of food events cel­e­brat­ing Lim­er­ick’s for­mer his­tory as one of the world’s most renowned pro­duc­ers of ham, con­tin­ues with a Food In­dus­try Net­work­ing Sem­i­nar with LEO & In­no­vate Lim­er­ick (Sept 11) to en­able lo­cal food busi­nesses to net­work and hear a num­ber of key in­dus­try speak­ers fol­lowed by a chaired Q&A. (Light lunch in­cluded; Reg­is­tra­tion: www.lo­ca­len­ter- prise.ie/lim­er­ick).

The Milk Mar­ket Kitchen presents a black/white pud­ding demo (Sept 16) from the inim­itable Car­o­line Rigney, pro­ducer of per­haps The Menu’s most favourite of all break­fast (din­ner and tea!) pud­dings. www.pig­town.ie

TO­DAY’S SPE­CIAL

While pe­rus­ing the wares of the new My Good­ness out­let in the English Mar­ket, men­tioned above, The Menu took a no­tion to slake his thirst with a draught of one of sev­eral ke­firs; his choice, Ginger, Chilli and Tamarind, the lat­ter in­gre­di­ent, an ut­terly es­sen­tial el­e­ment in mul­ti­ple splen­did dishes from any num­ber of won­der­ful In­dian re­gional cuisines.

It is a fruit of such ex­quis­ite sweet-sour­ness in its nat­u­ral state, that a ca­sual nib­ble can trig­ger the class of winc­ing, purs­ing and puck­er­ing not seen since the bull­dog last swal­lowed a wasp and is al­ways best used with a ju­di­cious hand to add lift and el­e­va­tion to an umami-heavy dish.

In the My Good­ness ke­fir, it ab­so­lutely shines, adding a bright and truly re­fresh­ing acid­ity that rises above the low rum­bling heat of ginger and chilli, a de­li­cious, thirstquench­ing drink that also acts as a pow­er­ful au­tum­nal elixir to ward off all those newly-in­tro­duced germs and in­fec­tions that mark the ar­rival of yet an­other re­turn to school. (www.my­good­ness­food.com) Email de­tails of Ir­ish food news/events/pro­duce to the­menu@examiner.ie Send food news/events/ prod­ucts to the­menu@examiner.ie

Own­ers of My Good­ness, Donal and Vir­ginia O’Gara, who have opened in the English Mar­ket.

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