The Collins Press, €12.95
The revitalisation of local Irish foods and small artisan producers in recent years has gone from a whisper to a scream. Initiatives like weekly Farmers Markets and Slow Food have spread throughout Ireland while West Cork, ahead of the rest, has its devoted Fuchsia Brand - a quality symbol for the food in the area. Set up by the West Cork LEADER Co-Operative Society in 1998, this regional branding campaign gathers together food products, from Ó Conaill Chocolates of Carrigaline through Veronica Steele's legendary Milleens Cheese and the Kinsale Brewing Company, under a benevolent umbrella.
This publication, 'A Taste of West Cork' incorporates recipes from chef Rory Morahan, using ingredients from the Fuchsia Brand, alongside address of producers and stockists. Stuffed Pig's Trotters, Glazed Skeaghanore Duck and an unusual Stout Bérnaise Sauce are among the recipes on offer with a particular emphasis on soups, including nettle, and some tasty sounding West Cork breads. These are given a context by food historian Regina Sexton's writings alongside information on individual food producers from editor Ivan McCutcheon.
More of a training manual than a cookbook - this was developed in association with Fáilte Ireland as part of a training programme for local tourist establishments - it is to be devoutly hoped that the pub and restaurant owners of Ireland, not just those in the region, will be both influenced and inspired by 'A Taste of West Cork'. That's not to say that home cooks will not enjoy the book although its calendar-like appearance is somewhat off-putting.