Trinity College Dublin: A new approach to sustainable seafood

Researchers from the Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities (TCEH) at Trinity College Dublin will on Thursday 17th June 2021 launch a new book featuring recipes brought back to life from times gone by.

The book, which takes a unique approach to sustainable seafood consumption, will be launched at a special event to mark the conclusion of the Food Smart Dublin project.

The book has been put together by Drs Cordula Scherer and Agnese Cretella, who hope its readers will be inspired to eat more local seafood that imparts a minimal footprint on the environment. In it, the authors feature historical seafood recipes unearthed from the National Library and other sources, which were adapted to modern tastes by Niall Sabongi and other excellent chefs over the past 12 months.

The book charts a year-long journey featuring traditional, historic and sustainable seafood, and is jam-packed with historical and ecological accounts of each focal species as well as information on their current sustainability statuses.

To mark the launch and the conclusion of the Food Smart Dublin project, Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School will talk about the book with the authors in an open discussion at a lunchtime Webinar event on Thursday 17th June.

Dr Agnese Cretella, Research Fellow in TCEH, said:

“I have learned so much about Irish culinary history and the diversity of Irish seafood over the past year. It is especially interesting to me as a culinary social scientist that many commonly eaten seafood species are highly seasonal and thus it is important to choose differently when at the fishmongers at different times of the year if you want to be sustainable.

“I was also very fascinated by the interesting and deep-rooted relationship Irish people have with the sea. Many interesting viewpoints arose as we interacted with a range of people engaging with our project.”

Dr Cordula Scherer, Research Fellow in TCEH, added:

“It was especially rewarding to engage with young Irish students in our sustainable seafood workshops, which made me realise that there is a real hunger of the next generation to learn about their Irish coastal heritage.

“As a marine ecologist it was also an exciting new experience for me to unearth historical recipes in the National archives, some of which were well over 200 years old. We hope our new book does a nice job of paying homage to those decades-old recipes while inspiring lots of people to eat more sustainably.”

Darina Allen, chef, food writer and founder of Ballymaloe Cookery School, said:

“Let’s do our best to seek out non-threatened marine species and strive to support local fishing communities. Look out for hake, coley, mackerel, squid and prawns.”

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