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The West Awakes

All the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.
A trip through the Monday snows, from Macroom to Mulranny, to launch the first “A Taste of Mayo” booklet in the Knockranny House Hotel in Westport.
And what a thrill to discover new food such as Patti Moss's banana butter, Sean Kelly's amazing putog – a black pudding cooked in sheep's stomach which Mr Kelly makes twice a year – and lots of other delicious foods.
Amazing crafts as well, including wool products made by Joan Bourke of Homespun Knitwear, who rears her own sheep, spins their wool, uses only completely natural dies, and makes the most delectable hats, gloves, scarves and what-have-you.
It's a great night because one can sense both the confidence of the producers, and the trust of the local LEADER group, whose help and support is pivotal to these nascent food micro-industries.
Best of all, one senses tradition in the foods, yet they are not fossilised “traditional” foods. Don't miss this booklet when you are planning a trip to climb Croagh Patrick – currently blanketed in snow – or to take in the subtle delights of this mercurial, wonderful county.
And on to the Hotel Westport, to judge a black pudding cookery competition, sponsored by Sean Kelly, where 16 Mayo chefs will compete for the prize.

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