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‘Tickling the Palate’

Gastronomy in Irish Literature and Culture

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Edited By Máirtin Mac Con Iomaire and Eamon Maher

This volume of essays, which originated in the inaugural Dublin Gastronomy Symposium held in the Dublin Institute of Technology in June 2012, offers fascinating insights into the significant role played by gastronomy in Irish literature and culture.
The book opens with an exploration of food in literature, covering figures as varied as Maria Edgeworth, James Joyce, Charles Dickens, Enid Blyton, John McGahern and Sebastian Barry. Other chapters examine culinary practices among the Dublin working classes in the 1950s, offering a stark contrast to the haute cuisine served in the iconic Jammet’s Restaurant; new trends among Ireland’s ‘foodie’ generation; and the economic and tourism possibilities created by the development of a gastronomic nationalism. The volume concludes by looking at the sacramental aspects of the production and consumption of Guinness and examining the place where it is most often consumed: the Irish pub.
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Bloomsday and Arthur’s Day: Secular Sacraments as Symbolic and Cultural Capital

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Select a clean, dry branded glass. Grab hold of the glass firmly, put your finger on the harp. Take it at 45 degree angle, grab hold of the tap, and in a nice smooth flow allow the beer to go into the glass. As the liquid goes into the glass, you hear that fantastic hiss. Straighten up the glass bring it up to the top of the harp and in a nice slow smooth stop bring the glass down and allow it to settle. Here’s where you get that fantastic cascade and surge with the nitrogen bubbles, lying dormant in the beer now come out of the solution and they try to form a wonderful creamy head. This gives us this wonderful look and we can top up later on and create a dome across the top. Then, once settled, you take the glass back, hold it nice and straight, push the tap away from you and allow the beer to flow in nice and slowly and take the creamy head, proud at the rim, perfect in every way.

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These are the words of one of Guinness Brewery’s master brewers, Fergal Murray, as he explains on the Guinness website how to pour the ‘perfect pint’, and it is a set of instructions which forms Part 1 of what is termed ‘The Guinness Experience’. The video explains what is termed the ‘double pour’, where some three-quarters of the stout is poured...

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