Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Come to Ireland for the food
(Don't listen to Gerry Callahan)



Let me start all of this with a confession. I love food. I am equal opportunities when it comes to where the food came from, I love all food equally. I particularly love rich food. I love American food, I love Irish food. I am on the see-food diet. I see food and I eat it. I generally would not claim that any one food, no matter where it was from, is better than another food. Right, on we go...

So there I was, innocently perusing the latest Gerry Callahan piece in the Boston Herald about Roger Clemens when I came across this painfully lazy and offensive simile.

''Clemens says he’s going to New York for the ring, which is like going to Ireland for the food.''

Wow. So many things jump to mind, first and foremost that classic old saying, 'People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.' Gerry, well rounded and well educated neo-conservative that I assume he is, must surely know that the United States is officially the most obese country in the world? Does Callahan think that is down to the fine, healthy dining?

I have lived in both Boston and Ireland, and I can assure you, the quality of the food, the selection and choice of the food and the healthiness of the food is vastly superior in Dublin, Galway and Cork, heck, even Athlone. My one caveat to that is O'Connell street, it's very hard to find anything to eat there bar American fast food. That aside, Dublin has an incredible range of excellent places to eat.

The fantastic 'Bang Cafe', 'Tante Zoes', 'Pasta Fresca', 'Gotham Cafe', 'Milanos', 'Johnny Fox's', 'Regazzis', 'The Canal Bank Cafe', 'Coopers' and 'Acapulco' are just some of my favourites that are all reasonably priced and yet serve excellent food of a standard way, way ahead of most of what I ate in Boston. Irish food, restaurants and, in particular, chefs are renowned as being the best in Europe and many people come to Ireland specifically for the food.

Callahan's remark was just a lazy and ignorant comment. I suppose, considering where it came from, I should not have been surprised. Callahan served a two-week unpaid suspension from his radio show in 2003 for comparing Little Joe, the gorilla who escaped from the Franklin Park Zoo that summer, to a Metco student — an African-American child.

Personally I find his comment on Irish food shockingly lazy (was he in a hurry to finish the piece and did he just pluck a country out of thin air?). It is a comment that is very offensive to anyone in Ireland and particularly those in the culinary industry.

Perhaps Callahan should take the time to come to Dublin, or Galway or Cork and try the food here before he makes such a flagrantly generalised and ignorant comment in a newspaper of good repute. Or, perhaps, Gourmand that he is, he would rather just spit out barbed, offensive comments from behind the steel curtain that is, sadly, the fattest, unhealthiest nation in the world (as an Irish/American I take no joy in saying/admitting that).

If you, like me, were offended by his comment, please take two minutes to fill out this form in the Boston Herald and let them know you were unhappy with it.

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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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