The last 10 to 15 years has seen a culinary revolution in Ireland. Thinking back about my holidays in Ireland during the 80s and early 90s, it was a whole different story. Cheese was limited to a red cheddar and white cheddar, starters in restaurants were mainly egg mayonnaise or vegetable soup, and main courses were mainly ham and turkey or beef.
Thinking back about those days, Gullivers restaurant in Sligo used to have a salad bar, a thing which was very progressive in those days. There was also Truffles, way ahead of its time in Sligo.
But with holidays abroad becoming very popular during the "Celtic tiger" era, new foods were introduced and new food influences started to happen. And they happened very quickly, nowadays the food being manufactured and cooked within Ireland can easily compete with the worlds best.
And they know this in Ireland. The last few years has seen the introduction of Artisan food markets, farmers markets, new restaurants and food trails (example: http://sligofoodtrail.ie/ )
The time of the red and white cheddar is long gone. Even the time French Brie and Camembert were introduced are long gone. Now you have Irish made farmhouse cheeses, goats cheese and blue cheese. So imagine what can happen in the next 10 to 15 years.
It will probably take until the next generation though when food habits will change. For example, bringing kids up eating the same as their parents, " no more chips and chicken nuggets" or "a plate of chips", but maybe mussels with chips or a nice goat cheese salad. It will probably take another generation before we see families sitting around tables sharing food rather than everybody ordering their own plate.
But are we excited about the future, oh yes we are.