It never ceases to amaze me; year after year at this time of the season, more and more food related festivals are sprouting all over the country. With more and more interesting producers entering the race. From seaweed cookies to cider, chocolates ( for a small country, there are a lot of chocolatiers on the Island) the craft beer scene is “doing 90” and of course it is a great time to be a cheese lover in Ireland! The other day, a Spanish tourist came to visit, he wanted to try some Irish cheese, anything at all but No Irish Cheddar! The request was straight forward, so I gave him a slice of Hegarty’s, from Cork. He closed his eyes with delight and approved by saying: ” this is good, what is it?” I just said: “Irish Cheddar”. My remark or rather the slight poke at his Ibernian pride made his eyes squint, but the guy took it well. My point is, Ireland when it comes to Artisan food, or whatever you want to call it, is now playing in the big kids’ yard!