I come from the land of the best food, and the most varied in the world…you can try to argue, but you will fail. That being said, the ingredients in Ireland are far more fresh, and said fresh ingredients are standard and cheap. Getting farm fresh ingredients such as meat, eggs, and milk in America is expensive. They are now considered luxury and artisan. It’s a hipster thing now-a-days. Go to a butcher to get local grass-fed meat, and expect to pay a premium. How did the country get to the point where you pay more for products that require the least of work and overhead? Well…because the government and economy decided to not take care of their farmers…big business created production line, hormone fed, factory farms, Animal and crops alike. Farms go under by the hundreds every day in America, and the ones that stay in business, struggle greatly. Chicken is now sent to China for processing and then sent back! Ireland has gone the opposite way. The chain stores contain only Irish sourced produce and meat, and it’s cheap. The milk is fresh, fresher even than the “artisan” creamline milk. Butter comes from the farms down the road, the meat you can see grazing on the hill above you. The bread is baked around the corner. All of these things you can taste and see the difference, and it’s a huge difference even from the so called “local” and “organic” “grass-fed” stuff you get in America.
Ireland takes care of its farmers. Farmers, especially those with road frontage here, are minted…they are well off! They don’t struggle day in and day out to make ends meet.
I’m a cook, and a baker and have been spoiled in that I’ve always had almost any ingredient imaginable living in New York. Ok, maybe not pork belly, but everything from fresh vanilla beans, to pheasant, to every manner of fish, imported chocolate, every manner of produce, etc… here in Ireland, the variety is very limited. So I sacrifice variety for quality. Oh well. I’m sure if I went to Dublin or cork I could find more, but there are some things, like boysenberry syrup for example, that are just not available anywhere in Europe essay I can find. This lack of variety is driving me to make things from scratch, driving me to grow and produce things myself, and in turn, be more sparing and frugal with my ingredients. We Americans are spoiled in so many ways. I couldn’t imagine what would happen if all of a sudden, Americans weren’t able to get all of the comforts we are used to.. personally, I’m fine with it, I thrive under those circumstances. I can’t speak for my fellow countrymen though. I am enjoying the forced adaptation, and looking forward to making my own products, growing interesting plants and berries, finding new alternatives, and discovering new recipes.
As for food, bravo to Ireland for taking care of farmers. Thank you for creating amazing ingredients.
As for the other things I’ve taken for granted, like hot water, that’s to come next.