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Ed Hick

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We aren't much given to hyperbole but, back in 1991, our entry for Hick's Butchers, of Woodpark, Sallynoggin, began like this: “Simply the best pork butcher in Ireland”. We started with a bang, and slowly worked our way towards a crescendo to describe the skills and wisdom of Ed Hick.
But Mr Hick was having none of it. We quoted him as saying, modestly, that his passionate involvement with the poetics of pork was “an amusement, and an attraction”. Yeah, like Chateau d'Yquem is an amusement, and NOMA is an attraction.
But understatement has been Mr Hick's leitmotif all throughout his career. His work – of rearing and curing and cooking and curating his foods – does the talking and even though he is a gifted speaker – intellectually nimble, verbally adroit, and funny, too – he is forever modest.
He can get away with being modest because he is so wise: his work gives him a prism from which to examine the way things work, and he is interested in how things work. As a younger man he was a caver – a potholer, a spelunker – descending into the dark with a few friends, with ropes and lights, trying to see just what was going on underground. And sometimes you can grasp the fact that Mr Hick can see time moving slowly – he sees geological time – as when he told an audience at Wild & Slow in Wicklow that the year 2012 was, in fact, a famine year. But don't worry, he said: “When the fruits fail, the haws are there for you”.
His modesty needs our hyperbole: he is simply the best pork butcher in Ireland.

ALL THE FALL, by John McKenna, adapted from a letter written by Ed Hick.

I decided
not to let the good stuff
go to waste.
So I made some puddings!

The black and white puds here
are as I was shown how to make them
by my Dad.

Using not just the blood
and livers
but pretty much all the fall

From lights
To mudgeons
To chitterlings
To melts
To caul
To maws
And plucks
And a few other bits

There is also
some bacon trim, some barley
and some pinhead oatmeal (although
not that much)

As flavourings
there are onions and spices
and a hint of herb in the black...
Just onion and spices in the white

There are no
Artificial flavours.

They are
filled into natural casings
(beef gut)
which should be
peeled off
prior to frying.

I suggest
cutting sections about
2-3 inches long and
splitting them down
the centre.

They may break up
but where's the
problem with that!

Enjoy the unct
As they are
fresh and made with offal
You should try
and eat them
by this weekend

None of your
twelve week
shelf life here
I'm glad to say.

J Hick & Sond, Rear 15A Georges Street Upper, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
01 2842700

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