The Temple Bar Food Market – Caroline Dudeck

27 Nov

         Many of my blogs for Irish Life and Cultures have been based on big trips that we have taken, or interesting historical topics, so for my last blog, I wanted to focus on something modern. Not too long ago my sister and I went to Murphy’s to try some really unique ice cream flavors (like caramelized brown bread) and as we were chatting with the ice cream girls, they told us about the Temple Bar food market that takes place in Temple Bar during every Saturday from the morning until 6 pm. After hearing about all the wonderful vendors, my sister and I decided it was a must see.

            So we woke up on Saturday and headed straight to the Farmer’s Market. I wasn’t sure what to expect, since I am very accustomed to the Farmer’s Market back home of just baked goods, flowers, and organic vegetables. But this was completely different. The food market takes place in the courtyard in Temple Bar near the Irish Film Institute: a quaint area ceilinged with large umbrella-like coverings. The possibilities of meals at the food market are endless. You can buy oysters, pork, chili, Indian food, baked goods, health juices and smoothies, olives, organic fruits and vegetables, cheese, jam, crepes, and there’s even a full olive, hummus, and oil bar. You can even have a nice chat with the vendors while doing so. I knew when I walked into the market that I was a fool for not finding this sooner.

            First, I was greeted by traditional Irish music, played by two men in the corner of the market. Their tunes weren’t overpowering or too loud; they added just the perfect touch of Irish culture into the market. Vendors come from all over the country and even Northern Ireland, as one of the baked good vendors is from Belfast. All of the vendors are really interested in their customers and you can tell that the food they make really comes from the heart, as some travel hours to get to the market and will alter their dishes in any way to accommodate their customers dietary needs or personal preferences.

            One of my favorite stands at the food market is the Irish apple stand. There, you can purchase the sweetest and crispiest apples in Ireland. The vendor also sells his own apple cider vinegar, cider, and syrups. I’m from the state of New York, which has some of the best apples in the country (Honeycrip anyone?!?!) , and I’ve found it really difficult making it through the fall without warm apple cider. I was pleasantly surprised when the apple man had at least twenty-gallon containers of apple cider that you can ferment yourself! So many native Dubliners walk into the market and purchase their groceries for the week, including cider that they ferment themselves. I thought this was really interesting and a great alternative to Bulmer’s!

            I also really enjoyed the cheese stand. The vendor is such a character, as we chatted about where his cheese comes from and how long certain blocks are aged for, he cuts me about five different pieces of cheese, and then 5 bigger pieces for himself. He told me which cheeses are perfect for the holiday dishes coming up, which tastes best on crackers, and what types of wine to taste with each. He also makes his own port and sherry jelly, which I will bring home to my family for Christmas.

            I love the passion amongst the vendors and all of the community at the food market. Often times I see Dublin families coming in; the children all enjoy sugar and lemon crepes, while the parents indulge in Indian samosas and purchase organic yogurt for the week. The music in the background and the smiles on everyone’s faces, vendors and customers, the Irish accents originating from all different parts of the island, and the delicious variety of organic and wholesome foods, makes the Temple Bar food market a must see (yes Donal, I mean you!) I’m happy to be heading home soon, but one of the things I will always remember and will truly miss about Dublin is the food market. I enjoyed every experience and meal I had there, as well as the charismatic friends I made.  


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