Chianti cooking experience on tour: Ireland in the clouds and gourmets
As soon as I arrived in Dublin, this song immediately rang out to me; the sky that blends into the ocean, lights and shadows that chase each other on the green meadows, a lot of wind and a music in the air which is very light and ancient like this earth.
But do you know that in Ireland they speak Gaelic, it is their mother tongue and that all signposts are written in two languages? Not me, so when I arrived at the airport I found a language that did not seem to resemble any other European language I know!
This brought to mind the time when, as a child, I invented a language with a friend, a series of vowels and consonants that together were really meaningless ... Do you have a memory also of doing such a thing? Gaelic to me is this: direct, fascinating, proud.
My friend Bridget, who now lives in Florence, reminds me of how much elegance and pride there is in a people that has been conquered by the English crown, has suffered from poverty and lives in a daily feeling of division.
The Irish I met are very friendly, nice, and there are many pubs with music and Guinness -the real one!
I didn't have a good memory of the Guinness I tasted in some Florentine pubs, but the Irish one is very good - it tastes of caramel and liquorice that I love, and it does not contain more alcohol than most drinks so you can always drink one more .. ..if you're on foot. In fact in Ireland you either drink or drive, groups of friends are very careful about this and decide who will be the trusted friend of the evening who will bring the rest of the gang home.
My cousin Sarah lives in a small town on the Irish Sea south of Dublin called Greystones. Esther, another cousin and I, went to visit her, it is the first time that we met as adults without the rest of our families in between us. It was exciting, so many laughs, some liberating tears, nights chatting in the kitchen with closed doors, going from beer to prosecco, from red wine to midnight tea.
It was about discovering how much blood binds us beyond distance and differences.
We have already fixed the next meeting between cousins and second cousins: we will see each other on neutral ground, in Barcelona!
They were three intense days, so full of great experiences, visiting places that if I don't make a list of now I risk forgetting:
- Dublin works well on foot; the centre is not very big: on our walking tour we saw the famous Temple Bar, Trinity College, Dublin Castle, and the Church of Saint Patrick.
- For those who love walking, I recommend the path called the Cliff Walk from Greystones to Bray, an easy path, 8 km of promenade overlooking the sea.
- Powerscourt Estate is a park that is part of a manor in perfect British-Irish style; inside there is a pond with water lilies, a Japanese-style garden, an Italian garden, the tower that I called Rapunzel, an expanse of tulips of all types and colors, the cemetery of the dogs that belonged to the noble family who once ran the estate and shops with quality items, from wool, to ceramics, to gastronomic specialties, Irish and others also.
WHY VISIT IRELAND:
- it is green and blue
- even if it rains often, the weather changes constantly
- the Irish are nice, affable,
- in Ireland there is Guinness with which they also make a remarkable dessert,
- the Irish love music and partying.
WHAT I ATE
I state that what unites the three cousins of the Berghi family is in particular the kitchen, all types of cooking.
So our full immersion was not strictly in Irish cuisine.
- and prepared a brunch with french toast and berries, guacamole and crispy bacon with prosecco and elderflower syrup so to prepare us for our Saturday walk.
- very good vegan food in Greystones at The Happy Pear, where I bought their international recipe book - the veg and raw version.
- Irish Angus fillet with roast potatoes ..... washed down with good Italian wine.
- a delicious chicken curry made by Sarah (recipe below) served with white rice, naan bread and lentil dahl.
Coconut Chicken Curry
100 ml of sunflower oil
2 tbsp mustard seeds
1tsp fenugreek seeds
1 garlic clove, diced
½ lemon juice
2 tsp brown sugar
1 cm fresh turmeric, diced
1 cm of fresh ginger, diced
2 chicken breasts cut in chunks
2 onions, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced in chunks
1 jalapeno sliced
2 potatoes, diced in chunks
4 tomatoes, diced and drained
1 can of coconut milk plus ½ can of water
½ handful of fresh coriander
cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper and sugar. Sautè the chicken in the skillet with half oil until golden. Set aside.
In the same pan sautè all the vegetables with the remaining oil, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, mustard seeds, fenugreek and jalapeno for 5 mins and then add the coconut milk with the water, the chicken and let it cook for 20 mins, till you have a creamy consistency.
Serve the chicken curry sprinkled with the chopped coriander and accompanied with basmati rice, chapati or naan.