Ancient Ireland or Hibernian is described by Tacitus lying between Britain and Spain in 98Ad, where much trade occurred in the harbours. It is hard to imagine trade along such rough seAs, but trade and movement of people brought different races to Iteland, Hibernian,
Ireland ancient motorway of trade was the sea, the Atlantic Ocean,
We know trade in 12 th to the 14 th century include trade of wheat, oats , barley to England , Wales , Scotland.
To other places such as Spain, Portugal, Gascony, Aquitaine, wine country which means the import of wine back into Ireland, pottery through the ages have shown the import of wine into Ireland, Clonmacnoise ecclesiastical settlement was importing wine since the seventh century. A place of prayer, manuscripts and educators of noble lords and Kings, land of scholars, trade and knowledge of the outside world.
Salting of herring in particular encouraged the importing of salt to salt the large catches of herring off the coast of Ireland , herring was the main export to Chester in mid 15 th century from Ireland (O Neill, 1987.31)
Exporting of Ireland of fish caught in the sea includes, herring, hake, king, cod. Some fish may have been pickled in old wine. There must be a reasonable use of old wine as it was imported into Ireland. Wool was exported and bought by Italian bankers who either loaned money to monasteries or to the aristocracy . Imports were also influenced by where the Anglo Normans came from originally, so mixture of Wales, Normandy, the Low Countries. Some of the monastic houses were English, French but mostly a mixture of the Irish and the monastic orders.
So therefore people were travelling, crusades were happening and new food was circulating. We already know that Anglo Normans bought spices, rabbit and pheasant. Interestingly an argument can be made for cooking a little French, Anglo cooking , Flemish dishes and even Italian, people bringing a little bit of home influences with them. Entwined with the food grown by the Anglo Normans, monastic orders with their granges. So the fun part take a place in time in Ireland. Maybe their archaeological dig , in this case we also look at the influences and trade from the north , south and East depending on where they came from originally. The monks and orders travelled between mother houses, the Anglo Normans castle hopped between their properties just as Royalty or millionaires do today. This idea grew a spark one day when I realised after a visit to Ormond castle in Carrick on Suir and realised their was strong connections to Tudor England and its courts. It naturally follows that you can show trade and influential people moving between countries, that it will indeed have influence. The Trinity priory in Dublin served an almond and rice dish.
Even my own home town of Nenagh had two different monasteries in 13 th century, one under the patronage of the Butlers and only allowed The English to enter as monks into the Augustinian order. While Nenagh Friary was the chief house of the Irish Friars and under the patronage of the Kennedy’s. So this alone locally could provide me with two different styles of cookery. In the area also information regarding fish pools, ponds, weirs, mills request for a deer park by the Butlers. The Butlers also had one of their main Irish castle holdings here between 12 th and 13 th century. Cooking based on historical facts relating to an area could make for interesting dishes. The original butlers had high connections in Cantebury as the brother was a bishop. Lest we should forget visitors to monastic houses were treated to the best of food, and it goes the opposite way too, Irish , monasteries in continental Europe, French was one of the main languages spoken and used to record information in Ireland ,in order to join some of the Cistercian houses, you needed to be able to confess in either French or Latin. Another story for another day.
Kirwin, J. The Chief Butlers of Ireland
Mills, J. Account Roll of the Prory of the Holy Trinity Dublin
O, Neill,T. Merchants and Mariners in Medieval Ireland
Ryan, J. Ireland From the earliest times to 800 Ad