Feeding the feel-good factor
DINGLE’S claim as the gourmet capital of Ireland got a massive vote of confidence at the weekend from the thousands of people who thronged the streets of the town, delighting in the food festival taste trail, the party atmosphere, the chat, the banter, and in the mouth-watering wonders they encountered along the way in restaurants, bars, streetside stalls and shops that normally sell such things as hammers, wellie boots and leather belts.
The festival is now the great gathering point of the year in Dingle, somewhat akin to a watering hole in the Serengeti in the dry season.
Except that there’s no shortage of fodder for the palate on the festival taste trail, which this year had something in the order of 80 outlets serving all the delights that the culinary sorcerers of West Kerry and beyond could conjure up.
There was a dizzying ar- ray on offer, from local beers to Guinness brownies, from black pudding to barbecued kangaroo, snails to tempt the brave, Dingle gin fudge, Kieran Murphy’s cookie & sea salt icecream sandwich, coffee jelly with whiskey cream & cocoa.
There was something for everyone, and it seemed like everyone from Dunquin to Dubai was looking for something to get their teeth into.
By early on Saturday afternoon the Gardaí had closed Main Street to traffic and there were concerns that the 54,000 taste trail tickets wouldn’t be enough to meet the demand.
In the evening festival organisers performed their own loaves and fishes miracle, gathering up the ‘returns’ from Saturday’s taste trail and stapling them together into new books of tickets for the following day, making up a total of over 60,000 sold over the great weekend.
Vivienne Rattigan, Catherine Manning and Karen McKinnie on the taste trail after travelling from Cork for the Dingle Food Festival.
Jack O’Sullivan on duty at the Dingle GAA stand where beef burgers were being served at a hectic rate outside Paul Geaney’s bar during the Dingle Food Festival. All photos by Declan Malone.
Deichtine Ní Mhainnín munching her way through a kangaroo kabab at the Dingle Food Festival on Saturday.
Kate Bellchambers from Kilfenora having her first taste of escargot, with a little encouragement from her daughter, Emma.
Joanna Martin with her son, Oisín, at the Dingle Food Festival on Saturday.
Matthisa Jauch with his daughters, Dara and Eadaoin who were serving bubbly at Bawn’s.
Micheál Flannery serving up prawn bisque at his family’s recently opened and hugely popular Fish Box restaurant on Green Street.
Brendan Greaney with Eleanor Cronin.
Malte Luessen, from Millstreet and Germany.