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Birgitta Curtin
Author: Georgina Campbell
Well deserved recipient of the 2015 Irish Food Writers Guild ‘Notable Contribution to Irish Food Award’, Birgitta Curtin is not only dedicated to maintaining the highest standards for her own famous smoked salmon - much of which is organically produced by Clare Island Salmon, off the rugged coast of Co Mayo - and other equally carefully sourced products at the Burren Smokehouse and Visitor Centre
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Lucy Madden's The Potato Year, 300 Classic Recipes (Mercier Press, hardback; 350pp; €14.99)
Author: Georgina Campbell
A brace of books this month, all about the humble tuber that has become our national vegetable: the potato. Lucy Madden's The Potato Year, 300 Classic Recipes (Mercier Press, hardback; 350pp; €14.99) and Eveleen Coyle's The Irish Pocket Potato Recipe Book (G&M, hardback; colour photography throughout, 256pp; €4.99)
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Nettle
Author: Georgina Campbell
The common Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica, was for many generations an important traditional food in Ireland, providing a free and tasty ingredient for soups, purées and sauces in the spring.
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IFWG 2015 Award Winners
Author: Georgina Campbell
Now in its 21st year, the annual Irish Food Writers’ Guild (IFWG) Food Awards recognise homegrown producers, organisations or individuals, whilst also celebrating the heroes who have devoted – and are continuing to devote – their lives to supporting and promoting Irish food
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Sheep
Author: Georgina Campbell
Although Easter is just around the corner (and early this year) March is only the beginning of spring and it can be a very chilly month, when comfort food that makes the most of the remaining autumn and winter ingredients can be very welcome.
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Clodagh's Irish Kitchen
Author: Georgina Campbell
by Clodagh McKenna, with photography by Tara Fisher. Kyle Books, hardback, 256pp. RRP €25

Well timed to hit the book shops just before St Patrick’s Day, Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen offers a nicely balanced collection of 150 upbeat traditional recipes presented with pzazz.
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Pork Crackling
Author: Georgina Campbell
Pork is one of our most traditional and most versatile foods and, while the introduction of refrigeration made a big change to attitudes as fresh pork was no longer seen as being ’just for winter’, there is something wonderfully comforting about it and many of the great pork dishes seem to have a secret ingredient that brings warmth to the chilliest of days.
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Atlantic Treasures
Author: Georgina Campbell
Fish smoking has a long history in Ireland, with traditionally smoked fish a staple on our tables until relatively recently. It is still held in affection and many people have fond memories of locally smoked fish enjoyed on childhood holidays - all of which helps to create a positive mindset for contemporary shoppers when they see modern versions of these traditional foods on display, take note of their healthy eating credentials and (in the case of Atlantic Treasures mackerel) spot the familiar Great Taste Awards logo, which is a respected independent indication of quality.
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Author: Georgina Campbell
Blood oranges are a variation of the familiar orange (Citrus x sinensis) with slightly reddish tones showing in the skin and deep, in some cases almost blood-red, flesh. They are grown mainly in Mediterranean countries and one, the Arancia Rossa di Sicilia ( the Red Orange of Sicily), has PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status.
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Rich & Hearty Potato Stew
Author: Georgina Campbell
What could be more comforting in the cold, dark days of late winter than hearty dishes based on the nation’s favourite vegetable, the spud. Or any dish with a lovely big, steaming baked potato on the side? Okay, strictly speaking it’s a tuber rather than a vegetable, but we all think of it and cook it like a vegetable.
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