The celebration of the authenticity of Mezze
Authenticity is a wonderful thing in a cookbook, but it’s not always a given. However, in Mezze: Middle Eastern Food to Share, it comes across on every page quite absorbing. Dvir Nusery and Nicola Crowley’s first cookbook, which takes its title in part from their namesake delicatessen, cafe and shop in Tramore, Co Waterford, is a great read, as well as a valuable source of accessible recipes and suitable for families. .
You can join the couple, who met in New Zealand and lived and worked in Nusery’s native Israel before returning to Crowley’s hometown of Ireland, for a cookbook launch feast on Friday July 8 at Tramore. Tickets cost €49 and include a copy of the cookbook as well as a three-course dinner. You can also buy the book on its own for €32, but as you shop online at mezze.ie, you will no doubt be tempted by the ingredients from the pantry and the baskets, including an initiation kit to Middle Eastern cuisine (€45). The book is also on sale at Ardkeen Quality Food Store, The Stable Yard, The Book Center and Grow HQ in Waterford, Bakestone in Carrigtwohill, Indie Fude in Comber, Killruddery Farm Shop in Bray, Rua Deli in Castlebar and Urru in Bandon.
Selling the Southeast Stories
South East Food Stories is an agritourism initiative involving a diverse collection of hospitality venues, restaurants, food producers and tourist attractions in Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford. The media campaign, including videos promoted on social media, is currently underway and you can learn more about the participating companies and watch the videos at southfoodstories.com.
Magic Mushroom Bites
Everything Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms produces is a testament to the scientific training of its founders, Dr Lucy Deegan and Mark Cribbin. Over the past decade they have supplied picked and grown mushrooms and other produce to restaurants across Ireland.
The pandemic shutdowns gave them the opportunity to develop a new product, with potential beyond the hospitality industry. The result is Shiitake Bites, a mushroom snack seasoned with salt or pepper. The couple developed a method to turn their mushrooms into crisps using a vacuum frying technique, which they describe as akin to frying in a pressure cooker.
“While the primary goal in developing a mushroom crisp was to produce a very tasty product, the added benefit of using shiitake mushrooms is that each packet contains 15g of fiber, almost half of recommended daily amount, and only 20% fat, less than half the fat level of regular crisps,” they say. You can buy them online ($6), at ballyhouramushrooms.ieor Limerick’s Milk Market every Saturday, as well as Munster’s Neighborfood Markets and specialist food outlets in Dublin, Cork and Galway.