Every calendar month until March 2021 we will publish a historical recipe that fits the season. We'll publish the original as well as the appetising reimagined version by our creative and skilled chefs. This month's recipe was reimagined by Brian Topping @the_tastebud_explodes. Brian is a talented self-taught home cook and Masterchef Ireland finalist which puts him in the right position to creatively have a go at our historical recipes and forgotten seafood cuisine.
The twelve recipes are the flagship of the Food Smart Dublin project and will be published as a booklet at the end of the project. This booklet will include narratives of the organism's ecology and its importance to the Irish people through time as well as its economic value, health benefits to us and where it can be found.
We identified sustainable seafood dishes for you that are easy enough to cook and can be locally sourced in order to be repeated at home with ordinary kitchen tools and basic cooking skills.
We created a google map of fishmongers and seafood shops in and around Dublin where you can get your seafood for your recipe. This list is by no means exhaustive and if you can't find your local or favourite seafood shop here or you're a fishmonger who would like to be added, please get in touch and we will update our map.
Enjoy your seafood experience!
August recipe: Mackerel
Click for mackerel sustainability info
Click on the mackerel to find out about its ecology and history.
Tips for buying mackerel: If you can buy your mackerel gutted and with the head removed.
If you catch your own mackerel, be sure to gut and behead it as soon as you get the chance to do so. Mackerel spoils quickly! Any trace of blood in it would make it decompose even quicker as blood attracts bacteria. The reason for this is that mackerel is high in histidine which is converted to histamine when bacterial growth occurs during the lack of cold storage. This can lead to scombroid food poisoning or simply scombroid which is a foodborne illness that typically results from eating spoiled fish. Symptoms may include flushed skin, headache, itchiness, blurred vision, abdominal cramps, and diarrhoea. Onset of symptoms is typically 10 to 60 minutes after eating the spoiled seafood and can last for up to two days. Rarely, breathing problems or an irregular heartbeat may occur.
Other fish high in histidine include oily and fast swimming pelagic species such as tuna, herring, sardines, anchovy and marlin.
We have now completed our archival work to identify historical, local seafood recipes of the Dublin coast communities. We searched through the archive of the National Library of Ireland on Kildare street in Dublin, and visited the National Folklore Collections at University College Dublin (UCD). To optimise our outcome we listened to sound archives from the Urban Folklore Project carried out by UCD in 1979-1980. Even though our archival work is officially completed now, we keep our ears and eyes open for any seafood recipes that may have been commonly used in Dublin up to the 1950s. If you have a seafood recipe from your Nana or parents or greatgreat grandparents, please get in touch with us. We would love to hear from you!
At the end of our project, we will publish these recipes in the form of a Food Smart Dublin recipe book including the stories surrounding each seafood, the nutritional values as well as the organism's natural habitat and lifecycle.
Below you will find all the recipes we cooked. You can cook them anytime until they are out of season. Information on the seasons can be found in the sustainability section of each recipe or in our seasonality summary chart. Enjoy your sustainable seafood!