Showing posts with label Sligo Food Trail. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sligo Food Trail. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Six of the Best from Lough Gill Brewery

Lough Gill Beers
Six of the Best
During a recent visit to Lough Gill Brewery in County Sligo, we got to taste a good few of the beers and left with a bagful to try out at home. Got a chance to do just that at our leisure recently. We started with three of their core beers, the first three below, and then moved on to some of their limited editions, the final three. Great variety coming from the banks of the Garravogue, one of Ireland's shortest rivers. Keep them coming lads and great to see them available in Bradley's on Cork's North Main Street.

Lough Gill Thieving Bastards Pale Ale, 5%, 440ml can
Just a small family owned brewery in Sligo taking on the big beers from God knows where. And making a right fine fist of it. And some mighty fine beers too.

Amber is the colour of this not so pale ale, indeed it's not too far off the red ale colour. Rich and malty on the palate and a lip-smacking dry finish. Recommended.

Lough Gill Mac Nutty Macadamia Nut Brown Ale, 5.5%, 440ml can
The guys at Lough Gill admit to having hand-toasted “trays upon trays of macadamia nuts” for this brown ale. No doubt about the colour here, a rich dark brown. Rather handsome overall from the introduction that deposits bags of flavours. It has an excellent body and a nice balance of hops and malt. Not unlike the Newcastle Brown Ale that you find in a pint bottle.

Macadamia nuts, by the way, are native to Australia and are full of healthy fats. Highly Recommended.

Lough Gill Round the Clock Breakfast Stout, 5.2%, 440ml can
I’m a sucker for oatmeal stout and this, with oats from Flahavan’s no less, is a temptation. Add in a dark coffee and it becomes irresistible. 

The brew is black of colour, intensely flavoured and, if Neven can serve Irish Whiskey in his porridge, then surely I can have this rich smooth (as any former taoiseach’s silky shirts), for breakfast.

Never too early, never too late for this Very Highly Recommended Round the Clock stout.

Lough Gill Wild Rosé Wheat Ale, 5%, 440ml can
This is from their Wild Atlantic Series, promising Big, Bold, Extreme Flavor (Note US spelling!). Expect wild sour and funky beers reflecting their location in these limited releases.

Not too sour at all is the initial impression from this “Golden Blush” coloured ale but it does grow on you. There is an undeniable tartness, quite a refreshing one, and also an excellent balance between the bitterness and sweetness. Doesn't say it in the ingredients but I thought I heard there was the odd hedgerow rose in the mix. Recommended.


Lough Gill Hoppy Scotch Ale, 9%, 440ml can
And, from the Irish Punch-up Series, comes this Scotch Ale, also known in Scotland as “Wee Heavy”. Lough Gill will fill this series with “even bolder flavours and higher ABVs (starting at 8%)”. Again it is a limited release.

It’s a dark ruby colour, aromas of malt and fruit, rich malt and caramel flavours, sweet and smooth, quite intense, yet little outward sign of the high alcohol which is well camouflaged. No big sign of the hops either. Did they mean Happy Scotch Ale? In any case, I'm quite happy with it. Highly Recommended.

Lough Gill Imperial Oatmeal Coffee Cream Stout, 11%, 440ml can

Another limited release, this from the Rebel Stout Series, the ones your mother didn't tell you about. As you probably expected, it is black (good guess!), coffee aromas with a ultra smooth palate featuring malts and coffee. Again, very well balanced. Hard hitting at 11% but it is a smooth customer, delivering a velvet punch. Very Highly Recommended.

Read all about our brewery visit here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Taste of the Week. Super Kale Pesto

Taste of the Week
Super Kale Pesto

Carolanne Rushe describes herself as the Chief Sweetie on our pack of her Sweet Beat Super Kale Pesto, our current Taste of the Week.

“Our raw kale pesto harnesses the awesome power of fresh kale. We’ve also added Activated Almonds to feed your brain too.” It is gluten free, dairy free and sugar free.


And it tastes well! We used it as a spread and as a dip. But the packet says you may stir it into some pastas, soups and stews as they do in the Sweet Beat Café in Sligo.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Swagman Rocks in Sligo

The Swagman Rocks in Sligo

It’s a busy Friday evening at The Swagman in Wine Street, Sligo, and owner Dale Barber is on duty, as always. There are Australia flags (Irish too!) and memorabilia around the walls and ceiling but Dale is cheering Ireland this evening as they take on Moldova in the World Cup. The Australian has been in the news in the town over the past few days having cooly helped stop the robbers of a nearby phone shop.

Ireland score and there's a large cheer. Dale tells me that goal will be cheered in small towns across Australia. It is important to the diaspora, something that we don't always recognise in this country. Dale is sometimes puzzled by the lack of enthusiasm for the national team when things aren't going well and amazed by the contrast when we qualify for a finals tournament.

The no frills pub is a bit like the straight talking Australian from Tangambalanga (Victoria) where his parents had a busy pub offering food and drink and accommodation. And indeed, many years and countries later,  advice from his visiting parents helped him decide on buying the Swagman. Wife Sinead, whom he had met on his travels, came up with the name and so, the Swagman was born at the start of the decade.
Soul in a Bowl. Tequila, Lime,  Garlic and Beef Stew 

The Swagman has over one hundred craft beers and we enjoyed an ale from local brewers, The White Hag, as the conversation turned to food and its provenance. Dale offers a simple but very good menu, well sourced and served on white plates!  It is all about fresh, local and fair here, the fair meaning that it is well priced. And, aside from the Kangaroo offering, a nod to his heritage, the source is local because that represents his values.

Dale is something of a gardener himself and indeed would love to do more on that front but that would take from his work at the pub. He speaks enthusiastically of picking your own in the tunnel and almost poetically when describing the fresh taste of home-grown tomatoes or indeed of any fruit or vegetable. And of course, much of the produce from home is used here in the Swagman where you can expect a daily special called “Soul in a Bowl”, a roast of the day, and pizza (making pizzas is another of his accomplishments!).

The two of us and Dale were keeping an eye on the match but as it approached half-time we had to leave. We had a dinner reservation nearby and would, as always, honour that. But it would have been good to stay and eat and watch the rest of the game in this pub with soul. Instead it was firm handshakes all round as we headed into the street.

While The Swagman has a rustic, maybe outback, feel, the newly opened Anderson’s on the banks of the dark Garavogue is a creature of the 21st century, inside at least. It is plush and colourful and lively with a cocktail menu on the counter. 

But some craft beer as well and that harks back to the origin of the building which once housed a brewery owned by the Anderson family and called Lough Gill. Their Anderson’s Red Ale was the biggest selling beer in Connaught in the 19th century and that original brewery closed early in the 20th.  The exterior has been retained.

Earlier, I had visited the new Lough Gill Brewery (just a few miles away) and was told the story. The new brewery (2016) started by making their take of the Anderson’s Red Ale and it is on sale around the town and also, right here in the revamped old building, there is a tap. I very much enjoyed that Ale here in Anderson’s, the purpose of my little pilgrimage.  


Before I headed off for another dinner, I also drank, for the first time, an offering from Dublin’s Five Lamps, a very enjoyable Liberties Pale Ale. Didn't see their Monto Red on the taps. Maybe, one bit of red is enough in Sligo town.


Other pubs with grub on the Sligo Food Trail include: Fiddlers Creek, Hargadon's, Harrison's, and the Strand Bar.
See also: Lough Gill Brewery
 Strandhill Food Festival
Sligo Cafés
Embassy Steakhouse
Rugantino

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Sligo's Embassy Steakhouse. Jameson Whiskey Sauce is a Must!

Sligo's Embassy Steakhouse

Where Jameson Whiskey Sauce is a Must!
When I told a bartender in a Sligo pub that I was heading to the Embassy Steakhouse for dinner, I got a tip. “You must have their Jameson Whiskey sauce. I used to work there and it is magnificent.” And it is!

Indeed, the building, with its five large arched windows by the Garavogue River, is itself eye-catching on the outside and the decor on the inside is also impressive. The menu is not confined to steak but the reason most people visit is to sample the chargrilled meat and that whiskey sauce.

Even CL, who loves her fish, picked the steak, an 8 ounce Hereford fillet. My choice was the 10 ounce Rib Eye. We both had the Jameson sauce, of course, and the steaks came with onion marmalade, sautéed green beans and grilled asparagus. And there were sides, salad and ratatouille. Indeed, you could have added sautéed king prawns for an extra fiver but we said no to that. As it happened we had enough on the plate, a very well cooked and presented plate of top quality meat and that magnificent sauce. Highly recommended.

You are not confined to steak. There are mains featuring fish and chicken and the starters give you ample opportunity to stay away from meat until the main event itself. Indeed, the starters are top notch as well.


My potted Mullaghmore crab, with seasonal salad leaves and sourdough toast, was an excellent opener. The fresh crab was exceptional, great flavour in that packed pot. CL meanwhile was enjoying the Pan-seared King prawns with lemon, chilli and garlic. 

Took a wee bit of a pause after the mains. The place was packed, it was packed all night. A hen party had two large tables and another two had a birthday party. There was a great buzz in the Embassy, a convivial one, happy voices.

We didn't get to hear the most distinctive voice in the place though. That, I’m told, belongs to Head Chef Marc Gabbidon and has been described “as a truly wondrous thing”. Marc is yet another of Sligo’s wanderers. He has “wandered in” from Jamaica, via East Coast US. In the US, while working in Connolly’s Irish Pub in NY City he met his now wife Karen. Eight years back, they moved to Sligo. Think I might have enjoyed that melodic voice but we certainly enjoyed the cooking!

And we did decide to share a dessert. Fabio is the man for the sweet stuff but we reluctantly decided to leave the Chocolate Indulgence Cake on this occasion and picked and shared Fabio’s Ice-cream Selection, a trio of house-made Italian style ice-creams. A safe choice but quite delicious also.

The Embassy Steakhouse, with an excellent wine bar, is a chic and comfortable place for a night out. Service is very friendly here but very much on the ball as well. So if you like your steak and are in the Sligo area, you know where to go!

See also: Lough Gill Brewery
 Strandhill Food Festival
Sligo Cafés
Clo's Chocolates
The Swagman Rocks
Rugantino

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Rugantino of Sligo. Italian on the banks of the Garavogue

Rugantino of Sligo

Italian on the banks of the Garavogue
Chicken

We first came across Chicken Cacciatore in Rossini’s in Cork, many moons ago. It is, we were told, the hunter’s dish, made with pieces of chicken and mushrooms. And while it may well be the hunter’s dish, there are many many versions across Italy and in Italian restaurants in Ireland.

We came across another during an evening meal in Rugantino of Sligo, a family run restaurant on the banks of the Garavogue River, last week. No little bits of chicken here. Instead, a massive half (breast, thigh and leg), appeared on the plate. No mushrooms in the sauce. Instead the chicken had been braised in a delicious braised tomatoes and mixed pepper sauce with mixed olives. 
Saltimbocca

Saltimbocca is another Italian classic with regional variations. It is usually made with veal and this was the case at Rugantino. Two rose veal steaks were pounded with prosciutto and sage and sautéed in a white wine sauce.  It was slightly salty, slightly woodsy (more so than the chicken), and entirely delicious. There were sides for both of us as we shared excellent fries and a garden salad.

We finished the gorgeous wine, a Sangiovese special of the month, before tackling yet another Italian classic: Tiramisu. Another with a million variations. The Sligo offering though was pretty close to the classic. Savoiardi, egg yolks, mascarpone, cocoa, coffee are the usual ingredients and they all seemed to be present here in a delightful finalé.
Sweet finish

They offer about 17 starters here, excluding specials, and we covered most bases by ordering a selection of Cicchetti (Italian tapas), eight pieces in all. Delicious. We almost had a fight over them and indeed could have eaten another round. But there was a good meal ahead..
Shared starter plate

Lots of choices, as is usual in Italian restaurants, and that was even before we looked at the huge Pizza selection which comes from their state of the art set-up and seems to be very popular with take-out customers. If visiting, be sure and watch out for the specials. Tonnarelli with Lobster was a recent one!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Taste of the Week. Clo’s Wind Atlantic Bar

Taste of the Week
Clo’s Wind Atlantic Bar

Called into Le Fournil, a bakery and chocolatier on the Sligo Food Trail, during a recent visit to the town. And I immediately spotted some truffles that I had seen in Dingle during the Blas na hEireann tasting, truffles that had won for Clo who makes the chocolates here.

But is was one of her bars that next caught my eye. I always like chocolate with a little salt and when I spotted the Wild Atlantic Bar I couldn't resist. It was every bit as good a expected and is our Taste of the Week.


It is a milk chocolate bar and, of course, Irish Sea Salt is one of the important ingredients. Another is Knocknarea Honey. A delicious blend made in Sligo and also a Blas winner for Clo, this in 2015.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sligo Cafés. Variety is the Spice

Sligo Cafés. 
Variety is the Spice 
Naanwich
Vegan friendly dishes at the Sweet Beat in Bridge Street. A Naanwich and Leitrim roasted coffee at The Nook in rural Collooney. Chocolate and French Baking at Le Fournil in Tobergal Lane. Oysters and Prosecco at WB’s in Stephen Street. Just a few examples from the lively café scene in and around Sligo.

Growing up in Brittany, Clotilde (known in Sligo as Clo and I read somewhere her Friday doughnuts are Clonuts), saw just how important bread was in their lives so no big surprise that she and her partner Tomasz Giderewicz run Le Fournil bakery in Sligo. There is also a related Le Fournil in Donegal.
Le Fournil. Including Friday's "Clonuts"

A sweet tooth led Clo to pastries and chocolate and indeed she won two Bronze at the recent Blas Awards. She has a fiercely loyal staff and they told me in no uncertain terms that it should have been two golds! We did, of course, leave “this little corner of France” with some chocolate. If Clo “wandered” in to Sligo, some of the other café owners here wandered out, for a spell.

Sligo Food Trails neatly sums up Carolanne Rushe of Sweet Beat. “The grass will never grow under Carolanne’s feet (though if it did, she’d probably turn it into a pesto)….. Going from running a market stall on her own to employing fifteen in Sweet Beat in just two short years, Carolanne is proving that plant based cuisine can taste great.” Coffee is pretty good there too as I found out on a brief visit to Bridge Street.

It seems that many in the Sligo food scene have been abroad (not just on holidays) and Carolanne is no exception. She’s been to the Middle East, Himalayas, Australia, South Africa. An extended course in Ballymaloe helped her bring all her food knowledge together and now Sweet Beat is a revelation, even for many committed meat eaters. She describes her plant based cuisine as “just food that’s good for you”.

Aisling Kelly is another Sligo “wanderer”, having spent many years on America's West Coast. Back in Ireland she became involved in the travel industry before returning home to Sligo to open WB’s in the old family pub. A larger than life statue of WB Yeats stands a few yards away.

She had learned much about coffee on the US West Coast and now makes sure that coffee culture is alive and well on Ireland’s West Coast. They also have an unusual offering. For under a tenner, you may enjoy a couple of local oysters and a glass of Prosecco.

Ethna Reynolds, of the Nook Cafe in Collooney village, is another who wandered out, not so much from Sligo, but from her native Leitrim. But the food bug had already struck through her part-time work in cafés in her student days. Several years travelling around Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand and working in different types of kitchens helped to further mould the budding chef.
Curry Roll

And indeed those years led to the slightly exotic cuisine at The Nook where the best of local produce gets a Reynolds twist. The signature dish is perhaps the Naanwich. “We can change the menu and we do, but we can never take that one off,” one of the staff told us on our visit there for lunch.

CL picked that one. So what is the Naanwich?  A soft folded Naan bread with a Tandoori spiced mouth watering filling of Donegal buttermilk chicken, tikka mayo, house local veg pickle, local grown salad and slaw. A plateful of colour and flavour, altogether delicious, at a very reasonable price.

My pick was the Curry Roll and I was surprised by both the quantity and the quality! It’s a Tortilla wrap stuffed with curried roast chicken, Dozio’s Chilli Zing Cheese (from Mayo), Mango Chutney, Red Cabbage Slaw, Markree Farm herb tossed couscous, paprika fries. You’d have to be palate paralysed not to appreciate the flavours here. An amazing dish (€11.00) to find in a small rural village. 

No wonder though that the new venture (May 2016) is well supported and already winning awards (including Georgina Campbell Newcomer of the Year 2017). By the way, they do breakfast here as well.

There are, of course, many other cafes in Sligo, and you may check them out here on this Sligo Food Trail list.

We had a great base in the Riverside Hotel, so conveniently situated for walking to the cafes, bars and restaurants in Sligo town. It has a marvellous location on the Garavogue River, at 50.7 kms, one of Ireland's shortest. The hotel overlooks the weir. 

The lovely restaurant room, where you also take breakfast, takes full advantage of the location and you can enjoy the waters on two sides. As I say, a really convenient location and we were able to walk to bars such as the Swagman and Anderson's, cafes like WB's and Sweet Beat, and restaurants Rugatino and Embassy Steakhouse.


See also: Lough Gill Brewery
 Strandhill Food Festival
Clo's Chocolates
Rugatino of Sligo
Embassy Steakhouse
The Swagman Rocks





Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday Last in Strandhill. Food Festival and more!

Saturday Last in Strandhill

Food Festival and more!

There is a weekly market in Strandhill but last Saturday was a bit special as the County Sligo resort held its inaugural Food Festival. It wasn't the best of mornings but the vast majority of the stands were under the substantial cover of Hangar No. 1, while a series of demos were held in the airport terminal building.

We had a arrived a couple of hours earlier to sample the local Voya Seaweed Baths that overlook the ocean where a surfing lesson was in progress. VOYA Seaweed Baths and organic treatments are especially recommended for those who are over worked, stressed or simply seeking an effective natural detoxifying process for the skin. Not too sure that any of those applied but I was keen to try it out.

A big welcome and then we were shown to our double bath room, the steam cabins and the baths all ready. We were warned to drink plenty of water over the next forty minutes or so and we did as we relaxed in the hot water under the seaweed, immediately feeling the oils on the skin. Good for the hair, they said. So it tried that! No miracles yet. But it was indeed a very relaxing hour.

Then, with body temperature back to normal, we headed off to the nearby airport whose car park provided ample space for the many visitors throughout the day.  On entering, you immediately noticed the colours of the improvised decor, the music (different artists from time to time) and the many and varied stalls. The large industrials space had been turned into an indoor village square.

There weren't that many primary producers there but there was no shortage of food to eat and there were many tables scattered around. But what to eat? Hawaiian Pokés? Korean Burritos? Shells Cafe were offering temptations that included Smoked Mackerel Bap and Duck Confit Burger.

So you want to know what is a Hawaiian Poké? Well it’s mainly rice and tuna and fruit and sauce. You could take one of those offered on the menu or build your own as you can see from the photo (at bottom). 

Must admit I liked the look of Joy Kitchen, particularly their Tikka Masala, and, after a second walkabout, that was the pick, a very flavoursome one as it turned out. Something sweet? Why not? The Black Sheep bakery stand was certainly busy, always a good sign. “All baked in the one oven,” said a smiling Sarah Elvey. All baked well if the two pastries we had were anything to go by!

No shortage of drinks either, including coffee from a truck, wines by the local Draft House and beer by Sligo’s White Hag. The most striking drink though was apple juice! Yes indeed, freshly squeezed apple juice from the Organic Centre.

Not too much produce that you could buy and bring home with you but we did spot some interesting bits, at the Sweet Beat stand where we met owner Carolanne Rushe. We had visited her cafe in Bridge Street in Sligo the day before and she was to do one of the cooking demos later in the afternoon.

Sweet Beat had a selection of their gut loving plant-based ferments, featuring tons of local organic produce.. from Kimchi, Sauerkraut + Kombucha to their Apple Cider Vinegar + Fermented Cashew Cheesecakes.. and were also serving up some tasty dishes all day long. Their Super Kale Pesto (with activated almonds) caught my eye and made it all the way to Cork.

Unfortunately we didn't have time for all the demos. I would have liked to have seen Prannie Rhatigan but by then we were on our way to another visit at the other side of Sligo. 

That demo stage was in the terminal building and here too the kids were kept happy with puppets, storytelling, and clowns. The festival started at noon and was scheduled to finish at eight in the evening but I did hear of at least one stall-holder who didn't leave until after ten. A long day then but a worthwhile one.

Clo's Chocolates
Rugatino of Sligo

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Lough Gill Brewery (and Meadery!). Focus on quality and consistency.

Lough Gill Brewery (and Meadery!)
Focus on quality and consistency.


It’s a Friday evening and I am sitting in a classy new bar, Anderson’s, on the banks of the Garavogue in Sligo, on an ale "pilgrimage".

Back in the 1800s, Anderson’s Ale was the most popular beer in Connacht and the family owned three breweries in the province, one of them housed in this very building. The story makes my pint of Anderson’s Ale all the tastier!

The new Anderson’s Ale is produced by a new family micro brewery, the Lough Gill. And, that morning, James Ward told me that they  (he and wife Valerie) went back to the region’s roots to brew a traditional Irish ale that is their interpretation of what was originally produced. “It opened the door for us.”
Anderson's, once a brewery, now a smart pub

While Lough Gill’s initial beer looked to the past, their production now looks to the future and James sees that future in cans and in America. Their beers are geared towards the US market and their eye-catching can labels are designed by a US artist. Indeed, their brewer Tony Wickham is a Lakota Sioux from Montana.

You get the drift once you sample their Mac Nutty, a nut brown ale (with toasted macadamia nuts), similar to Newcastle Brown Ale that you may have seen in a one pint bottle. Mac Nutty is one of their regular beers and exported to the US where Lough Gill is established in New York State and Massachusetts.

The water, and the name, come from nearby Lough Gill and that was also the name of the old brewery. It is not the first brewery for James and wife Valerie. Their initial venture, the White Hag, was the first brewery in Sligo for the best part of a century. After a couple of years, he sold it to its investor group and launched Lough Gill, with Anderson’s Ale, just last November.



Now they make quite an array of beers, lots of bold flavours and tastes here, including their Round the Clock stout; recommended for breakfast as it has Flahavan’s Oatmeal included!

They mill everything on site here. “We crack it open, it’s fresh. Our focus is on quality and consistency.” Irish malts are used for all their basic beers while specially malts are sourced in Belgium.

He took us through the process. By the way, this is a steam operated brewery, a better boil, better beer. After the usual mash tun, kettle, the more unusual whirlpool, the cooling, it goes into the tank and fresh yeast is added. “We use live yeast, makes for a better product. When we make our Imperial Coffee Oatmeal Stout, the yeast goes crazy. At 11%, this stout is the strongest in Ireland.”
In Lough Gill with James (left) and brewer Tony (right)

Their four core beers are: the Mac Nutty nut brown ale, the Round the Clock stout, the Heinoweiser IPA, and the Thieving Bastards Pale ale; some of the names are a finger up to the bigger brands. The stout and the brown ale are both exported. In addition, there is the Rebel Stout Series, the Irish Punch Up Series (which has started with a  barley wine), and the Irish Wild Atlantic series (sours).

“Sour is huge in the US. We have a sour wheat beer, a Wild Rosé Ale, an Imperial Peach Sour and a Cherry sour is coming soon.” And coming soon too will be their Mead.

Didn't know they had a Meadery here when I arrived but enjoyed a taste from the tank and can confirm that Tony’s Mead is a very different take indeed. James told me that it is the oldest drink in the world, “made by women and the drink of legends”. Tony has made mead in the states where it is quite popular. And James reckons that the far east, especially Japan and China, will prove likely markets.

Amazing energy and innovation here. Must be in that Lough Gill water. Maybe in some other local liquid. Best of luck to the team here as they take Sligo brewing on to the world stage.

* That same evening, Lough Gill was awarded Best New Sligo Business 2017. James: “We have yet to reach our 1st anniversary brew day and we are extremely delighted to receive this award at such an early stage in our business.” Great to get honoured in your home town.

See also: Strandhill Food Festival
Sligo Cafés
Clo's Chocolates
Rugatino of Sligo
Embassy Steakhouse
The Swagman Rocks

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Taste the Sea, Sligo Food Trail

media release



Sligo Food Trail celebrates the Wild Atlantic Way
Launch of new video ‘Taste the Sea’
“Success breeds success” according to the old adage, and that certainly seems to be true for Sligo Food Trail who are shining a bright light on quality food in the county. The latest venture by this proactive group is a video entitled ‘Taste the Sea’ highlighting their many members along the Wild Atlantic Way and celebrating their food connections with the sea itself. Much of Sligo lies within easy reach of the coast and even the origins of the county name itself (derived from ‘Sligeach’ meaning ‘a shelly place’) hint at the historic links with the Atlantic.
Taste the Sea showcases Ireland’s Earliest Takeaway, a seashore exploration with archaeologist Auriel Robinson and mussel tasting experience on the seashore with Tra Ban Restaurant, oyster tasting from Sligo Bay with Wild Atlantic Oysters, a visit to award winning restaurant Eithna’s By the Sea in Mullaghmore and the inimitable Sushi Sisters with their delicious street food stall at Strandhill People’s Market. The interactive Food Experiences are a keystone of Sligo Food Trail’s offering combining activities and food. They encourage people to truly engage with the wonderful landscape giving just a taste of the delicious seafood on offer and making the Trail a really memorable part of their holiday.
“We’re thrilled to launch ‘Taste the Sea’ just in time for the tourist season. Video is proven as an effective way to reach visitors, showcasing our wonderful county around the world”, said Anthony Gray, Chairman of Sligo Food Trail, “Many of our members are along the Wild Atlantic Way and this video highlights them as well as some of the more than 30 popular Food Experiences which we have developed”.
The short, engaging video is one of a series of four Sligo Food Trail are making, featuring lively background music, from local group Moxie. The next in the series will be launched shortly and the entire series will be available on the website, on social media and through member websites.
Sligo Food Trail experiences are available for adults and families, and sometimes just for the younger foodies like the pizza making workshop for kids. Discover the superfood that is seaweed with an expert guide Dr. Prannie Rhatigan– and learn how to harvest and cook with it too.  There really is something for everyone from dining in the dark to whiskey, wine or craft beer tastings, tasting tours and from surfing and SUPping to foraging on the seashore or inland. Some Experiences are just an hour long, others a full day and several involve overnight accommodation – along with a tour of a deer farm or a chance to find your inner shepherd. Go into the wild outdoors in the caves or megalithic tombs of the Ox Mountains or whet your appetite for adventure, paddling on Lough Talt. Stay indoors and try bread making, a fermentation or jam making workshop. Or sit back, relax and enjoy a traditional afternoon tea in style. They’re really worth checking out.
Eithna O'Sullivan
The 70+ Sligo Food Trail members are an exciting mix of producers, markets, cafes, restaurants, craft beer, gastro pubs and accommodation scattered all around the county. Many are on the Wild Atlantic Way and others draw visitors inland to discover less known areas of this lovely and fascinating county. Since the Trail was launched just over a year ago, a steady stream of awards has been won by different members.
Information on Sligo Food Trail is readily available through the website (www.sligofoodtrail.ie), social media and an attractive printed map/brochure combination which is available in the Fáilte Ireland Tourist Information Offices as well as from members.
The project is funded by CEDRA, Dept. of Agriculture, Sligo County Council, LEO Sligo, Food Trail Members, Fáilte Ireland and Sligo Tourism Ltd.
www.sligofoodtrail.ie