Taste the Island: 5 delicious food and drink experiences

Armagh Cider Company orchard

Meet the people who make Ireland’s food and drink taste amazing and book yourself in to experience a real taste of the island

Rich in tradition, rooted in place and driven by passion, Ireland’s food culture is recognised the world over for its quality and innovation. This September, October and November, we’re celebrating everything that’s great about our food and drink as part of Taste the Island – an eight-week showcase of events, experiences and amazing people.

So if you’ve always wanted to learn how to make potato bread, if you long to uncover the mysteries of cider-making, or if foraging for wild food is your ideal way to spend a day, Ireland has the food experience for you. 

Here are just five of the food heroes who are ready and willing to help you Taste the Island.

1. The forager

The Sea Gardener, County Waterford

Set out on a foraging adventure along the historic Copper Coast with Marie Power, the Sea Gardener. As Marie leads you on the Walk on the Wild Side guided tour, she’ll share her knowledge of seaweeds and coastal plants, show you what to forage (and what not to) and how you can use what you find to make delicious food, natural cures and skincare remedies. Finish up with a picnic on the beach, where you can sample a range of seaweed dishes. Learning has never tasted so good!

2. The chocolatiers

Wilde’s Irish Chocolate, County Clare

A chocolate factory on the banks of beautiful Lough Derg in east Clare – what could be more enticing for chocolate lovers? Patricia and her fellow artisan chocolatiers at Wilde’s Irish Chocolate open their doors and let you see just how they create their range of over 80 different chocolates. You get to meet the staff, see the chocolates being made and, most importantly take part in a chocolate tasting panel, where you’ll learn about different grades of chocolate. They even offer a chocolate making workshop on Saturday afternoons where you can make your own bars to take home with you.

3. The cider makers

Armagh Cider Company, County Armagh

The Troughton family has been growing apples on their farm outside Portadown in County Armagh for four generations. And now, Helen and Philip Troughton are leading a cider revolution, making hand-crafted cider (and apple juice and cider vinegars) from their crop of Armagh Bramley Apples. Visit their farm and experience the whole process, from walking the orchards, to exploring the cidery where apples are pressed, fermented, filtered and blended. And, of course, you get to sample the cider at the end of your tour and see what all the fuss is about.

 

4. The baker

Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen, County Down

No one sits idle for too long in Tracey’s Farmhouse Kitchen. You may start your visit with a friendly cup of tea and a homemade soda bannock (a type of flat bread), but before long, you’ll be wearing an apron, with flour on your hands and the aroma of baking bread wafting through the air. Over the course of a morning or afternoon, Tracey will show you how to make some classic Northern Ireland breads, including potato, soda and wheaten bread. And you’ll finish the day with a bag full of home-baked goodies and recipes for everything you’ve produced. Delicious!

 

5. The chef

The Lemon Tree Restaurant, County Donegal

The Lemon Tree Restaurant has built a reputation as a champion of local food, with many of Donegal’s top producers featured on the menu. So when the Lemon Tree owners, chef Chris Molloy and his sister Linda, offer you the chance to join them for a private five-course tasting menu, you know you’re in for a real treat. The menu takes you on a tour of Donegal, and Chris and Linda will share stories about the food, the region and what makes Ireland taste so unique.

Discover more fantastic flavours of the island of Ireland

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