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Details of the Mid West Region of Ireland’s first and only designated Food Trail have been announced in The Burren, County Clare.
The Burren Food Trail, a joint initiative of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Burren Ecotourism Network, uniquely features a Burren Food Trail Signature Dish in each of the 22 participating food producers and restaurants throughout the Burren.
As part of the Burren Food Trail, a weekly food event will be held each Monday from late April through to the end of October. The Burren Food Experience 2013 features a range of food events throughout the Burren Region including an expert-assisted Stargazing & Barbeque at the Cliffs of Moher, Summer Solstice Evening Party in Ballyvaughan, a vegetarian buffet extravaganza & guided Burren walk in Kinvara, and a Wine & Burren Cheese night with storytelling in Kilshanny.
Commenting on the background to the Trail and Food Experience, Kelly Humphries of the Burren Ecotourism Network said: “The fertile valleys of the Burren have long been known for their quality food produce, particularly for the production of beef and lamb thanks to a unique and ancient system of farming. In recent years, this food tradition has expanded through the emergence of many award-winning chef-led restaurants and high quality artisan food producers, as well as an increase in practising market gardeners and growers.”
Ms. Humphries noted that while the Burren is home to some of Ireland’s best known food product exporters such as The Burren Smokehouse and St. Tola’s Organic Goat Cheese, there has not previously been a platform for which the Region’s many quality local food producers and restaurants could be showcased to a wider domestic audience.
She explained: “Despite the economic downturn, there remains a clear and growing confidence internationally in the quality, safety and commercial potential of Irish food ingredients and in the companies producing them. This is reflected in the exporting successes of numerous Burren-based food producers. The Burren Food Trail provides us with an opportunity to showcase to a wider domestic audience some of these products and indeed the many restaurants that feature locally sourced food on their menus. In turn, we hope that the Trail will help members and the wider community to build a sustainable future for the region.”
“The members of the Burren Food Trail have each achieved recognised quality awards and standards, and are also bound by their commitment to ensure staff are knowledgeable about the regional food story, menus state the source of local produce, information is provided on local food events and markets, and they maximise the use of local ingredients in all prepared food,” Ms. Humphries added.
Tina O’Dwyer, Sustainable Tourism Co-ordinator, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark commented: “We are delighted to partner with the Burren Ecotourism Network to develop this initiative. Both organisations are committed to the promotion of responsible tourism that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. We are working together to promote The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark as a leading sustainable visitor destination, celebrated for high standards in visitor experience, conservation and learning.”
The Burren Food Trail will be officially launched a Gala Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark evening at Hotel Doolin in County Clare on Saturday April 27th at 7.00 pm.
The Burren Food Experience 2013 includes a Guided Mountain Walk, Goat Watching & Goat’s Cheese Tasting, Corofin (11am, 29 Apr), Garden Demonstration & Food Tasting, Ballyvaughan (1.30-2.30, 6 May), Burren Salmon Smoking, Tasting & Guided Tour, Lisdoonvarna (11am-12.30pm, 13 May), Homemade Traditional Irish Lunch Feast, Kilfenora (12.30-2pm, 20 May), Afternoon Tea & Guided Stroll, The Rathborney Valley, Ballyvaughan (11am – 4.30pm, 27 May), Food Safari & BBQ, Kilfenora (1-5pm, 3 Jun), Vegetarian Buffet extravaganza, yoga & guided Burren walk, Kinvara (10.30am-5pm, 10 Jun), Cookery Demonstrations, Hotel Doolin (17 Jun), Summer Solstice Evening Party, Ballyvaughan (6.30pm-late, 24 Jun), Leen Organics Open Farm & Garden Evening, Crusheen (5-8pm, 1 Jul), Surfing, Beer & Salmon Tasting, Lisdoonvarna (11am-5pm, 8 Jul), Linnalla’s Ice Cream Sundae, Finavarra (5pm-7pm, 15 Jul), The Cusack Way agus Tae, Carron (11am-2pm, 22 Jul), Afternoon Tea & Farm Walk at Fr. Ted’s Parochial House, Kilnaboy (29 Jul), Tasting Menu of Local Burren Produce, Lisdoonvarna (5 Aug), Fruit Cocktails, Ice Cream Sundae and Flaggy Shore Entertainment, Finavarra (6-9pm, 12 August), Food Safari & BBQ, Kilfenora (1-5pm, 19 Aug), Creative Summer Garden ingredient selection & cookery class, Lisdoonvarna (10.30am-1.30pm, 26 Aug), Homemade Traditional Irish Lunch Feast, Kilfenora (12.30-2pm, 2 Sep), Wine & Burren Cheese Night with Storytelling, Kilshanny (8pm-late, 9 Sep), Sea Kayaking to Linnalla Ice Cream Cafe, Ballyvaughan (16 Sep), Foraging for Edible Wild Foods, Ballyvaughan (10.30am, 23 Sep), Expert-assisted Star-Gazing and Bar-B-Q, Cliffs of Moher (7pm, 30 Sep), Burren Brewery Tasting, Dinner & Traditional Music, Lisdoonvarna (6pm, 7 Oct), Gourmet Vegetarian Harvest Dinner, Lisdoonvarna (7.30pm, 14 Oct), Game & Wine Evening, Ballyvaughan (7pm, 21 Oct), and The Burren Ecotourism Food Fayre & Gala Evening, Lisdoonvarna (27 Oct).
 For complete details on each event, visit www.burrenecotourism.com/food-dining