Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kinsale Ireland and Crabs

Kinsale Ireland and Crabs!

Ireland Crab

Today, I thought I would share a story about The Atlantic Ocean vs Pacific Ocean crabs! Kinsale being considered the Gourmet capitol of Ireland brought many
Dungeness Crab-USA
thoughts to my mind about where and what we may find to eat. By the time we reached Kinsale we had been in Ireland for six days and some foods from home were definitely on my mind to explore.  A true lover of fish and being surrounded by the ocean what better place for fresh seafood. Of course, I ordered it almost daily for one meal or another but one day, about the third or fourth day in Kinsale, I thought how nice (since we had this great kitchen to prepare meals) it would be to go find a meat/fish market and buy fresh crab for dinner.

Now that was easier said than done for sure. After winding through the streets trying not to shop in every wonderful store there, we found a fish market with crabs-what a surprise! Crab for so cheap. I probably bought 4 pounds for under $10 US dollars. What I did not think about or know was how different crab was from home out of the Pacific Ocean.

We brought our treasure back to the apartment where we were staying, excited to share with our landlady what we felt would be a great treat. What I did not know was that crab in Ireland was at one time (according to different Internet sources) mostly used for bait! For eating pleasures, the claws were enjoyed and the body being so difficult to pick was simply discarded or used as I said for bait. However the Irish are very good at both catching and mouth watering recipes for many years now and we can certainly be happy for the experience.
In Ireland as in the US there are many types of crabs but for eating pleasures, the brown crab is what we were told most enjoyed. I cannot say what we bought as I am not sure-only that I was full by the time I finally finished picking the crabmeat from the body. It took so long I think I filled up on the wonderful homemade brown breads you find in Ireland! But the claws were so good and a treat satisfying my craving for crabs until I got home! A recipe follows I found on line from Rozanne's Recipes and Glenisk from the UK.

Now as for the Dungeness Crab (source here is the Wikipedia) The carapace widths of mature Dungeness crabs may reach 25 centimetres (9.8 in) in some areas off the coast of Washington, but are typically under 20 centimetres (7.9 in).[2] They are a popular delicacy, and are the most commercially important crab in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the western states generally. I grew up along the Gulf of Mexico and it is the crab we always seem to look for,The annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival is held in Port Angeles each October.

(Following Taken from Wikipedia 7-27)

Dungeness crabs have a wide, long, hard shell. They have five pairs of legs, which are similarly armoured, the foremost pair of which ends in claws the crab uses both as defense and to tear apart large food items. The crab uses its smaller appendages to pass the food particles into its mouth.magister prefers to eat clams, other crustaceans and small fish, but is also an effective scavenger. Dungeness crabs can bury themselves completely in the sand if threatened.

Yummm these are so fantastic! A true treat you will not forget anytime soon.

Kinsale, among other things is a small town in County Cork with a reputation for great cuisine and quiet scenery buzzing with activity.  This is a  quaint and charming fishing town  surrounded by a lush green landscape and busy harbor.  This town is known for its food and restaurants with award winning menus.  In fact, we were also told about a local festival in October called the Gourmet Festival lasting four days.  Along the harbor side across the street we found a restaurant we tucked into to warm up and have a small lunch.  We happened to see a vegetable soup listed so we ordered it and much to our surprise here again was a soup where no vegetables could be seen!  It was amazing-it appeared that it was that way everywhere we ordered soup.  They pureed them and the soups were always creamy-it was delightful!

We walked through the town many times to either shop, take a tour, have dinner, shop for fresh fish to cook  at our apartment or sit by the waterside!  The Kinsale Harbour Cruise tour took us by boat to see the Forts (James Fort and Charles Fort) although it was strictly by water that we saw them and we also saw so many beautiful areas we may have missed otherwise.  If you take these types of trips we want to warn you it is not warm in Ireland most of the time so take a scarf or sweater with you.  Umbrellas are always a nice idea as well!

I, loving to shop, found many fine places of interest including a linen store with all the bargains that a larger city would have to offer but an even nicer selection.  The mentality of this town again is much the same as it is in all of Ireland-if they think you look lost-they stop you and ask if you are ok or if they can help you!  How wonderful it is to be so welcome in a foreign land or anywhere for that matter!  Above are photos of the Forts, and the Custom Boat we passed one day while sailing.

There is so much to find in Ireland and know that each day of discovery is another hidden treasure. Be sure to come back so we can unfold more about this wonderful country that extends open arms to all it's visitors!

Kinsale: Another Extraordinary Dream!

By: Rosemary "Mamie" Adkins
Extraordinary Dreams of an Ireland Traveler

Our Bonus for today: Crab Recipe!
Be sure to watch the YouTube by Glenisk with Rozann'e Recipes

Crab Tian with Avocado and Mango

1 mango, peeled and finely diced
2 avocados, peeled and finely diced
150 g watercress or baby salad leaves
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper
Mustard cress shoots or alfalfa shoots

Crab Mixture:
400 g cooked crabmeat
2 tbls Glenisk Organic Crรจme Fraiche
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbls chopped fresh coriander
3 spring onions, finely chopped
5 drops Tabasco sauce
Salt and pepper  

1.    Mix all the crab mixture ingredients together, season to taste. Place in fridge for 20 minutes.
2.    Peel and finely dice the mango and avocado (see Rozanne's How To video). Do not mash.
3.    Place in separate bowls. Squeeze half a lime over each bowl. Season the avocado with salt and pepper.
4.    Take a small handful of watercress and gently roll between cupped hands to form a loose ball. Place on a plate.
5.    Take a tian, and place on top of the watercress.  Press 2 tablespoons of crab mixture into the tian. Spoon 1 tablespoon of avocado on top and press down. Finish with 1 tablespoon of mango. Garnish with a few mustard cress shoots.
6.    Repeat with the rest of the seven plates.

Thank You and Come Again!


  1. thank you for sharing

  2. What fun, Rosemary! I love crab but it is a lot of work, isn't it? Love bread too, it's my biggest weakness. Again, your pictures are so beautiful. You definitely make me want to go to Ireland! Thanks for sharing the recipe as well. It looks delicious.

    1. Linneann,
      I love crab and love Ireland. As I have said to others, keep your bags packed, We will go back and hopefully in 2013. Do try the recipe, II wish were my own but check the web site our=t for these people, they are truly good.

      Thanks for visiting,

  3. Today's post is delicious, especially since crab is one of my favorite seafoods too. I learned to love blue crab (freshly caught by my husband, son, and me) when I lived on the Gulf of Mexico, and I came to adore stone crab in Miami. It would be fun to give Irish crab a try!
    As always, your photos are beautiful and add so much to your story. Another great post.

    1. HI Sandy,
      Thanks so much for sharing yor experiiences. We love to go crabbing. Just caught a dungeness that was almost 9" across. I was raised in Houston and the crabs iin the Guld are wonderful.

      Thanks for stopping by. Next week should be another adventure I hope you enjoy.

  4. Wonderful pictures! I love the storytelling you do with them. Yum! That crab reipe looks scrumptious--I need to try to make that. Great post as always!



    1. Hi Micki,
      I am so happy you enjoyed this story. I think I was talking to you when the idea struck and knew it would be ok when you said go for it!

      Thanks for your support.


  5. Thank you, Rosemary, for another great post. I have never been bored reading them, only intrigued and excited about (hopefully) one day visiting! Love, Deirdre

  6. Deirdre,
    Again, I thank you for your support. Keep loving thie adventures and wanting to visit Ireland. I want to put together a tour in 2013 so keep those bags packed for adventure. Our dollar is finally worth something there-so a great sign we should all travel to the beautiful Emerald Isle.

    God's Blessings,