This post was published in happy partnership with EatEnjoy, who sponsored this post. This is the third post in a series of three. My first recipe was these – and oh my you have to try them – Hot Cheesy Lobster Pots, the second post was a light and bright but no less cheerful Beetroot Hummus with Feta, Pomegranate and Dill. This post explores using EatEnjoy Dairy in a restaurant situation at Greene’s in Cork, Ireland.
Eating out in Ireland can be a little difficult when you can’t have dairy. It is entirely possible and people are of course very accommodating. On an island of farmers and in a food culture devoted to all things butter milk and cream, it has felt in recent years like I have been missing a lot.
On an island of rich green fields and all that rain we have terrific dairy products across the board. Wonderful artisanal farmhouse cheeses, terrific milk and cream, buttermilk is for sale everywhere that sells milk and by the litre. Our soda bread is milk based, many things are. We are obsessed with butter, we even put it on our biscuits.
Cork was once home to an enormous Butter Market
Cork has a rich dairy history. It was once home to the most important butter market in the UK and Ireland. Launched in 1730, at its peak in the 1880s it was handling 500,000 casks of butter per year valued at £1.5million. People travelled from all over the world to Cork to trade butter. It is for this reason that there are recipes like Spiced Beef in Cork as the spices were traded for butter. It closed later as European butter markets competed, and in the area where it once thrived there is now Cork Butter Museum. A curious small place packed with butter paraphernalia and history including an ancient barrel of bog butter. Butter was our primary source of fat and therefore stored energy for the lean months of winter. We are still obsessed.
Cork is a small city by international standards but it is Ireland’s second city, it is also in Ireland’s largest county. The gastronomy scene is exciting and it has been developing at speed and with confidence. Cork as with much of Ireland has coastline and rich pasture and it is packed with passionate producers and chefs making the most of the gorgeous tapestry available to them.
Greene’s in Cork – Shining a light on Irish produce and creativity
Irish people have always known but now others see this too. In 2018 of the three new Michelin stars awarded in Ireland, all 3 were awarded to new Cork restaurants. Remarkably, none of which were yet a year old. I have my favourite places that I visit when I go home. One of the places I always go to is Greene’s. Tucked off MacCurtain St in the Victorian Quarter, it has a bright room with a large window over looking a natural small waterfall. It is a soothing place to just sit, but it is so much more. I come here for the food.
Chef Bryan McCarthy is at the helm in Greene’s. Bryan is a native of Glandore in West Cork, and the focus at Greene’s is on Irish ingredients, particularly those of Cork, from wild and foraged to farmed with care. The tasting menu is always a superb reintroduction to Ireland and is often one of my first stops when I go home. I visited over Christmas, and this time I was armed with EatEnjoy Dairy tablets which would allow me to have some dairy on my plate.
How EatEnjoy Dairy Works
EatEnjoy Dairy includes a unique blend of enzymes – Dairylytic® – developed by scientists at the US enzyme-supplement specialist Deerland Enzymes. EatEnjoy Dairy contains lactase and protease, specially formulated to help digest dairy food. Lactase enzyme improves lactase digestion in people like me who have difficulty digesting lactose, while protease targets milk proteins and works to break these down. The claim that lactase enzyme improves lactase digestion in individuals who have difficulty digesting lactose is approved by the European Food Safety Authority and these tablets do help me tolerate some milk products.
I find that EatEnjoy Dairy especially help me to digest dairy. It works particularly well with cheese, but I do need to go very easy with products like cream. The advice is that with EatEnjoy Dairy I should be able to digest about 250ml of milk, without any problems. If there is more milk or dairy products in one meal – then I should take 2 capsules.
Greene’s Tasting Menu
I ordered the tasting menu with two tablets in hand, with one change, if possible. I really wanted to taste the Cork Spiced Beef with Coolea Cheese Fondue now that I could.
Kickstarting with Seasonal Snacks and a glorious quenelle of butter (just a taste!) – radish with organic chicken parfait and a bulus plum gel, quinoa cracker with Coolea cheese fondue and pickled vegetables. An unexpected first taste of the Coolea cheese fondue and it was gorgeous. Intense flavour and a super smooth texture. If Bryan can figure out how to sell this by the tube he can retire. Bulus plums were new to me, a wild Irish plum, they make kefir from it at Greene’s and then make gel from the plums (gorgeous and no waste).
Presenting Cork’s culinary traditions and wild ingredients
Jack McCarthy’s Spiced Beef with Pickles, Celeriac, Coolea Cheese Fondue followed. Jack McCarthy is one of Ireland’s better known butchers. Based in North Cork, he produces a range of terrific meat products. He is best known for his black and white puddings but his Spiced Beef is exceptional also. Here it was finely sliced and filled with celeriac remoulade, and accompanied with that sublime Coolea cheese fondue and pickles. Beautiful.
Next to the sea with Steamed Cod with Sea Vegetables, Bisque, Kelp and Dillisk Seaweed. A perfectly steamed piece of cod, steamed with dashi and powdered dried kelp from Baltimore in West Cork. It was sitting a top a gorgeous rich bisque with pickled dillisk on top (aka dulse) and a cod skin cracker on the side. The seaweed is all foraged in Baltimore.
A palate cleanser of blackcurrant sorbet with crabapple kefir followed. I loved the sorbet but the kefir was really special. Bryan needs to bottle that too!
On then to the land. Ballinwillin Organic Farm Venison with Celeriac, Elderberry, Chestnut, Sprouts and Chocolate. On the side, a small portion of venison ragu in a slice of pickled celeriac on the side.
And then to dessert, possibly the most challenging course in terms of dairy. Mixed Berry Set Cream Pudding with mousse, meringue and blackberry sorbet. So pretty and colourful with clashing and delightful textures. I knew I would be reaching my dairy limits here and so I had my second tablet and had a taste of the dessert. Gorgeous! It had been a long time since I had a set cream. Such a luxury for me and a joy to taste it.
Greene’s Tasting Menu is terrific value and an essential stop in Cork
The food at Greene’s is a joy and it remains a bargain for what it is at €45 for a Tasting Menu at lunchtime. Matched wines are available, I opted for one by the glass from a well priced and interesting list. It is a must for all visits to Cork and if you are local, you absolutely need to go there.
Disclosure: My ability to use these and enjoy moderate amounts of dairy is no guarantee that you will be able to too. There are many ways of reacting to dairy from intolerance to slow onset allergy to an allergy that can be fatal, these tablets would certainly not be recommended in an allergy situation. Please talk to your doctor if you are not clear on what your dairy digestive issues are. If you know that you are intolerant, then these are certainly worth trying. EatEnjoy have a limited time offer of 20% off with the code ENJOYDAIRY20 – read more on https://eatenjoy.co.uk/ (and you can buy them there too).