Sunday, May 2, 2010


Greetings from Ireland!

First of all: America is not the only country with an obesity problem! Plenty of fat, ginger haired folks walking around the Emerald Isle.

You would think that after 6 months of no animal products I would head right for a slice of pizza, or a cheeseburger, or something decadent to remember what “normal people” ate. Well, I kept thinking that I was not going to waste a slice of pizza or a cheeseburger in Ireland, not to mention I did not have any burning desire for them.

Then I began to over-think it, “Where was I going to have my first piece of meat?” I decided that I would simply eat whatever came naturally; to not make a big deal over it. Now, why have meat at all? Well, two reasons. First, to get over the big deal of it all, and second, to quench my curiosity.

However, it was not until late afternoon that I decided to eat anything other than fruit and vegetables. Up until that time I ate an orange, a box of delicious strawberries I bought at a terrific famer’s market, and a pint of Guinness.

As I walked along the Shannon River in Limerick which was lined with BBQ grills celebrating the yearly Riverfest I decided that The Oyster House at Locke Bar was as good as any place to have my first meat and fish.

I decided that I would feel more comfortable if these things were in soups so I ordered the Seafood Chowder, and the Irish Stew. Well, the chowder was excellent – filled with mussels, clams, shrimp, and haddock. It was not some earth moving event that tied my taste buds in knots since I tried seafood for the first time in 6 months. The fish was fresh and delicious, and although it tasted salty to my virgin palate, it was a great dish. The Irish Stew was also quite good, but the meat was quite chewy. Now, you are not going to get the best meat in the world that is thrown into a stew at a bar on the river, but it was tasty and not the big, crazy event that I expected. OK, so I had some beef, it was not an “Oh My God” moment of, “So this is what beef tastes like?” I guess taste buds are like muscle memory – it just remembers.

Right, I had fish, and I had meat, the world can rest easy, the big moment was over. How do I feel? What do I think? What was it like? Well, I wish I could bust out some Oscar Wilde prose for you, but it was like the million other times I had beef and fish in my life. But, after 6 months every single ingredient was more pronounced. I think I expected it to be a bigger deal than it was. All I can say is that when I saw a salad go past me on the waiters tray it looked delicious. So, the big moment is over, and I have nothing clever to say. My goal is the same, my desire is the same, and my taste buds are the same – I am going to eat healthfully, and mostly, though not exclusively, plants – end of story.


Vegan Epicurean said...

Your take on meat and fish after so many months without is not what I expected either. Thanks for sharing your feelings on it.

I know the Guiness would have been the biggest deal for me. That was always my favorite beer. Sigh....

I hope you are enjoying your trip,

sarah said...

Congratulations! Have a great time in Ireland!

Anonymous said...

Oh well. The vegan thing is over..

Have you thought about that a vegan life gives other benefits than health? That vegan food is a way to fight climate change..

I wish more people in the US would care about climate change. We only have one world.

Meat the truth:

Her Majesty the Queen said...

Looks like you might be staying in Ireland a little longer than planned. You know, if you come over to Europe, you have to make friends with our volcanic ash cloud!

Well done for your 6 months of amazing self-discipline. Now, no slipping back into that previous life as a 'fat American'....

Anonymous said...

Are you considering turning your Quest into a book? Other food blogs have been know to morph into books and even a film. You write entertainingly and have a compelling story to tell. Think about it.


Terrence said...

Joanne - yes I plan on writing a book about it all. Thanks!

Terrence said...

Anon - about veganism's effects on the planet I havee read many interesting articles about that.

Your Majesty - Greatly appreciate it!