It’s the ruby juice from a ripe strawberry as it runs down my chin.
The golden sheen of a smear of butter, so yellow it could only come from grass-fed cows.
The pop of elderflower champagne, and the gentle buzz of its fizz in my glass.
Earthy, soil-like smell from roasting fresh beetroot in the oven.
Steam escaping from a pot of boiled potatoes, filling the room, fogging my glasses and making me smile. “Yum, yum, pig’s bum, cabbage and potatoes.”
Sweet gur cake, washed down with strong tea, makes me think of the generations who have eaten it before, and wonder if my children will eat it in the same way.
Milk moustaches on a giggling 3-year-old.
Picking blackberries and coming home with a quarter of those we picked.
Cod so light it falls away from my fork. It tastes pure, clean and nothing like the sea.
Prawns, crab claws and mussels, cooked in that Irish butter and flavoured with tender garlic.
Bitter apples that taste sweeter for the scrumping.
It’s egg in a cup with a knob of butter and a crack of black pepper, eaten with a spoon and toast soldiers.
A ladle of coddle or stew, mopped up with a crust of soda bread.
Creamy porridge made with the finest oats in the world.
The sizzle of bacon under the grill, accompanied by the quiet pfft of the fat crisping (and sometimes the “whomp” of the grill catching fire).
Come to think of it, the crisp snap of brittle crackling followed by succulent roast pork.
Potatoes; waxy, floury, covered in butter. All the sizes, all the varying flavours.
It’s a kaleidoscope of tomatoes, hanging from the vine, sweet for the picking.
You know what it is? It’s the taste of home.
I’ve not mentioned a brand name here. We have the best of ingredients, great producers, passionate advocates of great food. What does Irish food taste like to you?
Just FYI in case you never heard about Irish food before, the following terms do not apply to Irish food:
- Car Bomb
- Black & Tan
- Lucky Charms
- Anything with the term “St Patty” on it. #PaddyNotPatty
- Clover – It’s Shamrock, something completely different