Smoked Mackerel Terrine with Teff Pan Cakes

Franck aka Hungry Breton and Sally Barnes from Woodcock Smokery

I met Sally for the first time 16 years ago; somewhere in 2000. It was quite a day really, the launch of the “Slow Food” movement in Ireland. Three Italians had just landed in Dublin to promote the franchise and a press conference was being held in a newly opened and brave wine bar, just off Stephen’s Green. “Ely”, on Ely’s place and still running and going strong. A fresh idea always passes the test of time in my book, as long as you stay faithful to your idea. My cheese bosses sent me over to make a display of the best Irish produces the island had to offer. Giana Ferguson from Gubbeen cheese and Sally Barnes from Woodcock Smokery were there to help and represent their products. The food critics were gathering downstairs, sharpening pens and licking fingers for an adequate and professional flick on the yet blank notebook leaves. I liked Sally straight away, cracking jokes with her other West Cork friend, their candour unintimidated by the approaching  journalists, ready to feast on a still under confident Ireland. One of Sally’s friends from South Korea spent a great deal of time making beautiful smoked mackerel sushi, just to be nice, just to be different and also to show how cool and open Ireland had become. A sweet over middle aged lady ( or at least that’s what I thought), with a sober Mac and a black leather handbag hung inside her elbow, approached the table and ate one of the Sushi; she looked at me with squinting eyes, while our young Korean friend bowed to her in a thankful and deferential respect. Then “The Lady” opened her gob:

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Wonderful Life

Choice 2
Holy Gubbeen Cheese

As I explained in my previous post Breton Cake with apples, my boss sent me on a trip to West Cork with our new Dublin staff; the company I work for, Sheridan’s Cheesemongers, has open new counters in the Capital’s Irish Dunnes Stores; he gave me the job of taking my young colleagues Emma, Philippa and William to where it all started, a land where life is good, wonderful even! “Best place to live in Ireland” I have heard in a recent study; that it may well be, but if you are into artisan food in general and farmhouse cheese in particular, you may well be on to a winner here! Plus, West Cork is not only gentler when it comes to our insular climates; it is also quite easy on the eye… It has been 16 years since I was over, where we had a wonderful holiday in Glengariff with my Dad and my sister who had just landed in Ringaskiddy.

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