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cork english market

September 1, 2009
Aat the entry of the market

at the entry of the market

I love going to food markets.  I love Granville Island in Vancouver, and Pike Place in Seattle and the granddaddy of all markets, Jean-Talon in Montreal.

It was easy to sniff out the English Market in Cork when I was planning our trip to Ireland.  It pops up on the food blogs and travel information.  So the English Market was our first stop in Cork.

The City of Cork is in the southern most part of Ireland, and I found the town gritty and very real.  There did not appear to be a lot of tourists wandering about the market – this seemed like a food market for those from Cork to get their fish, lamb, sausages and olives all in one place.  Yes, olives.

mmmm, buckets of olives

mmmm, buckets of olives

Food markets are like farmer’s markets open every day of the week.  I wish Edmonton had one, but then this makes visiting other city’s markets even more fun.   The pictures pretty much speak for itself.  Foodie heaven.

Of course, Cork is very near to the ocean, so there was an aisle of fish.  Shiny dead fish, including the dreaded monkfish, perhaps the ugliest fish in the world.  They didn’t have whole monkfish on display, so here’s a photo here.  When we lived in Bergen Norway, then-four year old Ella was terrified of the monkfish at the Fish Market.  And who could blame her?  Instead I took a photo of the innocent mackerel:

many many mackerels

many many mackerels

The Irish do eggs and dairy up right.  There is a HUGE dairy section in the grocery store, complete with dozens of different kinds of yogurt and cheese.  Cheese has a post all of its own.  Eggs are pretty much only ‘farm fresh’ – there are no crappy eggs to be found here, as there are chickens running around on farms all over the place.  This is good news for me, an egg-eater.

eggs, glorious eggs

eggs, glorious eggs

sheep cheese, cow cheese, all kinds of cheese

sheep cheese, cow cheese, all kinds of chees

Who can quibble about being served sausage as part of a ‘Full Irish’ breakfast?  I cannot.  Along with an egg, grilled tomato, rashers (that’s bacon to those of us who are uninitiated), big fat mushrooms and black and white pudding – that’s what makes up a ‘Full Irish’ breakfast in Ireland.  I did try the pudding, but gave it a pass.  Too grainy and gamey for my delicate palate because I’m such a princess.  Although the breakfast is 20 euros at most hotels, so I’d suggest seeking out a pub for breakfast instead.  Or making it yourself in your little cottage kitchen, like we did.

The English Market has a booth that exclusively sells sausage.  Lots and lots of them.

the irish love their sausage.  and so do i.

the irish love their sausage. and so do i.

And to finish (NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART), here is a graphic display at a butcher who sold pork.  In case we had forgotten, pork actually means PIG, like real PIGS and the merchants lovingly displayed a reminder.

not for the faint of heart

not for the faint of heart

Cork English Market
on the Grand Parade
Cork, County Cork, Ireland

4 Comments leave one →
  1. ellahorne permalink
    September 1, 2009 11:14 am

    eww… pig head. i wish i was there to eat sausages!

  2. September 3, 2009 2:04 pm

    Looks awesome. I’ve never seen eggs just in a big pile like that. I’d worry they’d get all crushed!

  3. September 4, 2009 2:11 pm

    It does look awesome. Big markets are so grand!

  4. January 19, 2010 9:54 am

    One of my writers just wrote about the English Market of Cork — clearly a must-do when in Ireland!

    Beautiful photos. Those olives are mouth-watering 🙂

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