The NeighbourFood Podcast


Potato Potato - Ireland's love affair with the humble spud (replay)

This week, we decided to revisit a classic episode from the NeighbourFood podcast archives. As you may have heard, the World Potato Congress that was recently hosted in Dublin, we felt this was a topical and fun episode and a fun look at Ireland’s love affair with the humble spud.Throughout this episode we have with lots of contributors who tell us why this is.We speak to food writer John McKenna of McKenna's Guides about Ireland’s romantic connection to the food that let us down in our past and yet how we return time and time again, like a faithless lover to the spud we love so well.Did you know the process of flavouring crisps was invented here in Ireland? That’s right and Tayto Crisps are responsible for the world-famous cheese and onion flavour! We tracked down Peter Murphy, son of Joe “Spud” Murphy, the founder of Tayto who told us about his entrepreneurial dad, his Peter Pan existence and that Ah-Ha moment when they stumbled across the much-loved Cheese and Onion flavour combination.There are small farmers throughout the country growing potatoes for their local market. We speak to Maria Flynn of Ballymackenny Farm Potatoes who taking over the family farm, realised they were never going to survive on glowing Roosters and Queens alone. So they took a chance on growing heritage and heirloom speciality potatoes and targeting chefs with their more unusual produce. When the pandemic hit, they lost 100% of their customers overnight, so we hear their story of survival.Now, do you think it’s possible to live on Potatoes alone? We find a man in India who claims to do just that. The Aloo Baba lives in the mountains in Pushkar, India and eats 10kg potatoes a day!!!! That’s some feat, but he claims it keeps him young and gives him clarity. Vikrant Naidu, chef at The Lodge, Myrtleville, Cork steps in to translate and also gives us an insight into the culture of potatoes in his home county of India.And finally, potatoes are far more than a carbohydrate on our plate, they also make an interesting ingredient in spirits, such as Poitin. Michael O’Boyle of Baoilleach Distillery in Donegal explains why spuds were sometimes used in the mashbill of poitín makers back in the day and when he chooses to continue this tradition in his own poitin collection “Mulroy Bay”.Enjoy this spudcast full of poppy love.

Busy with Bees, a chat with beekeeper Mark Riordan of

Honeybees are an integral part of our natural world. They pollinate the majority of our crops and trees, giving us the food we eat and the air we breathe. Not only important for our ecosystem, but also for our economy as bees and other pollinators are responsible for a third of our food and contribute billions to the global economy each year. It’s important we look after them, because without bees we are nothing and we are all aware of the decline and threats to bees these days from habitat loss, pesticides and climate change.And this week’s chat with beekepper Mark Riordan, founder of HiveMind.ieWhile Mark got into beekeeping about 10 years ago, in somewhat an accidental fashion, his work with bees has developed into a fascinating enterprise called HiveMind, allowing companies and individuals to sponsor a hive. We’ll hear more of this journey, as well as his honey experiments into beer, fermenting and sometimes accidental kinds of vinegar.We also learn about what you find in typical Irish honey from hawthorn to blackberries and more.Mark of course also tells us of the importance of bees to every single one of us, how they are all key to our existence and the impact and threat that our environmental footprint is having on the bee population today.We mentioned during the course of this podcast a live beehive sound recording which you can download hereCheck out the Irish Beekeepers Association on

Black Pudding, the story of Irish cuisine told through this ordinary and extraordinary food, with food writer Kate Ryan of

Black pudding, blood sausage, and for Irish and UK listeners this food will need no introduction. Loved on breakfast plates across the country, did you know that Black Pudding tells the story of modern Irish cuisine through its ingredients, history, recipe hand me downs and much more?We speak to food writer, Kate Ryan of who recently penned the article “The Aleph: The Story of Irish Food in One Pudding”. It is based on her studies in Irish Food Culture Post Graduate Course at University College Cork, where Kate did a research paper on the topic.We got stuck into the medieval process of making black pudding and how it’s done today. We learned about the exchange of recipes and meitheal of preparing food in the community. We talked about the history of this quintessentially Irish ingredient of fresh blood (now Protected Geographical Indication Recognised in parts of Ireland) and the ingenuity that is shown by butchers around the country in their preparation of pudding today. We then tested and compared three different black puddings, local to Kate’s hometown of Clonakilty. They were Rosscarberry Recipes, Clonakilty Black Pudding and Haulie O’Neil of MJ O Neils Artisan Butcher Shop in Clonakilty. She gave us some tips on to cook pudding at home and eat it at times, other than breakfast… who knew?!?!?Kate Ryan is a food writer and founder of dedicated to championing Irish Food through writing and food adventures. Follow her on instagram ( ) or facebook ( @flavourwestcork )

Gaelic Escargot - snail farming in Ireland with Eva Milka

Snail farming is a pretty unusual one, at least for Ireland. But not for Carlow based snail farmer Eva Milka who started her business Gaelic Escargot (@gaelic_escargot) back in 2013 after a visit to France and discovering the delicacy.Now running the business with her partner Eoin, she told us about all the great things that this clean, sustainable and environmentally friendly type of farming can offer. From a small site, you can produce huge yields, with a surprisingly high profit and healthy product, packed full of protein and adored on dining tables throughout Europe.We spoke about how Eva got started in the business; what a day in the life of a snail farmer looks like; the worldwide snail market and how Irish snail farmers are popping up all over the country and this is kind of thanks to Eva and her snail farming school, which we also learn about!And if you’ve never tried, or been brave enough to taste a snail, then Eva has got lots of ideas of how to cook them up. Or indeed restaurants where you can taste Gaelic Escargots including her top recommendation of The Legal Eagle in Dublin, who serve them with roasted bone marrow, braised oxtail and garlic butter. For home cooks and adventurous chefs, you can order their snails through their website GaelicEscargot.comThis is also the point of contact for anyone who would like to know more about snail farming, dip their toes in the field or get some mentoring on this unusual, but fruitful farming method.