“Full Traceable Guaranteed”

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Those are the words that appeared at the top of the menu at the MillStone Restaurant in Dublin, Ireland this evening. It’s obvious that sourcing of ingredients is an important component is this country, which is about the size of Nebraska.

Food is considerably more expensive in Dublin compared to Des Moines, but probably not much different from Chicago or New York.

It’s beautifully presented (see photo) and delicious. I ordered the Pan-fried Medallions of Saddleback Irish Pork Loin, stuffed with Tournafulla black pudding, served with colcannon mash (a mixture of potatoes and cabbage), horseradish cream and apple cider jus. Just reading the description made my mouth water, even though I was not sure what some of the items were.

The most common pig breed in Ireland is the Landrace, but chefs seem to like the Saddleback “heirloom” breed. It’s basically an old-fashioned Hampshire. I didn’t know what black pudding was, so I asked the chef. He seemed shocked that I didn’t know with my ignorance, so it must be a common dish in Ireland. Black pudding is a type of blood sausage made using rice, herbs and pig's blood.

Personally, I wasn’t that thrilled about the description, but he said, “You have to try it – you will love it.” It was quite tasty, but I can’t say I “loved” it.

In regard to the pork itself, those of us who live in the Midwest are pretty spoiled, so while this was an excellent meal, I didn’t think the pork was very different from what I would have had in the States.

Between the restaurants, pubs, coffee houses and pastry shops, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s palate. It seems most people in this area of the city are very interested in quenching their thirst. I’m here on vacation but have seen a lot of the countryside and have learned some interesting facts about Irish agriculture. I’ll tell you about some of them in my next post.

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michael    
kansas  |  May, 17, 2013 at 11:50 PM

Why do you think it's "obvious" that souce was important? Because it was on the menu? Did you ask any of the patrons if it was important? And how important? And why they thought it was important? Were they in doubt about it's safety or nutritional value? Ireland is part of the Great Nanny & Big Brother EU, where animal rightists are a very loud, powerful and tyranical minority that have driven producers out and prices up. Just as is happening in the U.S., a few suppliers of "humane" and "heritage" for the privileged few who can afford "guilt free" remain, while the common folk are fed by commerical operations in the former USSR and its "satellites, as well as from South America, Canada and the U.S. When you dine in upscale, expensive, locavore joints in the U.S., you'll see this same elitist crap regarding "sources". It's a Marketing Ploy that plays upon the ignorance and sense of "eco", "humane", "sustainability", "family farmer" guilt felt by those my family always described as, "having more money than brains". At your next stop where "source" seems important, ask some pointed questions of your fellow diners... not the folks behind the stove and the cash register.

JoAnn    
Iowa  |  May, 20, 2013 at 08:34 AM

Some valid points, Michael. No doubt it's "important" to the restaurant from a marketing standpoint - beyond that I can't say, but it's worth some follow-up, which we plan to do. Thanks for your your comments.

Ben Court    
Colorado  |  May, 20, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Why was it obvious that source is important?! Because unlike the US, Ireland and much of the EU take an interest in their food and don't just blindly believe labels and brands created by enormous conglomerates with more than questionable ethics. There's clearly a problem with the quality of food supply in the US, citizens ofIreland are a little more savvy!!!


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