Our Food Principles
Here at The Dalkey Food Company we really love food. We love everything that goes into making a great soup, a simple weekday meal for two or a full-on dinner party for a gang of friends. It's a pleasurable process, something to savor both during the preparation and afterwards as you enjoy the results with an excellent glass of wine.
Yes, it takes a certain skill and general culinary knowledge in order to cook well and trust that your food will match your enthusiasm, but we also believe that it just takes a love of flavour and some pure abandon to become a good cook. We can teach you the skills and practice does, indeed, make perfect, so choose the best ingredients you can and dive in. Enjoy it, don't dread it!
We're not too much of an opinionated bunch, but we do feel strongly about a few things...
Our motto is Buy Irish, Buy Local, Buy in Season. You will end up with a better meal if you do.
It's important to take an interest in where your food comes from. So many of the larger supermarkets are guilt of flying in their vegetables from far flung countries where they were picked too soon, stored in zero oxygen, and then blasted with air and artificially ripened before reaching the shelves. The produce are not only jet lagged and carbon-heavy, they are not much nutritional use either. The days of being proud of a 'frequent flyer' status are over, for both veg and people.
Seasonality is important to us. In fact, it pretty much defines us. You may have heard it mentioned many times but not been quite sure of what it means, so let us tell you. It means eating vegetables when they are in their natural season. So, strawberries in Summer, root vegetables in Winter, lamb in Spring etc. This method of harvesting and consumption is not only better for the producers and the environment, it is better for us. Things are seasonal for a reason and when you eat them then, you are getting the best and most vital benefits. The nutrients will be at their most powerful and they will be at their most flavoursome. Have you ever bought peaches in winter? Not so juicy and bursting with colour and taste, right?
Let's think about the dedicated local producers we have in this country... They work so hard, for so long to bring their produce to market and they are being squashed by the big international supermarkets who monopolise the shelves. Some of our most wonderful artisan producers of award winning cheeses and meats struggle to get their rightful place in stores. We think this is a terrible shame. What will happen to them over time if we don't make a conscious effort to support and champion them?
Talk to your local greengrocer and butcher. They will be a fountain of information for you on what's in season and what's good right now. And as a rule, they are always passionate about what they are selling. Don't let the idea of local stores die out; get in there and strike up a conversation, tell them what you're thinking of cooking, they'll have lots of ideas for you. We love our local green grocers and butchers.
Smell, taste and feel before you buy....good food involves the senses. Put them to use.