Showing posts with label Silver Darlings. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Silver Darlings. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Farmgate. Ireland on a Plate

The Farmgate
Ireland on a Plate
Tripe & onions, and Drisheen
Right in the heart of Cork City is the Farmgate Café. Here, the world meets Cork food, fresh from the nearby seas, local fields and from the English Market downstairs.

As we mingled with customers coming and going last week, we could hear the out of town accents but the loyal locals too were there in force. The Farmgate has managed for more than twenty years to cater for the tastes of both the jet-setter and the native. And managed it all so well that it would be hard to pick a better interface for the diners from near and far.

 Of course, you often hear this advice when heading off on holidays: Eat where the locals eat. Presumably our visitors have heard that too and know that they won't get much more local than the Farmgate.

With that in mind, I started with a very local dish: tripe and onions, and drisheen (€5.50). You may also have it as a main course. I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten it here before though I’ve had tripe in various forms, usually abroad, over the years. Indeed, when I leaned my head towards the plate, I thought I got a whiff like that of the French Andouillette (chitterlings) and I’ve read since that they sometimes use tripe in the preparation.

The whole plaice to herself!
But the taste and flavours, of both the tripe and drisheen, are quite delicate and rather delicious. You do need the onions for both texture and flavour and the trick is not to overuse them. The balance was perfect here.

CL meantime, a veteran of tripe and drisheen and responsible for bringing lots of it to relatives in the UK, keeping it fresh overnight in the sink of their cabin on the old Innisfallen, was enjoying her Toonsbridge ricotta and tomato compôte on toasted sourdough (7.00).

Cured fish, with that delicious herring in the bowl in the foreground
 Her mains, fish of the day, was brilliant. A whole plaice, with a stack of gratin potato and a side of peas and cabbage, looked well and tasted even better. I was a little jealous when I saw it appear.

But my own mains was another gem: A Cured Fish plate with organic green leaves (14.00). Highlight here was the little bowl of Mustard Marinated Herring, one of the series of lovely herring products by Silver Darlings and widely available.

Quite a tempting list of desserts and I was tending towards the organic yogurt with Ceapach Choinn honey and nuts but opted for a coffee in the end. Not just any old coffee. The Bicerin coffee was a bit special, and is native to Turin. Mirco, a native of North East Italy, was serving us at the time. It wasn’t quite the layered Turin version in a glass but I enjoyed my cuppa made up of a double espresso and a shot of chocolate and cream.

While I sipped, I took in the women around the place. No, not the diners, but the huge hanging posters advertising a series of events taking place in the Farmgate this year, in collaboration with UCC scholars, poets and writers, commemorating the unsung women of 1916 under the general title of “Women of the South: Radicals and Revolutionaries .

With that, and the Farmgate’s long-standing Poetry Wall , and the food of course, you’ll know where you are. And all, from near and far, are welcome to come and enjoy the taste of this place called Ireland.

English Market
Princes Street
Email: (general enquiries)
Twitter: @farmgatecafe

Monday, June 27, 2016

Taste of the Week. Silver Darlings Pickled Balsamic Herring

Taste of the Week

Silver Darlings Pickled Balsamic Herring

O we left the homegrounds in the month of June
And to Canny Shiels we soon were bearing
With a hundred cran of silver darlings
That we'd taken from the shoals of herring*

It comes in a small jar but our Taste of the Week packs quite a punch! Bought a jar recently of the Balsamic and enjoyed it very much indeed. Basically, what you get is Wild Atlantic herring pieces marinated in sweet balsamic vinegar pickle with onions, dill, red sandalwood and winter warming spices.

The back garden is full of salads these days, to that’s what we used with the herring. Silver Darlings themselves says they are an excellent partner for soft, mild goat’s cheese or Greek style cheese, perhaps on a crusty bread or in a salad with piquant watercress or rocket. This herring has fantastic rich bronze colour against the white cheese and green leafs. So, over to you. These full of flavour jars are a must try!

Silver Darlings (read all about them here) have quite a choice. You can try: Dill Herring, Mustard Herring, Star of the Sea Herring, Pimento Herring, Fennel and Tarragon Herring, plus the Balsamic of course. And, a bonus, herring is good for you!

Two things to know:
The curing process not only preserves the fish feature but it also completely dissolves the notorious herring bones.
Don’t keep these in a cupboard as the contents will bubble out. Put them in the fridge.

Silver Darlings Seafood Limited
10 Islandview, Corbally Road,
Corbally, Limerick
Tel. +353 86 0661132 / Kirsti O Kelly
Twitter: @silverdarlings1  

*Ewan MacColl’s Shoals of Herring  (as sung by the Clancy Brothers)