On the Side of the Road in Ireland

During a summer road trip through the west of Ireland, it wasn’t only sleepy sheep taking a nap in the road that brought my car to a halt. Two unique food experiences stand out as highlights of my trip exploring this wild stretch of Connemara coastline.

The Misunderstood Heron has been called Ireland’s most remote food truck. It’s located on the Wild Atlantic Way (a scenic coastal route) overlooking the waters of Killary Fjord. In a country that experiences so much rain, a blustery hilltop may not seem like the greatest place for a food truck, but the weather typically changes so quickly that rain might pass by the time you’ve parked the car. Wooden picnic tables, benches, and a rocky outcrop all provide places to sit and warm up with a coffee or snack on samosas, flatbreads, or sweets. The existence of the food truck provides an excuse to stop and linger with the view instead of just passing on by.

I wrote about the 2nd experience — an oyster farm that is open for tours and tastings — in a story for AFAR called “An Oyster Lover’s Guide to Ireland“. When driving through the village of Letterfrack, I noticed a sign on the side of the road that read: Fresh oysters! Farm tasting this way. Signs continued to point us out of the village and down a bumpy country lane to the edge of the water overlooking Ballinakill Bay. This is the home of Connemara Oysters.

Below the surface of the water, 18,000 bags of oysters are in various stages of the maturation process. Once the oyster reaches two to three years of age, it’s ready to eat. Make an appointment to visit this oyster farm and you can crack open oysters within view of where they were raised. Personally, no oyster I’ve tasted compares to the bright, briny, slightly sweet specimens I slurped down during my visit to this farm.

 

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