It’s funny the things that stay with you. One of my highlights of last week’s incredible food trip around the sunny South East (in the company of five young Euro-toques chefs and the lovely Caoimhe ni Dhuibhinn from Failte Ireland) was a quiet walk around the island that Waterford Castle calls home. I knew there was a special week ahead, and that walk served to work up my appetite both physically and mentally for all that was to come. On my way back towards the first meal of the trip (which you can read more about here) I dawdled for a nibble on the carpet of wild garlic laid out on the woodlands floor.
The potent, fiery flavour of the wild garlic leaves certainly woke my tastebuds up – and proved the perfect palate opener not just for the meal ahead but for the whole trip. Indeed, wild garlic featured in various forms in various meals throughout the trip – and no wonder, considering it is one of the great gifts of springtime and is ready for the foraging all over the country.
Look out for it in shady woodlands, or seek it out in restaurants and delis all over the country. As just one example, anyone up in beautiful Mayo in coming weeks should pop into Rua Deli and/or Cafe Rua where the menu and deli shelves will be full of the wonderful stuff for their Wild Garlic Weekend (13th & 14th April). Expect wild garlic
sausages from Kelly’s of Newport alongside wild garlic flavoured butter to spread on wild garlic soda bread (which you can get a recipe for here). In the cafe you can order wild garlic and potato soup, fritatta with St Tola’s goat’s cheese and wild garlic, and chicken wrapped in Gubbeen bacon and wild garlic.
The weekend will wrap up with a ‘Charity Brunch’ at Café Rua on Sunday from 11am-4pm with all profits raised being donated to Mayo Cancer Support Association. Check out caférua.com for more information and recipes at or call them at +353 (0)94 928 6072.
You can read more on wild garlic at last spring’s post here or download a template from the Wild & Slow website – and keep an eye out for details of this year’s Wild & Slow festival which is due to run in November once again.