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Fabulous Sprinkles of Flavour

Salmon Sprinkles from Gold as Gold Foods

I love an ‘aul food market or festival, so I do. But regularly going to food markets on a small island such as ours can get a bit Groundhog Dayish after a while, albeit a very enjoyable and flavour-filled Groundhog Day! So it was nice to stumble across Jack Healy’s “Wild Salmon Charqui”, a new product that I hadn’t seen before that faithful day in the Temple Bar Food Market.

The product, a salmon equivalent of beef jerky, is based on the native Indian method of preserving fish by drying. Jack has created a number of different flavours, both sweet and savoury, using garlic, soy sauce, maple syrup, Tabasco sauce, various herbs, and chilli to create a perfect high-protein, low-calorie snack which makes a great alternative to the usual snacks on offer. Although I like the jerky, or “charqui” as he calls it, it is the salmon sprinkles which he also sells which excites me the most. Let’s just say these are frickin’ brilliant! They are so versatile, and having a shelf-life of 12 months means that they are the perfect cupboard staple. Let me explain readers, the sprinkles (I’m sure he has another name for them, but it’s my blog, so sprinkles it is!) are dried wild salmon ground down into the size small breadcrumbs. You can use these babies in scrambled egg to give them gorgeous salmon flavour,  sprinkled on top of poached eggs and hollandaise sauce for Eggs Royale, on a baked potato with sour cream, sprinkled on soups, or with creamy pasta and a bit of parmesan. The permutations are endless!

Salmon Sprinkles from Good as Gold Foods
Added to that are the well-documented and proven health benefits of salmon:

* Reduces inflammation
* Lowers blood pressure
* Reduces the risk of cancer
* Reduces the risk of heart disease
* Improves brain function
* Helps makes your skin only gorgeous!

Jack is not currently trading at Temple Bar (in fairness, it’s nippy out there!), but a new website and new markets are currently being planned, so if you’d like more information or order some product, you can contact him on his Facebook page

Let’s make this a year to really get behind Irish businesses and startups, so that our economy and our subsequent welfare become less reliant on external factors.  The innovation and entrepreneurial spirit certainly exists in abundance. And with any luck, we should be seeing this particular brilliant product in supermarkets and restaurants throughout the country very soon.

Images borrowed from As Good as Gold Facebook page
FOOD NEWS PLACES

St. Patrick’s Festival Foodie Events

St. Patricks Day Foodie Festivals

St. Patrick’s Day has come on from the old days when it is was just a convoy of floats from various alarm companies and supermarkets with their chosen (and frozen) employees waving to the bewildered public. Now, it has upped the steroids to Tour-de-France levels,  stirring up every molecule of national pride into a frenzy, and bringing much-needed tourism yo-yos into the national coffers. It is quite simply epic! So celebrate what’s good about our fair land and take part in some of the foodie events happening this week in the capital:

DUBLIN BAY PRAWN FESTIVAL, HOWTH

Howth Dublin Bay Prawn Festival
Running six years now, this extremely popular festival in Howth has been moved forward to Friday, the 18th to Sunday the 20th, to coincide with the St. Patrick’s festival. Howth’s best restaurants and bars all serve up an array of delicious seafood in a variety of different ways to suit every palate. There will also be cooking demos, street entertainment, amusements, and fireworks. If you’re not a fan of seafood, you can always pick up some delicious nibbles at the farmer’s market on Saturday and Sunday, and just soak up the fabulous atmosphere. For more information, visit their website dublinbayprawnfestival.ie/


THE IRISH BREAKFAST: AFTERNOON TALKS

Irish Breakfast Talks
Learn about the past, present, and future of Irish breakfasts. Find out what goes into black pudding, and learn about the tradition of smoking fish. This afternoon of talks and tastings takes place from 12-3pm on Saturday, March 19th 63 Merrion Square, home to The Royal Society of Antiquaries. There will also be a mini market in one of the drawing rooms with products from Alchemy Juice, Broughgammon Farm, Arun Bakery, McNally Family Farm and Burren Smokehouse. Tickets cost €15 and are available from stpatricksfestival.ie

IRISH CRAFT BEER & WHISKEY VILLAGE

Irish Craft Beer & Whiskey Festival
This festival has actually been running for five years and is a true celebration of beer, cider, whiskey, artisan food and live music. Housed indoors in the RDS, you don’t have to worry about the weather  The festival runs from Wednesday, the 16th to Saturday, the 19th and is open until 11pm weekdays, and 11.30 on Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost €10 which includes, wait for it, a festival pint glass! Tickets are available at the door on online from irishbeerandwhiskeyfestival.com

GUINNESS STOREHOUSE

Guinness Storehouse
Or why not take a trip to the home of the black stuff? Trust me, this is well worth the trip and the entrance fee, and no better time to go than this week! The Storehouse festival runs from 09.30-18.00 between the 16th to the 20th. There’ll be marching bands, céili dancers, and live music from Na Fìanna. In addition to the usual samplings of Guinness brews, there will be complimentary tastings of Guinness infused food. The views over Dublin from the Gravity Bar are worth the trip alone. Tickets can be bought at the storehouse or online from guinness-storehouse.com

 

FOOD NEWS HEALTH

Mythbusting | Warm Water & Lemon

Warm water and lemon

So I’m sure all of you have, at some stage, heard of the wonders of drinking hot water and lemon in the morning. In the age of Facebook, the popularity of such fads increases exponentially, so that it soon becomes, or at least appears to be, sound scientific fact. Further endorsements by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Claudia Schiffer, go a long way to giving it some extra clout.  So with that in mind, this little guinea pig decided to give this fad a go for the month of February and see if there was anything behind it all. So what benefits did I have to look forward to?

  1. Improved Digestion: This is based on the idea that the citric acid in lemon juice contributes to supporting an optimal acidic environment in the stomach. In addition, lemons are high in minerals and vitamins and help loosen toxins in the digestive tract.
  2. Clear Skin: The vitamin C contained within lemon helps decrease wrinkles and blemishes. Furthermore, because of its antiseptic qualities, it helps the skin purify itself from the inside out.
  3. Improved immune system. Due to the anti-bacterial and high vitamin C content of lemons, it helps build up your immune system and fight off colds and illness.
  4. Energising and mood enhancing. By not drinking caffeine-rich drinks such as tea or coffee in the morning which cause energy levels to crash mid-morning , warm water and lemon should help you feel energised and awake. This is facilitated further by the alleged mood-enhancing effects of lemon scent.
  5. Aids weight loss. Because of the pectin fibres contained in lemons, food cravings are said to be reduced.

So what was the result? Ehhhh, not quite sure. There were no tangible differences to the ‘aul digestion, perhaps a few extra toilet visits each day, which proponents would put down to the diuretic qualities of lemon. A bit tedious maybe, but just think of all those toxins flushing down the toilet! In terms of weight loss and clear skin – oh, how we laughed! The amount of vitamin C contained in your morning cuppa is by far too low to have any tangible impact. A lemon isn’t even the favourite child of the Vitamin C family – peaches, kiwis and blackcurrants all have more! And what about the mood enhancing? Well, nothing says “happy days” more than a mug of hot water compared to a frothy caffé latte, now does it. But hey, at least there was no mid-morning slump.

At this stage you’re probably thinking, well no more lemons for cynical Cindy here. And you’d be wrong. Apparently, it takes about 21 days to form a new habit, so this new habit has been formed and I’m in it for the long haul. Hey who knows, maybe I have the cleanest digestive tract in the northern hemisphere!

 

 

 

 

FOOD NEWS HEALTH

Matcha Do About Nothing?

Matcha Latte

There has been a lot of buzz about Matcha tea in the last year or so. In case you haven’t heard, Matcha is a variety of high-quality and, dare I say, bloody pricey, green tea, used originally in tea ceremonies by Zen Buddhist monks who valued its health-giving attributes. It has been around since the 12th century, which is why you probably won’t have seen it on Dragon’s Den at any time. However, Celebland and the West in general, in its desperate quest to find the next superfood, has latched on to it like it’s the best thing since the selfie stick!

So what’s so great about the green stuff?

  • It’s full of antioxidants including the all-powerful EGCg (sure wouldn’t you know that would be involved). In the Premier League of antioxidants, let’s just say Matcha is dead cert for winning the cup, and spinach is facing relegation. That’s how good this stuff is!
  • It boosts metabolism and burns calories (burn calories, you say!)
  • Calms the mind and aids concentration
  • It’s rich in fibre (ahem, say no more!)
  • Lowers cholesterol

So what does it taste like?

Eh, green tea obvs! But if, like me, you can’t stand the taste of green tea, all is not lost. Mix a spoonful in with your favourite smoothie, or into a glass of apple juice, and it is very tasty indeed. There are a number of online retailers selling Matcha powder, or you can purchase it from the organic supermarket group. If you’re out and about, you can get it as a Latte instead of your normal coffee fix from the numerous independent cafés around the country. But be warned, the taste does vary somewhat depending on the type of milk used e.g. almond or coconut. So if you don’t like it the first time, give it a go somewhere else. Your wellbeing will thank you for it!

Here are my top three places in Dublin city to fill your Matcha Latte prescription:

1. Kaph, 31 Drury Street, Dublin 2
2. Cracked Nut, 71 Camden Street, Dublin 2
3. Oolong Flower Power, 4 Stephens Street Lower, Dublin 2