Irish Seafood Chowder
By Olive Roberts
Luckily in my line of business I get to travel quite a bit – in previous years it was more global, but now mainly within the Island of Ireland. This is great as I am discovering, learning and sharing many treasures and secrets that go into the makeup of this great island mass.
Over the summer I dined out often. Time after time I found myself choosing Seafood Chowder and of course each bowl has been wonderful but completely different. Seafood Chowder is terrifically full of great ingredients that are in abundance here in Ireland. I have tried it in Best Loved’s Knockranny House Hotel in Westport and Gleeson’s Townhouse in Roscommon and I can guarantee that my Chowder tour will go on!
In the beginning….
The simple dish known as chowder in the past was considered to be “poor man’s food” and has a history that is centuries old. Vegetables or fish cooked in a cauldron became known as “chowder” in English speaking countries – a corruption of the name of the pot/kettle in which they were cooked. Differing kinds of fish stews exist in almost every sea based country in the world.
So back to Ireland…..
Many people have their own idea of what should and should not be in an Irish Seafood Chowder but general rules seem to be lots of great local white fish, easy on the salmon, shellfish – yes please, potatoes – a given and a great white sauce. It is funny when I visited the hotels and mentioned seafood chowder the response generally was “Ah you have to taste OUR Seafood Chowder,” so pride seems to be a key ingredient in each bowl too.
I urge you to take up this challenge, my son has taken to ordering it too when we’re out, he loves and variety in each bowl! There is always a bonus here in Ireland as we generally serve seafood chowder with homemade Irish soda bread! A magical meal. Nourishing, local, funky and a real meal – try Seafood Chowder next time you are in a Best Loved property.
Olive Roberts is a well known hotel marketing expert who has been Best Loved’s Deputy Publisher in Ireland since January 2009.