After a long day in the Irish sun, hunger can cloud the vision of many beautiful sights. But, food in Ireland is not eaten simply just to get rid of hunger. When eating breakfast, lunch and dinner the meals are cooked to be enjoyed. For every meal, groups of people are eating together and enjoying each others company through conversation. A strong commonality between all of these meals is that they are locally grown and cooked.
A type of food that is very prominent in Ireland is fish. This is because the country is surrounded by water. A group of us were able to go to the Killary Farm one afternoon, which is located in a bay area. We had a special lunch this day, different from the most common lunch being sandwiches and vegetable soup. The Killary farm grows mussels in the bay right in front of the farm. Simon, harvests the mussels while his wife occasionally cooks them. The mussels grow on ropes for 2 years then get washed and harvested to ship out to local restaurants. Simon told us the mussels come off the ropes “the moment you touch them”. The mussels go through extensive washing to wash off the possibility of e-coli being on them and to make it safe to send to restaurants. Simon’s wife boiled a large plate of fresh mussels for us after we went out on the boat with Simon. She served us mussels with lemon with a side of soda bread she home made. The mussels had a little bit of salt, white wine, onions, and garlic on them to add flavor. Like many other foods we tried in Ireland, the seasonings were not heavy. They eat their food more naturally, and it tastes just as good because they use fresh products.
To eat the mussels, we used the dark colored shells from a previously eaten one to scoop out the fish. Oysters, are also a type of fish they caught in the bay. These were also prepared by Simons wife. She explained to us you eat oysters by the whole and without chewing them. The plain but salty taste of oysters is what makes them so appealing to eat. With fish, there is usually a side served with them because the taste is so strong. One example would be brown bread, freshly made from natural resources. No matter what the meal is in Ireland the plate being served is fresh, balanced, and locally made.