Living in a new city always involves trying new restaurants, trying local food, and exploring the overall food culture of that city. I have done plenty of that since moving to Ireland. One thing I have noticed about the food in Ireland is that it is much fresher than the food in America. Farming and agriculture is a huge part of the Irish economy, but many people also grow their own produce in their yards. Also, the idea of genetically modified organisms is very much looked down upon in Ireland. I noticed the biggest difference in freshness among potatoes and fruit like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Another food group that I have noticed a huge difference in is the fish. Cork is near the water so the fish caught in the area is very fresh. At home, I wouldn’t normally eat a lot of fish but its popularity in Ireland made me want to try it and I ended up eating it pretty regularly during the summer.
My most memorable food memory from my time abroad doesn’t have to do with trying a new food, but it is rather an experience with a food vendor. There is an extremely famous food market in Cork called the English Market. The English Market is so famous that when Queen Elizabeth visited Cork, she had a private visit to the market. While at the market, she befriended a vendor who sold fish. She and the vendor became such good friends that she sends that vendor letters from Buckingham Palace. I was intrigued by the humble vendor and his new friendship with the Queen, but I didn’t think too much of it until a few weeks later when a new case was introduced at the firm I was working at. The same vendor, who had befriended the Queen just months before, was being sued by our client. To make a long case very short, our client slipped and fell in front of the vendor’s stand in the market due to water and fish residue that had dripped and that the vendor failed to clean up. The firm I was working for ended up winning the case and earning our client a large sum of money to make up for the injuries she sustained from our fall. This incident is my most memorable food memory from my time in Ireland because it combines a famous food market with my internship, which is something that I never thought would happen when I first started working.