Category Archives: Food and Drink


Before the use of hops as bittering, flavour and aroma agents of beer became widespread in the late Middle Ages, all sorts of weird and wonderful herbs were employed to achieve the same effects. These herbs are known as “gruit” … Continue reading

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Posted in Food and Drink, Language, Plants, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Cider House Rules

I’ve written about cider before on this blog, but from a consumption point of view. While I’ve been home-brewing for years, I’ve stayed away from fabricating concoctions of an appley nature. This week, however, I finally joined the ranks of … Continue reading

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Posted in Cider, Food and Drink | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Guinness Index

The recession in Ireland is officially over! This week the girls and boys over at St James’s Gate brewery, Dublin announced that for the first time in six years Irish sales of Guinness have seen an increase (for the second … Continue reading

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Posted in Being Irish Abroad, Food and Drink, History, Ireland | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Dry January

There are three times of the year when Irish people will go “on the dry” (a peculiarly Irish way of saying “on the wagon”) — January, Lent and November. Before examining the phenomenon of Dry January, as it has come … Continue reading

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The Humble Talo

In the parts of northern Spain I frequent (the Basque provinces of Alava and Guipúzcoa) one of the simplest and most delicious foods is the talo. Consisting of a thick cornbread tortilla wrapped around chorizo, chistorra, cheese or even chocolate, … Continue reading

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Posted in Food and Drink, Spain, Tourism Spain | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment