Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bleary-eyed recollections of this year's Dingle Food and Wine Festival

A year has gone by since I first set up my stall at Dingle's Farmers' Market. Little Miss Cupcake - a stall specialising in (yup, you've guessed it!) cupcakes and brownies - came into existence in September of last year and a mere month later, I was selling hundreds of cupcakes at Dingle's Food and Wine Festival, an annual event that takes place on the first weekend of October.

To mark my first year anniversary, I decided that I wanted this year's food festival to be even bigger and better than before.

This marked the start of the madness.

I decided that as well as baking brownies, I would bake ten different varieties of cupcake. That's right. Ten! Chocolate, white chocolate and raspberry, strawberry, banoffee, carrot, Guinness and Baileys, Oreo, mini mixed berry and vanilla cheesecakes, almond and orange and Black Forest cupcakes. Why did nobody think to stop me?

As a result of this crazy decision, my weekend passed in a blur of bleary-eyed activity. I rose at dawn, baked and iced cupcakes, spent the afternoon enticing people to buy them, rushed home to bake some more, snatched a few hours of precious sleep and then rose to do it all over again. This was the pattern on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Somehow, I also managed to find the time to enjoy a nine course tasting menu at the Global Village restaurant on Saturday night. I'm not going to review it here as the owners are friends of mine but believe me when I say that it was fabulous.
Highlights included a ravioli filled with the sweetest concentrated tomato that burst when cut and intensified a deeply flavoured tomato broth; albacore tuna served with seaweed; a wonderfully minty mojito sorbet; and an imaginative take on millionaire's shortbread where the caramel was replaced with zingy lemon.
One of the highlights of the Dingle Food Festival - besides the excellent market and the food demonstrations - is the taste trail. Almost all of the businesses in the town take part and each of them hosts a different food producer. So, essentially, you can stroll around the town, following your nose and your appetite and enjoying bite-sized meals in pubs, shops, restaurants and art galleries.
Tuck into some barbequed seafood at the fishmonger's. Slurp on some oysters and Guinness in one pub or tuck into a pint and a pork pie in another. Enjoy a spit-roast pig, Spanish paella, Murphy's ice cream sandwiches, gourmet coffee, wine tastings and so much more.
Unfortunately, I missed most of this as I was busy manning my stall. Next year, cupcakes or no cupcakes, I have vowed not to be so overtaken by madness. I too will eat my way around Dingle.


  1. As much as I love food and producing it, I have managed to restrain myself from joining in the fray! Your baking is fabulous and you deserve to be noticed in a big way for it. I am going to stick to the wool fibre now and bake in my spare time, which is a lot more enjoyable...:)

  2. Hi KerryFelter/Sharon,
    Thanks for the compliments!
    Did you get to enjoy the food festival? As I mentioned above, I enjoyed it but didn't get to indulge as much as I would have liked...

  3. Hi
    The cupcakes look yummy!
    I thought of you the other day when I seen a christmas cupcake cook book!
    Look forward to seeing some more photos!!

  4. Thanks Kat.
    Send me a link to that cookbook! I am looking for some Christmas cupcake recipes at the moment so it might just come in super handy.

    All the best,

  5. Hi the link is http://www.thebookpeople.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/qs_product_tbp?storeId=10001&catalogId=10051&langId=100&productId=199677

    The book people have loads of good deals don't know if you have them in Ireland? or try amazon.

  6. Ooh. It looks great! And it's so cheap too - double great!
    I haven't ordered from book people before but I'll see if they ship to Ireland. Thanks for the tip and all the best,