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From the terrific autumn crop of food books that’s piling up on my desk, I’ve selected two especially gift worthy volumes for this month’s reviews. Trish Deseine’s new book, HOME: Recipes from Ireland (Hachette Cuisine; hardback, 356pp; photography by Deirdre Rooney; €29) & SEA GASTRONOMY Fish & Shellfish of the North Atlantic by Michael O’Meara (Artisan House hardback 440pp with original photography by the author, €30)
Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, as - like other so-called winter squashes - they store well after ripening and can be kept throughout the winter, making a versatile addition to the usual range of vegetables.
As new places open, food fashions come and go, and new products flood the market, the pages of the Irish food story are turning with ever increasing speed - and, while the phenomenon is quite rightly a point of great pride, it also tends to make us look back and reassess the value of what has gone before.
Rua, on Castlebar's Spencer Street, where there is also a bakery and delicatessen - is the second branch of the business and has become a mecca for food lovers from all over the west and north west of Ireland (and beyond)
There’s never a bad time to think about the quality of staple food, but this is one of the best when it comes to bread and baking.
Since Michael Kelly’s famous ‘Eureka’ moment - when confronted by garlic all the way from China in his local supermarket - there’s been a strangely emotive connotation to the provenance of garlic in Ireland. In his case, it inspired him to start up the phenomenally successful GIY movement, while others see potential in the product itself.
A gorgeous display of marrows in the window of the Ward family’s superb shop and café, Country Choice, in Nenagh, Co Tipperary has reminded me that we hear plenty about other, more exotic, members of the Cucurbita (gourd) family - which includes squash and pumpkin - but very little about the whopper marrows that I remember from my childhood.
This month Georgina reviews All in the Cooking by (O’Brien Press, €16.99 hardback 256pp; some diagrams, no photographs.)
Summer by the seaside means lots of fresh fish and seafood - and fortunately the best way to treat good seafood is simply, so these recipes are perfect for those summer evenings when you just want something easy and tasty.
Not exactly ‘in season’ of course, but the crunchy sweet, Yellow Man, is unique to Northern Ireland and - although it is also found on stalls at other country fairs and, nowadays, in the shops - this traditional toffee-like sweet is firmly associated with Lammas Fair, which is held at Ballycastle, Co Antrim, in late August and marks the end of the summer (24-25th August 2015).