By Jacqueline Hogge, Tuam Herald
A UNIQUE recipe book, born out of an intergenerational project in Claregalway, has received a special aware under the European Region of Gastronomy, which Galway will host next year.
Fusion is a collection of family recipes gathered by the pupils of Claregalway Educate Together National School, and has been dedicated to members of the local day care centre who gave the idea for the book.
The book was inspired by the school’s annual international evening that turns the classroom into a pop-up restaurant, showcasing the different cuisines of the 28 nationalities the pupils represent.
School principal Terri Claffey said the project had inspired the children to learn how people ate, and the different traditions surrounding food from older people.
“Our sixth class children this year were in fourth class when they first visited the day care centre to meet with the older people and the conversations that began there fuelled our knowledge for what became this wonderful recipe book,” she said.
“They learned how foods have changed down through the years and how cooking methods have also evolved.
“They also provided fascinating insights into the traditions around food at different times of the year and how these have changed.”
Sharing their experiences, the pupils said they learned that they are lucky to have a far greater selection of food than was available when the older people were children.
They also discovered that more men cook now than half a century ago and that it is easier to source food now than it was then.
Ellie Nagle, a member of the Parents Together group that co-ordinated the project, said the children were amazed to hear stories of foods that wouldn’t be common on dinner tables today.
“I think they only foods they balked at were tripe and trotters, which reflects the fact that back then every part of the animal was eaten,” she said.
Lisa Fenwick, also of the Parents Association, said the school was indebted to local restaurants and businesses which had donated funding and recipes to the book.
“We received a grant from Galway County Council of €500 that we then had to come up with matching funding and so many businesses in the village including Treat Cafe, Hughes Supervalu, Raftery Centra, Claregalway Hotel, and the Arches Hotel, helped out.
“The recipe book includes recipes from Argentina, Belarus, Belgium, China, England, France, Switzerland, Italy, Japan, Romania, Spain, Turkey, Sri Lanka (chef from Treat Cafe), and Hungary (chef from Arches Hotel).
“Working on the recipe book has provided our school with wonderful links into our local community and we are looking forward to launching it in the day care centre in the coming weeks.”
Fusion costs €12 and is available from the school, Sweeney’s Pharmacy, Treat Cafe and Green Earth Organics, with all proceeds going towards the purchase of educational and sporting equipment for the school.