As I type, I am listening to Bruce Springsteen rocking the RDS on the 17th July. I have given up all pretence of a sunny summer so late into the season. So I am going to shelve writing about BBQ’s and salads and write about comfort food in these dark, dank days. Because lets be honest, food and eating are one of life’s greatest pleasures.
I had been saving this piece for Autumn, but, well, yeah, ‘nough said. It was on a wet , blustery October weekend in Doolen, thirteen years ago, that I tasted my first bowl of steaming seafood chowder served with homemade Irish brown soda bread. I have been hooked ever since. This dish is so quintessentially Irish that is does deserve a whole column. Possibly even a song.
And the good people of Kinsale agree. This year Kinsale held their second National Chowder Cook Off on the 27 May in the grounds of Actons Hotel. As the seafood capital of Ireland, there is no better place to host this event. Chefs from all over the country competed with the public tasting and voting for their favourite chowder. The West Bar from Westport picked up first prize, but the competition was stiff I tell you! It’s a great family day out with plenty to do and everything in easy walking distance. For a taste of Kinsale at home, the Bluehaven Food Company produce gorgeous chowders that you can buy in most supermarkets.
As a ‘blow in’ all I can give you is my experience in eating many a bowl of homemade chowder and trying to recreate my favourite versions. These are some of the things that I like in my chowder, and good news, they are packed with nutritional benefits. Chowder is an easy, tasty way to get your recommended two portions of oily fish a week.
Well done Kinsale – see you next year!
All of these recipes and much more can be found in my book Delish