Turkeys might not be voting for Christmas, but a Kerry County councillor is hoping to give them a reprieve this festive season by calling for more beef and lamb on party menus.
Cllr Dan McCarthy says Christmas partygoers in Kerry are being forced to eat too much turkey at this time of year — and should be given a choice of beef or lamb.
Mr McCarthy, who is the manager of the mart in Kenmare, said local farmers and businesses are losing out by the exclusion of Kerry lamb and beef and he feels the public would also like more of a choice at this time of year.
“Lamb and beef is off the menu in most hotels and restaurants now. There is no beef or lamb on Christmas menus,” he said.
He said Kerry County Council, which funds Taste Kerry, a directory promoting food producers in the county, should “insist” beef or lamb is on the menu at parties in the lead up to Christmas.
A motion calling for an advertising campaign to “encourage” the sale and use of local produce was backed by his fellow councillors.
However, Killarney chef Paul Trevyaud says that while his restaurant is probably the only one in Kerry not to feature turkey and ham at the moment — hotels and restaurants are simply catering to people’s tastes.
“We associate turkey and ham with Christmas and it’s probably what the majority of people are looking for at this time of year. But I am a traditionalist, I reserve it for Christmas Day, and I refuse point blank to put turkey or ham on the menu, ” he said.
Mr Treyvaud, who is also a food writer and presenter of a food programme on Irish TV, said people’s tastes in Kerry, and tourists’ tastes, are still very much in favour of red meat.
Steak and rack of lamb are the two most popular choices all year round in his restaurant in High St, Killarney, and the meat is all sourced locally.
“Why forgo it this time of year?” he asked.
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