Monday, 23 December 2013

Happy Christmas

Dear Members of Slow Food Galway

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your continued loyalty, support and help in 2013. I have had a wonderful year as leader of Slow Food Galway and look forward to leading Slow Food into 2014.
The committee of Slow Food Galway would very much appreciate to get your feedback and suggestions, on the events which took place during 2013, in order to improve our events for 2014.
Please take 5 to 10 minutes to answer the short questionnaire (9 Questions, please click on the link below), so that we are in the position to incorporate your recommendations into shaping 2014.

Slow Food Galway Questionnaire - SHAPING 2014

Thank you.

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very happy Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Kind regards,

Maria McNeela
Slow Food Galway
31 Sruthan-Mhuirlinne
Galway City
Phone: +353 86-3637357

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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Terra Madre Day 2013

How will you be celebrating Terra Madre Day today? Looking for some ideas? check out this link and let us know what you have planned? perhaps we could post some of your pictures on our Facebook page or website?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Slow Food Galway Terra Madre Day celebration at Kai Cafe + Restaurant

Slow Food Galway members celebrated Terra Madre Day in true Slow Food fashion at Kai Cafe + Restaurant last Monday the 2nd December 2013. It was an evening of fantastic Food and I would like to thank Jess & David for looking after us on the night. Also to Peter Boland from Cases Wine Warehouse for providing us with a Slow Wine tasting which complemented our meal nicely.

Peter Boland has a wonderful selection of fine wines and Craft beers to suit everyone this Christmas.

We would like to wish all our members and Guests a wonderful Christmas and we look forward to creating lots more memories in 2014.

To view pictures of the event follow the link to our Facebook Album, all of which were taken by our newly appointed Slow Food Galway Photographer for 2014, Trevor Moody who was the graphic designer, photographer and web designer for the Eat West 2013 Cookbook.

Merry Christmas to one and all, and remember to shop local this Christmas.

Kind regards,

Maria Mc Neela

Monday, 2 December 2013

Press release by Slow Food International reiterating its opposition to intensive open pen fish farms

Slow Food International Reiterates Negative Standpoint on Intensive Fish Farms 02 Dec 13 In the wake of Irish Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Simon Coveney’s upcoming decision on whether or not to grant the state agency for fishing and aquaculture in Ireland, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, licenses for fish farms in Galway Bay, Slow Food International has reaffirmed its position on intensive fish farms. Slow Food does not consider open net pen fish farms an environmentally sound practice, Piero Sardo, President of the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, confirms. “Open net pen aquaculture is not a solution to the problem of overfishing: It damages natural ecosystems on a local and a global level, including wild stocks, habitats and water quality. Feeding carnivorous salmon in farms means other wild species must also be harvested, resulting in a larger carbon footprint – since the fish feed must be fished, processed and transported”. Slow Food acknowledges the value of traditional wild salmon and would like to see political action to help preserve this threatened species. Rather than putting further pressure on stocks with intensive farm operations, effective conservation programs should be implemented before it is too late. “If you must farm salmon, then at least reduce the local impact by using closed pens removed from the marine open environment”, Sardo adds. John Volpe, PhD, Director of the School of Environment at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, also expresses his opinion in this regard: “The independent scientific community speaks with a single voice; open net pen salmon farms are not only a net loss of marine resources and human food but threaten our collective marine environment with potentially irreversible damage. Governments that continue to support this industry in spite of overwhelming contrary ecological, social and economic evidence do so at their – and our – peril”. Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD), one of numerous farm pathogens potently catastrophic to already threatened wild salmon is once again infecting open cage installations along the west coast. The threat is widespread and clearly not under control; from Bantry Bay in Cork to Mulroy Bay in Donegal, as well as the B.I.M.\’s flagship open cages at Clare Island Co Mayo; this is typical of the information that the public has not been made aware of. In regard to the Minister’s imminent decision, Slow Food International wishes to reiterate its opposition to intensive open pen fish farms, correcting any misconception resulting from the mention of Slow Food in the Environmental Impact Statement published by B.I.M.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Autumn Gathering event at Woodville Walled Gardens

Based on the feedback of the Autumn Gathering at Woodville Walled Gardens, the event was truly a great success. Around 135 people attended making it one of our biggest events this year. 
The weather was lending a helping hand and many used the opportunity to take a large variety of pictures, to which we have provided the following links:
We would like to  say a special big thank you to Karol Stankiewicz for producing the very creative video below, which captured the atmosphere of the day extremely well. 

If you would like to view more of Karol's work and contact him, check out his Webpage Here;

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Autumn gathering at Woodville Walled Garden

Dear Members & Potential Members

Tying in with this year's theme "The Gathering 2013" , we have decided to create our very own gathering, a gathering of Slow Foodies and therefore we have put together an enchanted event for our next outing which see's us visiting the wonderful Woodville Walled Garden in Kilchreest, Co. Galway on Sunday 13th October. Woodville House and Garden is set at the foot of the Slieve Aughty Mountains in South East Galway. The Walled Garden at Woodville consists of 1.5 acres has been beautifully restored with colorful herbaceous borders, espaliered fruit trees, vegetable garden, rose garden and a serene water fountain. Within the garden itself is home to a wide variety of heirloom apples which we can press on the day.

The garden is also located close to woodland and is host to a small variety of wild mushrooms which members are welcome to forage after they have gained the necessary knowledge from our team of experts during a talk on identifying the various edible and non-edible varieties.

And in true Slow Food style, we will feast on delicious spit roast lamb along with artisan pizza from our stone pizza oven, finished off with delicious forage fruit crumble. Our members are kindly asked to bring along a jar of preserved jelly (if possible) for our jelly tasting table, so you can let you imagination go wild....

As this is the final outing of the year, i really do hope that you can attend, as it is promised to be a nice relaxing day out. If you can attend, then please RSVP Maria McNeela on 086-3637357 to book your place before Friday 11th October so that we are better able to accommodate our guests.

I hope to chat to you all soon.

Kind Regards

Follow the signs for the N6 to Dublin. Continue on the N6 to Loughrea. Enter Loughrea town and take the right turn at the bike shop. This is the N66 to Gort.
Continue on this road for 4km to Kilchreest. In Kilchreest take the small road to the right between two houses- look carefully as it is easy to miss. After 1.2km take the first turn left. Woodville Walled Garden is the third entrance on the right.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Deep Sea Fishing 2013

What a spectacular evening we had out fishing! Despite not catching much we had enough to rustle up a lovely feast with great company. If you fancy your hand at fishing, give Kevin MacGabhain a call on 086 8547890 or check out his webpage: you Kevin for a fantastic evening as usual :-)

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Fishing trip

Kevin McGowan from Spiddal has been contacted in relation to a fishing trip that many of our members have shown an interest in and we have arranged an evening trip for Sunday 22th September from 5.30pm to 8.30pm. The boat can accommodate up to 12 people, and the catch of the day is mainly mackerel and pollock.   We have secured a special price of €25 per person for the trip. Everything will be provided on the evening by Kevin.  However a warm waterproof jacket/coat, wellies and a container for your catch will be required!  Kevin has a BBQ on board where we can cook our catch of the day.

If anyone is interested, they can contact Maria on 086-3637357 ASAP, so as to avoid disappointment. The fishing boat departs from Rosaveal pier at 5.30pm, so please arrive 15 minutes early.
Rossaveal port is approx 37km from Galway city, which takes about 45 minutes. Click or copy and paste the following link for a map and directions. If anyone requires a lift, please let me know and I may be able to arrange a car pool.  ‘Hope to see you all soon.

Iasc Mara Teo
Rossaveal Pier Ballinahown, Rossaveal, Galway

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Grandmothers Day project winner Ruby on her Ballymaloe Cookery School experience

Slow Food Galway held a Grandmothers Day project earlier in the year where over 300 pupils took part from various national schools in Galway. The first Prize for this competition was a Cookery Day out for both pupil & their Grandmother Ballymaloe Cookery School courtesy of Darina Allen. The prize went to Ruby Ní Dhubhshlaine from Gaelscoil.Dara, who took her Grandmother Betty of on a cookery adventure during her summer holidays. Ruby was so kind to send me on a picture and a letter about her experience (Thank you Ruby), and here is what she had to say..................

My name is Ruby Ní Dhubhshlaine. I go to Gael Scoil Dara in Renmore, Galway. In May 2013 I won ‘Grandmother’s Day Cooking Competition’ organised by Galway Slow Food Group. The prize was a day cooking in Ballymaloe Cookery School with my Granny Betty.
We stayed at a lovely b&b five minutes from the school. When we arrived granny betty went to a different room. I went into a big kitchen. my group made kibbled wheat scones, quesadillas, ice-cream and lemonade. Some other groups made potato and sweet corn chowder meatballs salad and tart. At lunch we could have whatever we wanted. After lunch we saw the pigs and cows on the farm. We tried to get into the middle of the maze in the garden and back out again ... it was hard. Most of us had to cut through a couple of hedges. We got to take home a folder of Ballymaloe cooking ideas.
Afterwards Granny Betty, Grandad Dick and myself went to look at the herb garden
We had a super duper day and we wanted to say ‘Thank You’ to the Slow Food Organisation in Galway for organising the competition for the wonderful prize.

Best wishes – Ruby (and the Delaney Family)

Saturday, 10 August 2013

End of Summer BBQ

Its been a hectic summer, thanks to the beautiful hot weather we recently experienced, and what better way to the end the summer, than to mark this date Sunday 25th August on your calender of events before the kids head back to school!!!
Ronan Byrne the Friendly Farmer in Athenry has kindly invited us for a tour of his farm to meet his flock of Chickens. To mark the event we have planned a BBQ using his delicious chicken and pork products which will be cooked by none other than Jess Murphy from Kai restaurant and JP McMahon from ANIAR. The gentlemen from Galway Hooker Beer will also come along to give us a sample of their products. Since it is nearing harvest time.... we will have an array of delicious salads to accompany the BBQ, and we are asking you,...... our valued members to bring along a dessert of choice and perhaps one that reflects the end of the summer season!

As usual with events such as this.......we require advance notice of the amount of people attending the event so that we can accommodate everyone, so please RSVP me on 086-3637357 to book your place by the 23rd August. We will also have a vegetarian option available, thanks to Flo Wagemaker.
We also require some of our members to help out on the day, and would be delighted if you could get in contact prior to the event.

Additionally we are looking for a number of BBQ's to cook the food, if you have a BBQ that you could loan us for the day, we would be really grateful!

We would like to thank each and every one of our loyal Slow Food members and we are looking forward to seeing you all at this wonderful event.

Kind regards
Maria Mc Neela (086-3637357)

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The Slow Food Story at the Galway Film Fleadh

A nice Humorous write up on today's Galway Advertiser (pg69) by Slow Foodie Anne Marie Carroll, about the Slow Food Story movie which was aired last Wednesday in the Town Hall Theatre as part of the Galway Film Fleadh.

The following link will bring you to our slow food galway facebook page with pictures from the event.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Smoking Your Own Food Event

Well what can I say!! What a fab fab day we had at Flo Wagemakers home in Belclare, Tuam last Sunday, and a big thank you to him and his family for being such fantastic hosts! Oh...where do i start? This has got to be the most informative event i have ever seen on smoking food. Flo from Galway Falafel slow smoked (12 hours) two delicious Castlemaine shoulders of pork in his converted oven which was later served in floury baps produced by Jonas Hein from Coolfin Organic Bakery, topped with apple, pear & sultana stuffing and finished off with Ulrich Hoeche's Smoked pear compote...Soooo Yummie, i can still taste it. Jonas then provided us with deliciously oak smoked wild salmon which he smoked himself, and let me tell was devine!! These two boys really stole the show on the day and what a great team they make too!!. We were then treated to Cobie's smoked mackerel which was smoked in her infamous barrel. Admittedly i am not the biggest mackerel fan until i tasted Cobies hot smoked....and boy has she converted me!! Like myself, when most people think of smoking food, they tend to shy away assuming that it is a difficult process to undertake...yes true?? however, a simplified practical demonstration provided by GMIT chef Lecturer; Louis Smith made it look like child's play.Louis also highlighted other utensils which can be used for smoking food, such as; a Wok, Biscuit tin, roasting trays, BBQ, Slow cooker & much more, provided you adopt the the basic application of smoking food. Thanks Louis :-) And where would we be without Kate O'Dwyer's classic Pizzas. My daughter and nieces are still talking about the wonderful pizzas they got to make themselves at the pizza making workshop, and it will be a memory which will instill a passion for food and cooking long into the future! I would also like to say a big thank you to Anne & Larry Reddington from The Galway Goat Farm for providing us with Goats milk for the Cupan Tae, yogurt tasting and yummie Goats cheese for the Pizza which was a delight!! Thank you Guys :-) John Smiths provided us with some homemade craft beer and we hope to have him come along again in the future so we can taste his Smoked hop beer too. Cait Curran & Flo provided us with delicious organic spuds, veg and salads to accompany our delicious feast which was finished off with the lovely delights which were homebaked and provided by our wonderful Slow Food members. Thank you and as usual the desserts would put many a chef to shame :-) Our special guests Elaine & Maeve from Eat West 2013 came along to the event to talk about their new cookery book which will feature recipes from Chefs, restaurants and producers from Galway in aid of ISPCC....So please keep a look out in shops this Christmas, as it will make great pressies and Slow Food Galway have also submitted a recipe in it too!:-) Thanks also to Trevor Moody for all the lovely Photographs he took at the event, which you are able to access on our Slow Food Galway facebook page. Thanks also to Rachel from Rafterys Bar Craughwell for providing us with the crockery and tables for the event. This event would not have been successful without everyone's collaboration and a big thank you to you all and last but by no means least.....OUR VOLUNTEERS ON THE DAY ......TRUE LEGENDS!!! :-)

Monday, 8 July 2013

"Slow Food Story" at the Galway Film Fleadh

We are delighted to announce that as part of the Galway Film Fleadh which takes place in the Town Hall Theatre from the 9th to the 14th July 2013, they will be showing a documentary about the revolution of the Slow Food Movement since its inception in Italy 25 years ago. The movie called "Slow Food Story" will be shown on Wednesday the 10th July at 3pm in the Town Hall Theatre.
Tickets for this movie costs €12 and can ONLY be purchased through the Town Hall Theatre Website.

or alternatively you can call their box office on 091-569777. I would imagine that tickets for this movie will sell out fast, so please purchase your ticket ASAP to avoid any disappointment.

The Director of the movie; Stefano Sardo, will be attending the movie which will be followed by a Q&A Discussion that will be chaired by a member of Slow Food Galway; JP. McMahon (ANIAR), along with a panel which consists of; Stefano Sardo (The Director), Seamus Sheridan (Our Local Cheese monger / Actor) and our very own Kate O Dwyer (who needs no introduction!).

The film will be followed by a complementary wine and canapé reception, made from products that reflect the philosophy of the Slow Food movement. The wine is kindly sponsored by ANIAR Restaurant.

Members of Slow Food Galway are invited to come along to Sheridan's Cheese shop & wine bar for a pre-movie wine and cheese reception at 1pm, where you can meet the director of the movie along with other members of the Slow Food Movement here in Galway.

I look forward to seeing you all there
Kind regards.

Maria Mc Neela

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Proposed organic salmon farm in Galway Bay

Following queries from members and other interested parties, Galway Slow Food Convivium has studied the proposal to site a huge organic salmon farm in Galway Bay and is concerned about the adverse effects such a development could have.
The convivium is fully in favour of establishing a sustainable aquaculture sector and feels that there is huge potential for the region to develop such an industry given the clean water and resources available on the west coast. However, it is of the utmost importance that any such development is approached with care for the environment and existing fishing and tourism interests.
Having regard to the Seven Pillars of Slow Food, the Convivium Committee has studied the proposal at length, examined the environmental impact assessment prepared by BIM and attended consultations with all interested parties involved.
Over the last forty years intensive culture of finned-fish species such as salmonhas been carried out using open-cage systems in fjords (Norway), in sea-loch (Scotland) relatively sheltered bays (West of Ireland) availing of the perceived endless supply of clean, coastal waters.  Research into alternative closed land-based units has led to the establishment of some units in Norway and British Columbia.  However, open sea cage systems are still being constructed. 

Why the concern?
Open cage fish farming imposes a series of specific pressures on:
(a)    The immediate marine environment
(b)    The local wild salmon population
(c)    The local seatrout population and its associated angling tourism
(d)    The international fish populations and the biodiversity of oceanic food chains
(e)    The existing tourist industry and its associated employment in the region.

The immediate marine environment:
The siting of fish farms must cause minimal disturbance to the local ecosystem ie. They must be located in deep water, in areas of high water flushing, away from existing salmon runs and away from vulnerable or protected species or habitat such as maerl produced by coralline algae.  The proposed site of the Galway salmon farm causes concern on almost all these aspects.

Open cage farming naturally results in the production of faecal and waste food matter which deposits as a fine sediment under the cages in poor water flushing conditions.  This particulate sediment can physically clog the gills of sedentary and pelagic marine organisms and additionally, this nutrient rich sediment places enormous oxygen demands on the surrounding seawater.  These altered environmental conditions lead to degradation of the habitat and could even lead to the development of harmful algal blooms.  The sheer volume of waste matter from large open sea farms defies the principle of environmentally responsible food production – the second basic tenet of the Slow Food Principle – the “Clean” of the Good, Clean and Fair ethos.

In some open cage farms, anti-fouling treatment of nets and cage structures involve the use of chemical anti-foulants, generally copper based.  These are a further assault on the local ecosystem and responsible management would and should include physical non-chemical anti-fouling practices.

The local wild salmon population
The siting of a densely stocked salmon farm closer than the well acknowledged and advised limit of 20km to adjacent established salmon rivers and sea runs will lead to negative effects  on the local salmon population.   
Sea-lice are naturally occurring crustacean organisms that attach to the soft tissues near the dorsal and caudal fins of salmonid fish.  A mere 12 specimens on a smolt can cause mortality. It stands to reason that the more hosts (farm fish) available, the more the infection of parasites.  Farmed fish are treated externally or are given medication in their food to deal with the problem but the local fish become infected.  Treatment involves the use of emamectin benzoate (Slice®) among other pesticides that are particularly toxic to lower level organisms.  Regulation of parasite treatment and its frequency has been a contentious issue in established fish farms not only in Ireland but in fish farms on a worldwide basis.  In spite of this, the most eminent scientists in the field hold wildly divergent views on the possible impact of such a huge scale fish farm on wild salmon stocks.

Research has been carried out on salmon smolts migrating through aquaculture bays in the west of Ireland.  Some were pre-treated for sea lice and others were not.  The results showed that the rate of return as adults one year later was almost double for those that were pre-treated versus the non-treated smolts.  It proves that treatment works but it is unfeasible in wild populations and not desirable from an organic point of view in farmed fish.The presence of pesticide residues in farmed salmon causes much concern on an international level.
Escapes from salmon farms are inevitable. Atlantic salmon have long beguiled the angling and wildlife confraternity with their ability to seek out the stream where they were spawned.  This behaviour is part of the genetic imprint of the wild stock.  Poor cage management, storms and predation are factors which can lead to escapes.  Because wild Atlantic salmon have a different genetic composition  from the farmed genetically engineered strain  of Norwegian origininterbreeding  of native stock with escapees in our short coastal streams will lead to a dilution of the native gene pool.  This will lower their innate resilience to the stress of their oceanic travels and interfere with millions of years of evolutionary behaviour that exists in the native stock. Loss of adaptability could lead to loss of species.

Disease is a consequence of industrial farming and currently there are two serious diseases rampant in the fish farming industry. One, infectious salmon anaemia (ISA) is a virus that causes severe anaemia in salmon and the fish eventually die.  Amoebic gill disease is caused by a rise in water temperature and overcrowding in fish cages and this disease which originated in New Zealand has now reached Ireland, shutting down fish farms. Infected fish have to be destroyed on site and this could potentially wipe out fish farms and cause an environmental disaster.

The local sea-trout populationand its associated angling tourism
As a co-salmonid, if a native sea-trout population comes into contact with farmed salmon, they will readily become infected with sealice as described above.  Anglers in the West of Ireland have proof of the collapse of the sea trout fishery in the 80’s and early 90’s – a disaster that coincided with the opening of coastal salmon farms in the Connemara region.  Apart from the biological disaster, the effect of this collapse was felt widely in the angling tourism business that this fishery supported.

Angling related tourism is an important industry in the Galway area employing a considerable number of people during the season. If wild salmon and sea trout stocks are decimated this industry will collapse. Tourism is the lifeblood of Inis Oirr beside which one half of the proposed fish farm will be located. There are serious concerns on the island about its impact on the tourist industry. 
The numbers of potential jobs quoted by BIM on a fish farm of such dimensions and production levels are at variance with standards in comparable salmon farms in Scotland and Norway and in fact, could well lead to the loss of jobs in the angling related tourism so important to the West of Ireland.

The international fish populations and the biodiversity of oceanic food chains or when fish is turned into feed
As recently as the 14th May, the process of turning huge quantities of wild fish into feed for farmed fish and other animals was discussed at Slow Fish Genoa , 2013. The conversion of one form of high quality protein into a more expensive form at such a high cost questions the rationale of this form of fish production.
The near collapse of the Peruvian Anchovy Fishery in the 1990s was highlighted by Patricia Majluf of Cayetano Heredia University in Peru. The collapse of the fishery led to its ecological and social degradation. The International Fishmeal and Fish Oil Organisation (IFFO) disparagingly described the anchovy as a small, bony and oily fish with little or no demand for human consumption. They justified their capture on an immense scale for fishmeal and oil production.  Luckily in 2006, the CH University launched an “Eat Anchoveta Campaign” to promote human consumption and a sustainable approach to the fishery of this tasty, delicious, cheap and nutritious fish. Why should this valuable resource be converted into fishmeal which has a “feed conversion ratio” higher than that of wild salmon but at what cost to the environment?
On a global scale, the destruction of a species close to the bottom of the world’s most productive food chain – the oceanic upwelling system- amount to high seas treachery and environmental destruction.
Michèle Mesmain, Slow Food Int., has said  “The efficient way to supply much needed protein is to fish at levels that have low environmental impact. It is always better, more equitable and more sustainable to use fish, our last great wild food for people instead of feed.” This belief has also been aired by Prof. Daniel Pauly, University of British Columbia who states that humans should be eating the wild fish stocks instead of farmed salmon when he was discussing the role of certain form of aquaculture in reducing pressure on wild stocks of fish.

Organic Status
Salmon farming, as it is currently practiced, does not meet with the key organic principle of sustainable production.
While it was originally believed that fish feed for organic farms would be  (a) trimmings and fish from certified sustainable fisheries with full traceability or (b) trimmings from human consumption fisheries supplemented with certified responsible feed from a sustainable source, it was hoped that there would be an increased substitution of marine proteins with vegetable alternatives. However, the MCS states that no feed grade fisheries have been certified as sustainable. They emphasise that removing wild capture organisms and small fish from the ecosystem has severe adverse ecosystem effects. The provision of organic status to a product which has such suspect sustainability status is incredible.  In fact the organic certification of salmon farms is even controversial within the organic movement itself.

Sustainable alternatives
We feel that Ireland could and should be a leader in aquaculture development internationally. Currently there is a move in other major fish farming countries such as Scotland, Norway and Canada to land based fish farms where conditions and effluent can be monitored and dealt with and there is no endangerment of wild fish stocks. Scotland is setting up the world's largest on-shore salmon farm to supply high end clients like Marks and Spencer and Selfridges. There are also on-shore farms being established in Norway and Canada. BIM has rejected this approach as being too expensive but if they are successful abroad there is no reason why they shouldn't work here.However, on the down side, new environmental problems may arise, problems associated with energy and water consumption.
There is also potential to create long term sustainable jobs in oyster and shell fish production by ensuring our coastal waters are clean and unpolluted.
As is stated by Slow Food International’s Slow Fish section “All too often, intensive fish farms have a negative social and environmental impact. Fish farming must return to less intensive and more responsible methods that respect local ecosystems.” 

The “blue revolution” as the growth of aquaculture is sometimes termed, must become green. Ideally it should have local ecological sustainability, a low carbon footprint and be healthy and nutritious. (Slow Fish – Well farmed ;  2013)

Monday, 3 June 2013

Dear Members & Potential Members,

We are so looking forward to this event on; "Smoking your own food". This event takes place on Sunday the 7th July in Belclare, Tuam at the home of Flo Wagemaker (yes!!....the Felafel Guy from the Galway Saturday market!). We will be looking at the various ways in which you can smoke your own food, including hot slow smoking shoulder of pulled pork in a converted oven served in Jonas Hein's organic flour baps (yum!), Cold smoking salmon in a converted fridge (very interesting!!), smoking trout in a barrel and much much more.......however, you don't need to be an expert smoker to gain the expertise from these guys!! you too can try your hand at smoking your own food in a biscuit tin at home after this event!! Come along and enjoy an Al Fresco Style Lunch Italian style, with a fun filled day for the whole family, not to mention a Pizza workshop for the kiddies :-)
I hope to see you there,

PS....if you have an keen interest in smoking your own food and would like to give a demonstration at this event, please contact me on 086-3637357

Please Note

If you wish to renew your membership at any stage,  you can do so at this event or through the following link: Renew membership

Kind regards
Maria McNeela

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Seashore Forage & Clam Bake Event on Sunday 28th April 2013

Our seashore forage and clam bake on the flaggy shore near New Quay last Sunday proved to be a very informative day, which was led by a team of experts in the field of Aquaculture. Barbara Buckley, (Lecturer in Aquatic Biology at GMIT for 37 years, was given the very fitting role in organising this event and boy did she deliver!!              
Barbara’s experience in Aquatic Biology is a valuable tool in foraging on the seashore. She also has skills in foraging other plant & fungal species. She has assisted Louis Smith in our now annual mushroom hunt in Petersburg. To start the event off, Barbara showed us a display of seaweeds and gave us an informative introduction to the most popular seaweeds which can be found on our shores, which served as a good basis for our Seashore Forage to follow.

Iarfhlaith Connellan from nearby Redbank Hatchery was very generous with his time and gave us a well-informed talk on the harvesting and processing of the various seaweeds, in which he himself is involved. Harvesting of seaweed in Ireland is becoming big business according to the Marine Institute. They have estimated that this, although a relatively small niche market, would yield around €20m in output by 2013.
In a BIM report on the Development of Seaweed Aquaculture in Ireland, it is pointed out that agricultural and horticultural products are the most important by volume and value. A small proportion of the national production goes into various cosmetics and therapies. This sector yields disproportionally high revenue against the volume of seaweed used (Walsh & Watson, 2007). This is good news also for our next speaker: Evan Talty from Wild Irish Sea Veg ( Evan’s family founded the company in 2009 and since then, has produced hand harvested sustainable sea veg produce. Evan was on hand to talk about the various types of sea veg and the various products that they produce. We were treated to tasty nibbles, such as seaweed crisps (yes! watch out Tayto!), and various flavoured jellies made out of carrageen moss. These tasted very good. With these three experts on hand, the team of Slow Foodies were led out to the shore to forage for seaweed. Our foragers had various uses for the crop they were about to forage. One person wanted seaweed to bathe in as she has skin allergies. Another person wanted seaweed to use as fertilizer for her garden, and seeing that there were a lot of chefs in the group, I can bet there was a lot of seaweed on the menus in Galway that evening.

Meanwhile back at the camp….Cobie, Cáit
& Ulrich were preparing for our much anticipated Seafood bake, which played a central role to the communal feast that awaited us! It is no mean feat to try and keep a fire going long enough to heat the stones to prepare them for the cooking under seaweed, the selected shellfish and fish. Well done, guys.

With the cold north Atlantic wind now blowing through us, the foragers arrived back from their hunt to be served a much welcomed bowl of delicious chowder, cooked al fresco by Ulrich Hoeche. An enthusiastic forager himself he treated us also to an array of pickled seaweed (Recipe Section).

After our chowder, it was time to sample the tasty shellfish and fish that had been baked in the pit. This was accompanied by a big variety of side dishes some of which featured pickled seaweeds. After this, the various desserts and sweet cakes were served. Thanks goes to Pat and Kate who made sure no one was left hungry.

With a successful day behind us, it was time to sit back and take in the breath-taking views across Galway Bay and the Aran Islands. However this picture of blue skies and fluffy white clouds did not depict the day that we had, the sun had decided to come out and play just as I was driving home….Grrrrrr!

A big thank you goes out to Barbara and the team for bringing this successful event together. Thank you. I hope to see you all (members and non-members) at our next event soon.


Maria McNeela

For Recipes of the event please go to our Recipe Section !!!