I just came back from an amazing weekend in Inishowen, County Donegal: relaxed, energized and above all inspired. The Irish Food Bloggers Association organised a weekend there for all us mad foodies in Ireland. What started as a small get together to talk food, ended up as foodies' heaven. We learned to make butter, cure meat, grind and brew proper coffee; we butchered a pig and a Dexter cow, we made black pudding (the traditional way), we shared home baked food, technology knowledge (thank you Sarah from the cookalongs for all those tips on twitter and food photography), but above all, we witnessed the positive impact that responsible sourcing of produce in the food trade can have on the sustainability of local food producers and the local economy.
It was wonderful to see the incredible force that Donal Doherty is and how his vision for Harry's Bar & Restaurant in the Inishowen Peninsula is shaping the lives of the local producers. I have always been passionate about buying Irish as much as possible. I believe in supporting local producers and in encouraging a food culture that prides in its heritage. As a Mexican, I have become a bit of a purist when it comes to my Mexican Cooking. I don't believe in shortcuts and I think preserving food traditions is as important as preserving my own national identity. After ten years in Ireland, I have learned to love and appreciate food traditions in this country. I feel proud of the food culture and the food heritage this beautiful island has and I believe it is up to us, every single one of us, to promote and maintain this heritage.
I was in awe of the amount of work Kristin and Caroline from IFBA carried out. They worked tirelessly not only in organising the Inishfood Fest, but also the raffles in aid of two very worthy charities. Inishfood Fest was a wonderful experience (one I hope becomes a yearly event). I made new friends, learned a ton and had the yummiest food I had in a long time: fresh, local and good.