There is a growing trend in Cork of interest in local artisan food, symbolizing quality and good taste. Products sold in stores, restaurants and cafes are often advertised with the name of the local farm to show this stamp of quality.
According to Dr. Colin Sage from University College Cork, the traditional Cork dish was bits of offal boiled in milk with onions. Cork has a history as a gathering place for butchering and export. The meat was salted, barreled, and exported. Lokal people took the leavings – blood, offal, organ meats – and made fresh blood sausage out of it (with much more blood in it that modern puddings). So the traditional Corkonian diet of more ancient times was made up largely of fermented milk, whey, cheese and bits of meat.
The greatest changes have come in the last 20 years, mostly from an increase in fast food chains and processed food items in the markets.
(I must add here that processed food is often made up of bits of meat with dairy fat, salt and sugar, so it’s often the same thing in disguise with added chemicals!)
Dr. Sage recommends that we eat less meat than the current national averages, replacing some of it with vegetables, which would benefit us health-wise as well. And summer is definitely a good time for our pledge participants to replace meat with vegetables. Andrew has a kitchen garden burdgeoning with all sorts of delicious specimens, so he is well-equipped to embark on his 4-week pledge of a meatless diet:
Day 1. Started by gathering good stuff from the garden; selleri, beets, lettuce, kale, spinach, and adding carrots, peppers and broccoli from the fridge. I brought back an old ’80s classic – celery root slices fried in sesame seeds and flour, along with the beets and broccoli. Fried in butter and with cream on top, it tasted better than I remembered (butter and cream help everything). So, no longings on the first day…
As we wrote earlier, Marlene was facing a family party on Sunday:
Birthday party at my parents’. Since there are no vegetarians in my family and I hadn’t told anyone about my experiment, nothing was planned for me to eat as a meatless main dish. So in my case, there was the choice of a baked potatoe with butter and cucumber and carrot sticks, while the others got roast pork with mushrooms and onions. It wasn’t that I missed the meat as such, but I could have used a meal with a little more kick to it. And that’s probably how it goes with meat-eaters. We aren’t very innovative with side dishes as vegetarians are – something which has really made an impression on me, and that I intend to change in the future.
Is your meat diet is rooted in family tradition? Is there any reason to make a change?