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Dinner & A Book - Culinary Travels - Notes from a Small Island

Episode #1604 - Culinary Travels - Notes from a Small Island

Guest: Carol Hamilton Meehan, Lady of the House

Fiddler's Hearth
http://www.fiddlershearth.com/ Find Fiddler's Hearth on Facebook

Marshall V. King travels to Fiddler’s Hearth in South Bend to discover a full Irish breakfast. Carol Hamilton Meehan, the lady of the house at Fiddler’s Hearth, showcases the hearty meal and how it varies slightly from a traditional English breakfast.
Original Airdate: January 28, 2017

Field Notes

Marshall V. King

In 2008, I fell in love with Irish breakfasts.

Not everyone does. That black pudding can be a tricky thing for some to get past.

I was helping lead a tour group in the amazing country and at these hotels, we were served breakfast. Some asked for fruit and a bit of brown bread, if I remember correctly. I was focused on my own plates of goodness.

I loved the black pudding. It's sausage, made with oatmeal and pig blood. And yes it's black. Others in our group barely wanted to be in the same room with me eating it, much less eat it themselves.

Some mornings, we got a bit of brown bread with cheese, fruit and a bit of smoked salmon. That brown bread is hearty and rich, loaded with grains and molasses. An incredible version at one hotel was made with duck eggs, which are higher in protein and often lend richness to baked goods.

At Fiddler's Hearth, Carol Hamilton Meehan fiddled in the kitchen for several weeks to get the Irish soda bread and brown bread recipes how she wanted them. Meehan said the brown bread is best warm with a bunch of Kerrygold butter and I'd agree.

The plate that was presented as a classic Irish breakfast looks just like the one offered at Fiddler's Hearth, 127 N. Main St., South Bend. Potatoes, mushrooms, a grilled tomato, eggs flank the Irish bacon that isn't smoked and that black pudding. Don't forget the banger, what the Irish call a sausage link.

At Fiddler's, it also comes with beans and you can also get white pudding that has the oatmeal and pork, but not the blood. Meehan said you can also get it with smoked salmon.

The Irish breakfast is on the menu at Fiddler's daily, available until 5 p.m. Because it has so many elements trying to prepare all of them during the dinner hour is problematic, she said.

The classic Irish breakfast isn't light or for the light-hearted. Perhaps that's why I love it.