Unfortunately, I am a very picky eater. Coming to Ireland has really forced me out of my comfort zone. First of all, I do not eat a lot. I am a snacker. My biggest challenge was filling my stomach up enough to last me until the next meal. After many different meals here, I have noticed that, surprisingly, the food options are pretty much the same to the food back home. Those differences I have noticed are the words used to describe the food.
For instance, when ordering food, you must be clear on exactly what you want. Asking for “chips” means you are asking for french fries. If you ask for “crisps” you will receive potato chips. What we think of as ham could be “bacon” on the menu, while what we think is bacon is a rasher. It took time adjusting to these differences, but I still learn something new each day.
Food here, also, is locally grown. The Eco-village took pride in their community garden. Each morning, the people who lived in the community were able to pick out the freshly grow vegetables. Johanna, the wonderful woman who cooked for us 16 students each day during our stay in Cloughjordan, used the vegetables she picked out that morning in her meals. One lunch she made us a lasagna with all of the home-grown veggies, such as carrots. Even all the salads I have come across are fresh. The salads here are not just bowls of leaves, they incorporate tomatoes, carrots, onion, beets, cucumbers, and anything else desirable. The fresh food goes past just the vegetables, it goes to the meats as well. The beef here is “organically grown” or like our bus driver Joe said, “at least here you know what your cows are eating before you eat them.” The cattle are mainly pasture fed which gives the beef that amazingly flavorful, and “clean” taste. The fresh taste of the food is wonderful, something I will not forget.