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the tour, this chocolate is not local but French. The Irish seem to have a high predilection for sweets; bakeries and chocolate shops pop up in every neighborhood. Dublin has made this a spendy temple to ganache, which by the way is French for “jowl,” something to consider the next time the bon bon box comes your way. Traditionally Irish, however, are biscuits from the high-end, artisan-owned Lismore Food Company. Uniquely Irish, the bar code on the boxes of biscuits shows the shape of the Lismore city skyline. Fallon & Byrne, a restaurant, food hall and wine shop was our final point of call. Three stories tall and jammed with Irish foodstuffs, Fallon & Byrne captures the whole of the revival of Irish food. Being Saturday, the market teemed with folks filling up their baskets with seaweed bread, charcuterie, well-hung meats and cheeses for Saturday dinner parties and Sunday dinners. We retreated to the wine cellar – also known as “The Lower Depth” – where we enjoyed soda bread with farm-made chorizo, a lovely Irish homage to the Italian bruschetta, and a glass of French red. The last 10 years has seen wine re-emerge as a crowd favorite in Ireland. Although wine drinking goes back to the days of the Celts (and a feast-loving group they were) it faded in popularity. But a complicated tax system, tied in with the VAT rebates, keep wine very expensive, thusly, the impressively knowledgeable staff make Fallon & Byrne a go-to source for trustworthy information and recommendations. And so we sip and munch, listen and learn, and think about the food destination Ireland has become. G M March/April 2017 GASPARILLA ISLAND 71


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