Sunday, June 3, 2018

Ireland’s Green Larder by Margaret Hickey

From the Irish Times:
Ireland, wrote the Venerable Bede in the 8th century, “far surpasses Britain… The island abounds in milk and honey; nor is there any want of vines, fish, and fowl”. Not everyone has always shared Bede’s enthusiasm about Irish food; indeed we are often anxious that our fare pales in comparison to the great food traditions of our continental cousins.

Margaret Hickey’s beautifully written new crowdfunded book on Irish food gives the lie to such insecurity. Skillfully weaving divergent threads from literature, poetry, and historical observations into a “great tapestry of Irish food history”, Hickey shows that our “green and life-giving larder” is worth celebrating.

Hickey’s fascinating book shows that the history of our food is not just an antiquarian curiosity, but a window on the wider history of Ireland itself, “a story of what grows on her soil, the creatures that live on her hills and in her waters and the work of human hands, passing life on to the next generation”. In exploring that story, Hickey has produced an innovative book of great interest.

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