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Hi Bold Bakers!
Born and raised in Ireland, of course I am biased to my homeland and want to show it in a beautiful light. However I don’t think I’m going to have to twist your arm too much once you see what amazing Eats I have had on my travels.
WATCH MY IRISH FOOD TOUR VIDEO
For last week’s episode of Gemma Eats, I took a trip down memory lane and went back to some places I went as a child with my family. It could have been my emotions but the food still tastes as good as it did back then.
On this trip I ventured out to some newer spots in Wexford, Ireland that are locals favorites serving some good ole’ Irish dishes that we are famously known for.
I headed out at breakfast time and I was hungry. There is one cure for this in Ireland, and that’s a Full Irish Breakfast! So I hopped in the car and took a trip out to Button & Spoon in Bridgetown. This place opened up while I have been living in the U.S. but when I go home friends are always recommending me to take a trip there so I finally did and it was well worth it.
Button and Spoon is such a lovely example of what Irish Tea Time is all about. This place has only been around for 3 years but the building has always been the center of the town. Button & Spoon’s baked goods are made right here on the premises. And I must say they are definitely Big & BOLD.
A full Irish Breakfast is something that I can only get when I’m home so it was mandatory that I ordered it. After a short while, I received a huge hot plate of food in front of me. Now this breakfast is not for the faint of heart. It is usually ordered when you have ‘overindulged’ the night before and you need soakage to cure what ails you. For me an Irish breakfast has to consist of beans, fried egg, sausages, pudding and fried mushrooms. This had that and then some.
I realized that pork is a reoccurring theme on our breakfast plate. We have pork sausages, rashers (aka bacon) and black pudding. All biproducts of the tasty pig. But wait, there was more….throw in eggs, grilled tomatoes and mushroom to name a few and you have for yourself a Full Irish. Breakfast of champions!
Nuala, the owner of Button and Spoon, along with her husband, Nigel, set out to create more than just a cafe…this place is all about food bringing people together.
After that breakfast, what I needed was a nap…but I still had more Eats to show you!
Wexford is located on the Southeastern coast of Ireland so you can’t but get amazing fresh fish and shellfish here. I drove to Kilmore Quay (aka Key) to partake in some amazing Fish and Chips at The Saltee Chipper. And not just any fish. Battered, flaky, lovely FISH. And chips (or fries), of course!
Fish and Chips are our fast food. We don’t have restaurant chains or restaurants in strip mall. In true Irish fashion, we keep it local. And it doesn’t get much more local then your chipper.
Even if the The Saltee Chipper wasn’t located next to a harbor, it makes you feel like you’re at sea. Local chippers are usually small operations that have a cozy feel to them.
Being Summertime chippers are making their chips out of “new potatoes” or “Wexford potatoes.” Let me tell you something for nothing….if you haven’t had chips make from Wexford potatoes then you haven’t lived! Yes, that might seem dramatic but that’s because they are that good!
Wexford potatoes have a very short season during the Summer so you have to get while the going is good.
The fish is straight out of the water opposite the chipper. Boats go out on a daily basis for weeks at a time bringing back fresh fish and shellfish not only to be sold locally but to be frozen and shipped around the world.
Once again, fresh and local is what Ireland does best.
What I did have too much of was the cold and wind…but this place was another successful find.
Fortunately, I had good weather during other parts of my trip home. One day we decided to take a tour of The Irish National Heritage Park . This gorgeous place brings 9000 years of Irish history to life in a lush forest and wetland.
And I even gate crashed a school field trip, which was funny because I used to come here on my school tours. Our guide was delightful telling stories to these kids only like the Irish could….
Of course, a big part of experiencing how the Irish lived had to involve food. We saw a giant stone for grinding grains to make bread. But the coolest thing was seeing how they baked back then…No Stoves. No Ovens…No Microwaves…only this…a Fulacht Fiadh…or an ancient Irish cooker.
Stones were heated on a fire and then dropped into this pit of water to slowly cook meat. On this day, more Irish pork! I didn’t expect to eat on this stop but I have to say the pork was slow cooked to perfection: lovely, salty and perfect!
The Irish National Heritage Park is like taking a step back in time. It’s an amazing park that allows you to feel and touch a piece of Irish history. I’m definitely going back to stay overnight for one of their special events.
Sometimes you have to travel far away, or even back in time to realize where you came from. I’m grateful for my Irish roots but also that my branches extend around the world. It’s my love of great food that keeps me grounded wherever I go.
Coming up next week on Gemma Eats…in Barcelona, Spain!!!
I find my new favorite churro…
A Breakfast destination that I’ve been dying to try…
And where I think the Cronut really came from.
Tune in right here and on my YouTube Channel every Monday at 8:30am Pacific Time for more Gemma Eats!