If you happen to find yourself in the lovely neck of the woods that is East Cork, make sure it’s on a Saturday morning. The iconic Midleton Market is not to be missed. One of the first, if not the first, artisanal farm-to-table markets in the country it’s at the epicentre of the slowfood movement and is well worth any diversion required. Anchor tenant Ballymaloe Cookery School always has some amazing seasonal offerings- right now, parsley pesto, rhubarb & ginger jam and the softest, prettiest kale we’ve ever seen. A few stalls away, Frank Hederman’s chilli-peppered smoked salmon and smoked country butter are equally irresistible- the latter slathered on chips is nothing short of transcendent- or so says Frank. Best salad Oscar goes to The Rocket Man whose beet and barley number was freshened up with a citrusy yoghurt and cumin dressing we could’ve eaten by the troughful. And then there’s the hot chocolate. Reputed to be the best in the country, O’ Conaill’s lives up to the hype- molten heaven comes in myriad ways. One of the hardest gustatory decisions you’ll ever have to make is whether to go white, milk or dark. The good news is you can take home chocolate chips of either variety to try and replicate the experience in future. Other obligatory takeaways: Ardrahan cheese, perhaps laced with cranberries, and some weird and wonderful mushrooms from Ballyhoura- chanterelles are an early Autumn treat and might marry well with Hederman’s butter….hmmmmm.
Laura George @lgeorge353