"Darina Allen's beautiful and unpretentious vision of cooking is connected to the land, its seasons, and to the artisan producers. I find this book important and irresistible." -- Alice Waters, Chez Panisse
"One of the reasons Irish cooking is starting to become a serious topic is in large part to Allen, whose advocacy of traditions and slow food has made her Ireland’s answer to Alice Waters." -- Huffington Post
"Ms. Allen’s stature as an educator and activist is on a par with that of Ms. (Alice) Waters, Julia Child and Jamie Oliver, all chefs whose ideas expanded far beyond the kitchen." -- The New York Times
"Allen is the most enthusiastic ambassador of the greatness of Irish food..." -- Gourmet.com
Darina Allen, founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork, Ireland, has written a good number of wonderful cookbooks. And now she's just revised and updated her classic "Irish Traditional Cooking," written 20 years ago when she was just beginning her career as teacher, author, TV cook -- and, interestingly, founder of the first farmers' markets in Ireland. About 15 years go, she writes in her introduction, she realized that "with the passing of one more generation, a whole culinary tradition, with all its fascinating regional variations, was in imminent danger of being lost. That was the starting point for this book. Writing it has been a labor of salvage as well as love." She explains that "while traditional Irish cooking stems, in the main, from simple farmers, it also embraces the more sophisticated food served in the grand houses of the Anglo-Irish gentry." I haven't had a chance to cook from the book yet, but I've picked out some recipes to try: Irish nettle soup for the nettles coming up in the garden after the rains, poached salmon with Irish butter sauce, Ballymaloe Irish stew, roast rib of beef with batter pudding, horseradish sauce and gravy, bacon and cabbage, and a recipe for steak and kidney pie that dates from 1907. There's a recipe for funeral ham -- i.e., cold ham to be served at the wake. I like the sound of potato and caraway seed cakes, too, and Irish apple cake. And of course, I'm going to try her recipe for Irish soda bread. (S. Irene Virbila Los Angeles Times, January 5, 2013
Ireland's rich culinary heritage is brought to life in this comprehensive and entertaining appreciation of more than 300 traditional dishes. Each recipe is complemented by tips, tales, historical insights and common Irish customs, many of which have been passed down from one generation to the next through the greatest of oral traditions. Darina's fascination with Ireland's culinary heritage gives great detail and breadth to Irish Traditional Cooking. Sections on Broths & Soups, Fish, Game, Vegetables, and Food from the Wild, illustrate how comprehensive this book is in its treatment of Irish Traditional Cooking. Darina uses the finest of Ireland's natural produce to give us recipes such as Sea Spinach Soup, Ballymaloe Irish Stew and traditional Irish Sherry Trifle. The result is a book which will entice you to discover the pleasures of the emerald isle's cuisine.
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