The Menu is heading to beautiful Ballycotton, in East Cork for the annual Seafood and Shanties (June 3 & 4).
There are water-based activities, musical entertainment, cooking demos and kids’ entertainment, including The Wobbly Circus and the Junior Einstein Science Club.
After that, it will be about-face for Neidín as The Menu heads west towards the Shannon for the inaugural Limerick International Food Truck Festival (until June 5) in the wonderful People’s Park, with over 60 food trucks from over 14 countries offering an impossible array of dining choices (including lobster burger, a Belgian artisan chocolate, shark and crocodile!) along with live family-friendly entertainment and plenty of craft beers.
The indefatigable chef Neven Maguire, patron of the truly splendid Organic Centre, lends his talents once more with a cooking demo (June 11) in the award-winning Co Leitrim home of one of Ireland’s most important horticultural institutions.
Make a day out of it and take in the highly informative garden tours, including plenty of growing tips, before settling in as Neven cooks up a storm, using the finest Irish organic produce.
No doubt there will be nibbles aplenty but in-house award-winning Grass Roof Café is furnishing a special menu for the day.
West Cork-based Flavour.ie is teaming up with West Cork Eggs, Health Coach Alison Kingston and Taste Cork in a commendable bid to tackle child obesity, hoping to persuade local consumers to opt for an ‘Eggsellent’ healthy balanced breakfast (including eggs), instead of the nutritional nightmare of sugared cereals and sweet spreads on pappy sliced pan and are beginning their initiative in Glandore NS, with a brief cookery egg-based cookery demo and gifts of West Cork free range eggs and an Eggsellent Breakfasts recipe booklet.
One of the more egregious iniquities of our system of farming-by-bureaucracy means the bulk of our apple consumption consists of drastically inferior imports while native apples make up a mere 5% of the overall total, a heinous state of affairs altogether when you consider Ireland has a superb growing climate for our own myriad varieties.
But there are stirrings among more conscious consumers, awareness that native apples are infinitely more delicious than bland supermarket offerings but also offer huge nutritional and environmental benefits as local, seasonal produce.
Much of this new awareness has arisen from the burgeoning craft cider market, now offering some truly superb draughts, but, equally, we are becoming more drawn to premium Irish non-alcoholic apple juice, which utterly outclasses imported, bland, sugared syrups on the supermarket shelves.
The latest to grace The Menu’s lips is Attyflin Estate Sparkling Irish Apple Juice, whereby a gentle carbonation adds a spritely lift to a powerful and complex pressing of smokey tannins and medium acidity, all beautifully balanced in a sweet tart juice.
An unadulterated glass is an elemental and healthful pleasure but The Menu was driven to add a tincture of very splendid Longueville House Apple Brandy, all served up over crushed ice and fresh mint, yielding the class of temptation that comes from only the most forbidden of fruits.
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