This is more of an entrance than a door, to kick off this week’s Thursday Doors. The English Market in Cork city is where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip dropped in to buy buy some sausages for their Saturday morning fry-up in May 2011, on the final day of the Queen’s State Visit to Ireland. Well, they didn’t exactly pay for them, as they were presented with a hamper packed with twenty different Irish artisan food products on offer at the various stalls. There are two entrances on different streets that lead into the covered market and it’s a hive of activity every day of the week. Here is the website description:
‘Small stalls sit alongside larger businesses. Fledgling traders beside long-established family businesses passed down from one generation to the next. Meats and fish, herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, sauces and oils, chocolates and cakes, cheeses and pastas – the Market caters for all culinary tastes and all eating occasions. You’ll also find crockery, t-shirts, novelty items, clothes alterations and art – an eclectic mix itself creating a diversity of customers, adding further to the unique atmosphere of the English Market. Having experienced the sights, sounds and smells of the Market, customers can unwind and sample it’s tastes and enjoy the banter from the various café’s, deli’s and food plates from the atypical stalls.’ (1)
The ‘English Market’ was created in 1788 by the English (Protestant) corporation that controlled the city until 1841. The reformation of local government in 1840 saw the representatives of the majority Irish (Catholic) community establish an alternative indoor market, which became known as the ‘Irish Market’ differentiating it from its older counterpart.
The story of the English Market reflects the political, cultural and dietary history of the people of Cork over a span of two centuries. The changing tastes of the city has always been catered to but old Irish food traditions still remain. Alongside Spanish olives, Italian bread and French cheese you will also find the old working class Irish food staples like, tripe, drisheen, crubeens and salted ling. If you’re vegetarian, I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say they are all much cheaper forms of protein than your average steak.
After watching this video by Partnership International you will see why I love to visit the English Market any time I’m in the city. It will also make you hungry – sorry.
Thanks for stopping by this week and if you would like to see more doors (or entrances, or even gates) from around the world, have a look at Norm’s blog.