|English Market Main Entrance|
Cork City is the culinary capital of Ireland, and anyone who doubts that claim has only to visit The English Market
to be converted. Built in response to Cork's economic prosperity in the eighteenth century, it opened on August 1, 1788, and has survived many challenges, including a devastating fire in 1980. Today it is the centerpiece of Cork's thriving culinary economy and a vibrant reminder of its long history in artisan food production.
Quoting from The English Market Website:
The unrivalled ability of Cork Harbour to shelter the biggest fleets assembled during the American War of Independence and later during the Napoleonic Wars was a major factor in the expansion of the provisions trade in Cork. The Cork Butter Market, with its strict and rigorously enforced system of quality control, was world famous and became the largest butter market in the world for its time.
The First Quality Control System for Food
|Cork Butter ~ Early Export Map|
The Cork Butter Museum
is another testament to Cork County's centuries old artisan food industry. Illustrated through rooms of detailed displays, the museum pays tribute to the city's strategic contribution in expanding global trade routes soon after Columbus sailed to the Americas. Perhaps its most important and lasting innovation, though, was the establishment of a quality grading system for butter, essentially creating the world's first food quality control system.
Celebrating the Science of Good Food
|UCC Dairy Department Signage|
Crowning Cork's reputation for good food is the School of Food and Nutritional Sciences
at University College Cork
(UCC). In addition to being one of Europe's most respected food science research centers, it is also the oldest dairy science training institution in the world. It's no surprise then that milk and cheese have such prominence in this UCC video production about 5th century Irish foods.