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Irish Cuisine


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#76 IanT

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 09:05 AM

This is not the US government, this is MF. And while I think excessive prophylactic moderation can be inappropriate at times, in this case, given the players and the context, Steve was right to just say "watch out" in the manner he did. Each situation is different. And Abby is right - there are people here do do not know the difference, and people who do know and choose to ignore it. The object is to keep the peace and keep discussion going, which is just what Steve was trying to accomplish. I would much rather he do what he did, which was gentle, rather than wait until a more severe tone or action would become necessary. It is a question of tone, and of circumstance.


Peace kept.
Discussion dead.

#77 omnivorette

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 09:16 AM

Some discussions just cannot be held here on MF. And some discussions can be held, but require some work on the part of the participants to keep them within the rules, which sometimes means that the discussion possibilities are limited on particular topics. That is just how it is here.
"It seems a positively Quixotic quest to defend food from being used as any kind of social signifier, as if it could avoid the fate of each other component of our everyday lives." -Wilfrid

#78 ranitidine

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:44 PM

Peace kept.
Discussion dead.


Thank you, moderators. When's the next serving of Pablum?
"Say not the struggle nought availeth...."
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Arise ye prisoners of starvation
Arise ye wretched of the earth

#79 macrosan

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 04:47 PM

Oh the brilliance, the incisive wit, the wisdom.

#80 yumyum

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:26 PM

Wonder what's in these 200+ pages, then? (I really like this series, btw).

Lonely Planet World Food Ireland

Or has the real discussion been stopped entirely? :lol:
I like mine moist and buttery.

#81 FaustianBargain

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:45 PM

Wonder what's in these 200+ pages, then? (I really like this series, btw).

Lonely Planet World Food Ireland

Or has the real discussion been stopped entirely? :lol:


you can always pay me to continue my incessant chatter.
i am not a cancer, i am a sagittarius.

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#82 yumyum

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 05:57 PM

Well. I joined the party late, all the bitter things were said by the guests who were there on time, and I was left holding my chafing dish full of boxty. :lol:
I like mine moist and buttery.

#83 Steve R.

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 06:10 PM

Thank you, moderators. When's the next serving of Pablum?


I looked it up in some of the texts I have around here and find that pablum cannot be served until at least a day after venom is injected. Therefore, it seems it'll have to wait.

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#84 Merlin

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 11:24 AM

Oh, how did I miss this? I guess because I was moving. I'm one of those American Irish. But at least I am pure. I've only visited Ireland once, in the 1980s. On about the third day my traveling companion turned to me and said, "How do you explain that the food here is shit?" I said, 'How would you expect a starving country to develop a fine national cuisine?" "They weren't always starving." "Oh yeah? Go read history."

Thanks, FaustianBargain for an excellent summation.

#85 Wilfrid1

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:17 PM

In addition to the scholarly piece I linked to on the first page, I think I prefer this account -click-, which is good on what happened after the potato famine.
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#86 Tuckerman

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 07:26 AM

Oh, how did I miss this? I guess because I was moving. I'm one of those American Irish. But at least I am pure. I've only visited Ireland once, in the 1980s. On about the third day my traveling companion turned to me and said, "How do you explain that the food here is shit?" I said, 'How would you expect a starving country to develop a fine national cuisine?" "They weren't always starving." "Oh yeah? Go read history."

Thanks, FaustianBargain for an excellent summation.


The idea that countries or parts of countries which have been starving in the past cannot develop a fine cuisine is simply not borne out by evidence. Anyone who reads anything about cuisine in the Gascony region of France, or certain areas of Southern Italy, will know that those areas suffered starvation and privation on a massive scale in the nineteenth century, as did parts of Spain and Portugal. And that's just in Europe. Many of these areas have devloped fascinating and highly esteemed cuisines.

I have posted elesewhere about how countries where beer is consumed on a massive scale, as opposed to wine, had problems in terms of developing a restaurant culture, because people went out to drink and not to eat. Unlike wine, beer competes for belly space with food. The huge and massively powerful breweries ensured that the only food available in pubs was salty snacks designed to increase your thirst. They were not interested in promoting cuisine as it would have meant people drinking less beer. Since the pub became the locus of social life in Ireland as well as in many poarts of the UK, the breweries were able to exert control over the eating and drinkling habits of the local populations.

It was the breweries, not the potato famine or the British colonialists, which held back the devlopment of Irish cuisine, just as they held back the development of British cuisine in the UK and have held it back in Germany and in large parts of Northern and Eastern Europe.

#87 Anny

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 11:48 AM


Oh, how did I miss this? I guess because I was moving. I'm one of those American Irish. But at least I am pure. I've only visited Ireland once, in the 1980s. On about the third day my traveling companion turned to me and said, "How do you explain that the food here is shit?" I said, 'How would you expect a starving country to develop a fine national cuisine?" "They weren't always starving." "Oh yeah? Go read history."
:)
Thanks, FaustianBargain for an excellent summation.


The idea that countries or parts of countries which have been starving in the past cannot develop a fine cuisine is simply not borne out by evidence. Anyone who reads anything about cuisine in the Gascony region of France, or certain areas of Southern Italy, will know that those areas suffered starvation and privation on a massive scale in the nineteenth century, as did parts of Spain and Portugal. And that's just in Europe. Many of these areas have devloped fascinating and highly esteemed cuisines.

I have posted elesewhere about how countries where beer is consumed on a massive scale, as opposed to wine, had problems in terms of developing a restaurant culture, because people went out to drink and not to eat. Unlike wine, beer competes for belly space with food. The huge and massively powerful breweries ensured that the only food available in pubs was salty snacks designed to increase your thirst. They were not interested in promoting cuisine as it would have meant people drinking less beer. Since the pub became the locus of social life in Ireland as well as in many poarts of the UK, the breweries were able to exert control over the eating and drinkling habits of the local populations.

It was the breweries, not the potato famine or the British colonialists, which held back the devlopment of Irish cuisine, just as they held back the development of British cuisine in the UK and have held it back in Germany and in large parts of Northern and Eastern Europe.


I can only quote from personal experience as a Scot descended from the Oirish (on both sides).
Folks simply boiled everything to death. Be it an expensive rump steak, mince, stew, joints, vegetables etc...
My mother was a prime example of not liking stewing steak, so she'd buy rump and then massacre it!
I only learned to cook using an oven in England.
But they could bake :)

Tony's right about the drink. Business visitors from abroad can't undersatnd why the Brits go to pubs, drink vast amounts and then, maybe, think about food :)

#88 Elissa

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for kicking this up Tuckypoo. Reading about Antrim today I found that once upon a time, in the 14th? 15th? 16th? century, the kitchen of Dunluce Castle (just west of Giant's Causeway and Bushmill's), full though it was of cooks and kitchen-hands, fell into the sea.
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#89 Tuckerman

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Posted 24 June 2006 - 06:49 PM

The breweries worked through a system of cartels which bought up pubs and tied them to the brewery. The brewery then controlled what was and was not sold in the pubs. This meant controlling food as well. And many pubs to this day refuse to sell food except the most rudimentary kind or that designed to increase thirst for beer. In Ireland the Guinness brewery went one ingenius step further by hitting upon the idea of marketing the beer itself as food!. Now an Irish drinker who might be inclined to worry that while drinking stout he wasn't getting his quota of food nutrients need worry no more. Guinness was "good for you" It provided "minerals and other essential nutrients". Why bother with food? If an independent landlord opened up and wanted to see decent food the breweries would oppose his license application and, if all else failed, would buy him out at a price he couldn't refuse. Since beer is one of the most profitable gastro products on the planet it was essential to keep the market drinking and not eating

I'm not sure many people realise how large and powerful the breweries were and to some extent still are in places like the UK and Ireland.

#90 IanT

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:41 AM

The breweries worked through a system of cartels which bought up pubs and tied them to the brewery. The brewery then controlled what was and was not sold in the pubs. This meant controlling food as well. And many pubs to this day refuse to sell food except the most rudimentary kind or that designed to increase thirst for beer. In Ireland the Guinness brewery went one ingenius step further by hitting upon the idea of marketing the beer itself as food!. Now an Irish drinker who might be inclined to worry that while drinking stout he wasn't getting his quota of food nutrients need worry no more. Guinness was "good for you" It provided "minerals and other essential nutrients". Why bother with food? If an independent landlord opened up and wanted to see decent food the breweries would oppose his license application and, if all else failed, would buy him out at a price he couldn't refuse. Since beer is one of the most profitable gastro products on the planet it was essential to keep the market drinking and not eating

I'm not sure many people realise how large and powerful the breweries were and to some extent still are in places like the UK and Ireland.


Nope, sorry to burst this bubble Tucker but Irish pubs have never been owned by, or tied to, breweries. They've always been independent. Tying agreements are a UK thing.

Nice theory though :)