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Ireland's third-largest city has one of Northern Europe’s market gems: The English Market. It supplied high-quality food to the rich English families differently to the Irish market, which no longer exists. Differently to the past, the best Irish produce today remains on the island and can be found here.
Not big but consistent, one can find savoury sheep tripes boiled in milk and blood sausages, soda bread, and different sorts of potatoes. Everything from spiced beef to plum pudding, from apple ice wine to cucumber kombucha.
Irish cuisine puts together land and sea and one of the great specialities is the spiced beef that Tom, a big man with a large smile, prepares for his customers at the English market. He marinates the superb meat with cloves, allspice, treacle, juniper berries, brown sugar, white and black pepper & salt. Eoin instead prepares the so-called cheap cuts. He is a 4th generation “whole beast butcher”. He’s always suggesting to his customers to go beyond the usual cuts and be more daring in their dishes with neck and breast of lamb, flank steak, calves liver and oxtail. From the sea comes the fish collected directly from the fleet in Castletownbere, a beautiful area facing the Atlantic Ocean in West Cork. Pat’s fish stall is amazing, well prepared, attractive and has everything from oysters to the scary and ugly monkfish. Pat is a real character himself: a true Irishman who the Queen of England came to visit when she was in Cork.