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An appreciation of olive oil

Just as there are wine snobs, there are olive oil snobs. When I was growing up, my mother used to buy Goodall’s olive oil in tiny bottles. I can still remember the attractive, fruity smell of this pretty basic stuff (we’re talking the early 1970s here) as it warmed in the pan. She was ahead…

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The divisive taste of liquorice

Liquorice is one of those flavours about which nobody seems to be neutral. You either like it or hate it. I’ve never heard anyone say that they can take it or leave it. In fact, I have a feeling that the majority of the Irish population gives it a very wide berth. There are very…

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Wandering the minefield of ‘true’ ethical eating

There is no straightforward path to guilt-free food consumption, writes Tom Doorley So, there goes Veganuary. I’ve no doubt it started well for lots of people, but I wonder how many are now sticking to an exclusively “plant-based” diet. I suspect veganism may have even less sticking power than calorie-controlled diets and New Year fitness…

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Time for a festive feast

I’m always amused when I read stuff about ‘how to have a stress-free Christmas’. They always assume that you want to create a monstrous feast comprising dozens of elements and the solution, it’s suggested, is just to do lots of planning and to execute everything with military precision. The only really useful advice seems to…

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Mushrooms- Putting the ‘fun’ in fungi

On a fine autumn morning, I am sometimes lured from my desk and into the woods in search of mushrooms. There was a time when I had no competition but in the last few years, possibly with the growth in our Eastern European population, that has changed. Last year, two people in Ireland came close…

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The Demonisation of Fat

I inherited my love of cooking and gardening very definitely from my mother. My obsession with secondhand bookshops came from my father, along with another unconscious bequest: A small appetite, especially for a male somewhat over six feet tall in old money. My mother’s approach to food was always generous. Her philosophy in the kitchen…

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Food that is difficult to resist

Tom Doorley on the benefits of resistant starch The sense of wellbeing induced by carrying a basket of fresh produce from the garden into the kitchen the other day was a reward for all the hard work during the darker, colder days of the year. And while we eat with both our eyes and our…

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How to eat healthy during lockdown

Dr Aseem Malhotra is a London-based cardiologist and I’ve been following him on Twitter for quite a while now, as he is interesting on diet and health. In recent weeks he has been talking about how obesity can affect people unlucky enough to contract Covid-19. He has been doing so by way of that scourge…

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How can we boost the body’s defences during these challenging times?

There are many false claims about how to improve your immune system and sifting through the evidence can be bewildering. A lot of things have fallen by the wayside since we found ourselves in the present global predicament. However, they don’t include humanity’s urge to talk complete cobblers about important issues, not least health. You…

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The art of artichokes

Artichokes have an august reputation, despite their digestive after-effects  braved the elements last weekend to give the artichokes a good mulch of well-rotted manure in time for the spring that is so far proving elusive. I’m hoping this tender care will result in a bumper crop as it’s one of our favourite vegetables. Not only…

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