A Challenge to Eat Waterford products
Eating Waterford is a challenge that I set myself and here is how the whole story unfolded! I met up with a few friends the other night at a local watering hole. It wasn’t the usual place that we were used to meeting but we decided on a change of scenery, not that we meet up that often. The establishment in question had a vast array of “craft beer” on offer along with the usual suspects. I have been always threatening to try a craft beer but I suppose I’m one of those that are stuck in their ways but I took the plunge and ordered locally brewed ale. You know the feeling that you get when you’re trying something new and you hear the sounds of your mother in your ear saying “go on you’ll like it”? Well, that’s what was going through my mind! I have to say that I had nothing to worry about. The taste, although different, was ambrosia to the lips!
The conversation of the evening was all about local products and produce and I for one was aghast at what was on offer right here on our doorstep without realising. So I told the lads that on the very next day I was going to eat Waterford. You can imagine the laughter at this statement so I had to reform my statement to “I’m going to eat only produce from Waterford”. The chuckles were gone with everyone left contemplating if it could be done. I had my quest.
My quest started on a Saturday morning and as an avid coffee drinker I always have a selection of coffee’s at hand. This morning I choose a locally roasted coffee, which I have to say is one of my favourites. So when the coffee was brewing I headed for my local shop for blaas. When I got home my wife was after making porridge, again local, and had the breakfast table set. As a condiment to the blaas we had a locally made marmalade. So that was the breakfast taken care of. Now at this stage I would like to point out that we could have had a fry using local produce too but I like to keep that for a Sunday morning (now you know what’s going to be on my shopping list).
The conversation at breakfast intrigued the whole family and the quest was turning into a family affair because my wife and the kids came on board. We were going to start Eating Waterford. All I can say is thank God for my wife because I can’t cook. We set off to a local market and bought veg for the dinner that evening. I have to say I was sceptical at first not knowing what to expect and what the prices were going to be. I always had this pre defined idea that market veg were always expensive but I was amazed at the value for money and delighted that I did my bit for the environment with our carbon footprints and all that. There was a stall at the market selling bread and one type of bread was made using oats from a company in Kilmacthomas (I think that you all know the place). So bread and veg in hand we went to a local craft butcher. This turned out to be a great laugh. The butcher in question, when I asked him about locally produced meat, had joke after joke and told me about the difference between fresh and 3 week hung beef. I have to say it was an education. So after deciding on our cut of meat not just for Saturday but also Sunday we also bought free range eggs and their own sausages that were freshly made that morning. Right that was the dinner sorted out!
What about lunch? Well we decided to take a trip to Dunmore East where we bought some fresh cod. So for lunch we had fresh cod with a salad (bought at the market) with some baby potatoes. In the afternoon we took a trip to another weekly market where we bought some locally made chutney and had a coffee from another local producer. At this stage the kids were down town with their friends so it was just me and my wife. We took a trip to Tramore and brought the dog for a walk. The weather was glorious and the amount of people we met was incredible. Back home we started to make dinner with all our locally sourced produce. The kids arrived home with a surprise! They had bought sweets that were made in Waterford. Hmm this was a dinner that we were all looking forward to! To wash down the dinner I had a bottle of ale that was bought at a local off licence and I have to say it went down well.
Then I had an idea! At the back of the cupboard there was a bottle of locally blended whiskey which I had received as a Christmas present. So with the feet up, I had an Irish Coffee. All that was left for me to do was to try and stay awake.
Eating Waterford, it can be done!
Now some may say that I must have spent a fortune but to be honest I didn’t. I didn’t spend much more then what we would have normally spent for our shopping. Yes it took a bit of effort to get to the markets but etc but it was more enjoyable than going to a multinational supermarket where the crowds are the reason I hate shopping! The whole experience was a really great one. There is nothing better than the one to one customer service you get from local shops and markets but best of all I proved that it is possible to support our own and it doesn’t have to cost the world.
It is so important to support local producers and shops because what we spend there stays local and supports not only jobs but the whole industry behind food production and retail.
My challenge is to everyone reading this, go out and start Eating Waterford!