Ballymaloe Fish

Day 38 – Pollock

Wednesday is theory day.  We had a break from the kitchen and watched Rory demonstrate meat free cooking. I have dabbled in vegetarianism but over time have realised I’m okay with meat. I do feel a little guilty when I walk past the piglets on the farm but continue eating meat because :

  1. It’s delicious. I would hate to miss out on flavour. Few restaurants adequately cater to vegetarians. If they do they only have one or two boring items on the menu. This is especially true when travelling – vegetarianism just isn’t a thing in many parts of the world.
  2. Healthy farms have animals and crops that support each other. The chickens here at the school eat food that would otherwise be wasted. They give us eggs and eventually meat.
  3. Michael Pollan eats meat. So do Rory, Darina and Rachel. If it’s good enough for them…
  4. Butchery is a craft. Buying a cheap vacuum packed steak from a hormone pumped cow is not so nice but a dry-aged cut from a skilled butcher is a beautiful thing.

In the afternoon’s wine class we sampled an orange wine, made from white grapes in the red wine method.

To clarify :

White wine is made from red grapes with no skin contact during fermentation.

Red wine is made from red grapes with full skin contact.

Rosé wine is made from red grapes with partial skin contact.

Orange wine is made from white grapes with full skin contact.

In the early days of wine there was no white wine – only orange.It looks a bit like Bulmers and tasted metallic at first but by the third sip it was alright. Definitely needs to be drunk with food though.

Colm is great at gauging the room. When people were feeling a bit tired he brought us outside to finish class in the amphitheatre. He told us which wines we should drink based on our star signs. As an Aquarian I should go for acidic whites, which is very accurate because my new favourite wine is gewurtztraminer!

In the evening I went fishing with about eight others. This is an extra the school arranges for anyone interested. I had a very promising start and caught three pollock in one go! I was feeling like a natural fisherwoman when I was hit with a wave of nausea. It’s a good thing there were so many buckets on board.  The rest of the evening was not so fun but it’s times like these you feel you are really living! I wish I could tell you I went home and cooked my catch for dinner but the sight of it turned my stomach so it was donated to the kitchen.


I learned : 98% of the wine bought in the world is consumed within 24 hours. People are thirsty.

Food of the day : Dry sourdough toast, my dinner.

Line of the day : ‘I’m getting carried away with my own genius.’ Rory, relatable as always.