Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Taste of Ireland: In San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Mary Gleeson, an Irish proprietor on business in San Francisco, is giddy with excitement. She's waiting for a group of 136 neighbors and friends to fly in from her rural hometown of Roscommon, Ireland (population 5,000) -- 61 one of which are dancers ages 6 - 20, competing in the North American Irish Dancers Championship in downtown San Francisco. Her townhouse and restaurant Gleeson's is a sponsor for
this event. "We are so happy to offer this experience to the youngsters," said the ebullient hostess, "it's an adventure they'll always remember."

Gleeson's is part of a culinary revolution putting Ireland on the foodie map by offering local, seasonal and organic faire. The burgeoning Good Food Ireland campaign promotes artisan food producers. Mary is quick to point out that people associate Ireland with a certain he-who-must-not be-named meal, "we don't eat corned beef at all," she said laughing at the idea. Instead, her specialty is a traditional Irish Lamb Stew. At the Flavor of Ireland event sponsored by Tourism Ireland in San Francisco, I sampled Gleeson’s Irish Whiskey Marmalade with homemade soda bread and white cheddar cheese – authentic and hearty. Here’s to Mary’s group of Irish dancers, Erin Go Bragh!

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