One of the best things about writing a book like Ireland The Best is that you get a chance to indulge your interest in favourite subjects – country bars, for example, or interesting shipwrecks, or really ace graveyards.
But you really know you are having a good time when you get to write about Ireland's fish and chip shops and when, in the course of research, one thing starts to become obvious: beef dripping is back.
In truth, in some places – Northern Ireland – beef dripping never went away. But elsewhere, after McDonald’s announced thirty years ago that it was shifting over to vegetable oil, everyone pretty much followed suit.
But today, the pendulum is swinging back. And it’s not just starry restaurants offering triple-fried beef fat chips who are leading the way. Many others of the best chippers in Ireland have realised that the shift away from beef dripping led to a significant loss of flavour. So, beef is back, from Jackie Lennox in Cork to Henry & Rose in Wicklow to McNulty’s in Limavady.
Now, isn’t that just the best news you’ve heard in a long while! Lard is out of the larder, and into the fryer.