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THE IRISH KITCHEN
is perhaps the most prolific Irish-American writer of topics
dealing with Irish food and drink.
Holding dual citizenship in
the US and Ireland, Margaret is the author of ten Irish
Cookbooks, An Afternoon Tea cookbook titled 'Tea and Crumpets'.
Her most recent Irish books are 'Flavors of Ireland' (2012), 'Christmas Flavors of Ireland' (2013) and Favorite Flavors of Ireland (2015). She
has authored more than 200 food and travel articles in a number
of publications, including the "Irish Echo," "Irish America
Magazine," "CARA," "Intermezzo, " and Dublin's "Food and Wine"
To see what else Margaret has to offer or to order signed copies of her cookbooks, why not visit her website
Given the cost of a dozen oysters today, it's hard to believe the prized mollusk was once considered "famine food" and associated with poverty and hard times. Carried in panniers by donkeys along dirt-track roads, the seaweed-wrapped shellfish were sold not by the dozen, but by the barrelful, and often given away free by Dublin publicans and innkeepers. While native wild oysters are synonymous with Galway Bay, where they fatten in its clear and clean waters, they're enjoyed everywhere throughout the year, even in months when there's no "r" in them as the rule for eating them used to dictate. Between May and August, ouside the "season," more and more oysters are being farm raised or imported from the Pacific, so availability is as widespread in Ireland as it is elsewhere.
The question of how to eat them, however, remains controversial, with oyster purists insisting that the only way to indulge is uncooked and straight from the shell with a squeeze of lemon and a pint of Guinness. Others prefer them grilled, in stews, or in creamy sauces like hollandaise or white wine.