54 episodes

Sometimes the clearest way to see yourself is through a foreigner's eyes. Named after everyone's favorite Chinese-Irish deep-fried drunk snack, Spice Bags is a podcast about food in Ireland and beyond. Multi-cultural hosts Blanca, Mei and Dee--a Spanish food researcher, a Chinese American writer, and an Irish writer and editor--ask questions like: How did one enterprising Indian expat create a market for Indian cuisine in Dublin? Why are so many Irish cheeses made by women? Why is Irish tea different from that in the rest of the world? We also talk to the immigrants who are shaping the new Irish culinary scene. Find answers, laughs and interviews with Ireland's most interesting chefs and authors here. Spice Bags is part of the HeadStuff Podcast Network (https://www.headstuff.org/spice-bags)

Spice Bags HeadStuff Podcasts

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Sometimes the clearest way to see yourself is through a foreigner's eyes. Named after everyone's favorite Chinese-Irish deep-fried drunk snack, Spice Bags is a podcast about food in Ireland and beyond. Multi-cultural hosts Blanca, Mei and Dee--a Spanish food researcher, a Chinese American writer, and an Irish writer and editor--ask questions like: How did one enterprising Indian expat create a market for Indian cuisine in Dublin? Why are so many Irish cheeses made by women? Why is Irish tea different from that in the rest of the world? We also talk to the immigrants who are shaping the new Irish culinary scene. Find answers, laughs and interviews with Ireland's most interesting chefs and authors here. Spice Bags is part of the HeadStuff Podcast Network (https://www.headstuff.org/spice-bags)

    Our Swan Song

    Our Swan Song

    After four wonderful years of episodes, we at Spice Bags are bowing out. While we do announce this with a heavy heart, we – Blanca, Dee, and Mei – wish to end on a high after publishing our very own cookbook Blasta Books 5: Soup, and at a moment when we are still passionate about the issues Spice Bags has uncovered, and the individuals we have befriended.

    In this final episode, we recount our journey from its foundation to our many varied episodes over the years, and to our many adventures and achievements including winning Best Food Podcast 2021 from the Irish Food Writing Awards. Lastly, we’d like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to the HeadStuff Podcast Network. HeadStuff took a gamble on three unseasoned women in the podcast world. They hatched us! Over the years, the team nurtured and gave us the confidence and tools to craft ourselves into what we are today. A special shout out to Conor, Paddy, Gearóid, Claudia and Amy, who would always find time to sit down to edit and brainstorm, come up with PR strategies, and take us through the nuts & bolts of podcast tech.
    Thank you, HeadStuff for letting us into your family. It’s been a privilege.

    Continue to follow our blog:
    www.spicebags.ie
    To buy our Blasta Book: Soup:
    www.blastabooks.com
    For more about Headstuff:
    www.headstuffpodcasts.com

    *Correction: We misidentify Julien in an episode “In Conversation with Angel and Julien
    of Miso Sligo Isakaya” as “Thibault.” His first name is Julien.

    • 41 min
    Fast Food

    Fast Food

    While Dee and Mei have bonded about their passion about fast food over the years, it was a surprise that our elegant Blanca nurses a passion for White Castle and corn dogs.
     
    What is fast food? Is it simply chains like McDonalds, Super Macs, and Burger King? Or does fast food also encompass street food stalls, where generations of families have perfected one dish, which – as it is in McDonalds – is made for the customer in minutes.
    Perhaps tapas in Spain can be also considered a fast food.
     
    We chat about how the Italians brought the chipper to Ireland.  We remember how fast food can be a cozy, sit-down family treat. We discuss how fast food was important to feminism, for it freed women from the stove. Also we talk about how foodies, when traveling, head to McDonalds as it gives them a sense of the place. (McChevre or McAlloo, anyone?)

    Listen to us dish about youtiao and churros, fried pineapple and pastries in Kathmandu, and chain restaurants like 100 Montaditos in Spain and Bembos in Peru, the former which may be making its way to Irish shores.
     
    Fast food is not just global corporations and grease. For many of us, it is a place from which our fondest memories are hatched. 
     
    Mentioned in this episode:
    https://www.bembos.com.pe/
    https://us.100montaditos.com/

    • 58 min
    S4 Ep10: Talking Nigeria with Emi and Victory

    S4 Ep10: Talking Nigeria with Emi and Victory

    Nigeria is a complex place, in terms of food, history, geography, and its three hundred
    plus ethnicities. Edizemi Onilenla, or Emi, founder of the culinary brand Mama Shee,
    grew up in Nigeria. Victory Nwabu-Ekeoma, founder of Bia! Zine is from Dundalk. Emi
    is Yoruba, and Victory is Igbo. Emi says, ‘every tribe has its own vegetable.’
    Emi came to Ireland as a social worker and then started cooking the food of her home,
    which she started in the Dublin markets and is now widely recognised and carried by
    shops like SuperValu. We are honoured to have her soup, Efo Riro, in our Soup
    cookbook, recently published by Blasta Books.
    Victory is a writer and photographer, who became curious about her origins and, from
    there, delved into other immigration stories in her publication Bia! Zine.
    They talk about ingredients like peppers, palm oil, leafy greens, and crayfish powder.
    Where do they shop? Why do they love their food to be blazing hot? With Dee and
    Blanca, Emi and Victory discuss the two-Michelin starred Ikoyi restaurant in London and
    the future of Nigerian cuisine in Ireland.
    Plus, there is a guy called Tony. With his produce and his van, he has made both of
    these wonderful women feel at home.
    Mentioned in this episode:
    www.mamashee.com
    www.biazine.com
    www.ikoyilondon.com

    • 56 min
    S4 Ep9: Asturias: A conversation with Ali Dunworth and Blanca Valencia.

    S4 Ep9: Asturias: A conversation with Ali Dunworth and Blanca Valencia.

    Journalist Ali Dunworth and Blanca talk about their recent trip to the Asturias region in
    Spain, where they were pampered with cider, veal, cheese, and conservas. Oviedo, the
    capital, is on the Camino Norte, the famous pilgrim walk that winds its way through the
    north of Spain.

    Listen to them as they chat about cider, which ranges from a champagne-like fizz to an
    uncarbonated brew that is pungent with apples, and which is often poured by
    handsome men with beards. They visit a factory for conservas (tinned fish and seafood)
    in Gijon, which are prepared by hand by women. They also do a tasting with Asturias’s
    most famous cheesemonger Aitor Vega which is done geographically and presents a
    great variety for a small region of Spain.

    Ali and Blanca also discuss how this part of Spain reminds them of the West of Ireland
    with its rugged coast and green pastures.
    They talk about the exquisite cheeses, egg yolk pastries in Oviedo, rice puddings,
    Cachopos (veal cutlets with ham and cheese) and fabada. However there is no butter;
    you have olive oil instead.
    Even without butter, the allure of this lush land is clear.

    Mentioned in this episode:
    Meauldflower.com
    Asturex.org
    Icex.es

    • 55 min
    Chatting with Kristin Jensen & Blasta Books #5 SOUP

    Chatting with Kristin Jensen & Blasta Books #5 SOUP

    We talk to American-born editor, writer, and publisher, Kristin Jensen, who has had
    quite the year. Founder of Blasta Books and Nine Bean Rows Books, as well as the
    long-form magazine Scoop magazine (helmed by our own Dee Laffan), Kristin has been
    shaking things up on the Irish food scene.
    Her first endeavour, Tacos, written by our friend and guest Lily Ramirez, attracted
    international attention. She’s published our mate and guest Kwanghi Chan’s book, Wok.
    Her Nine Bean Rows book, And For The Mains, written by Gaz Smith and Rick Higgins,
    won a much-coveted IACP award.
    She’s also the publisher for our book, Soup!
    Kristin tells us about her motivation for giving a voice and a platform for people who
    were unheard; what makes an elegant recipe; what comprises a gorgeous cookbook;
    and why her books should be accessible to everyone.
    How does a graceful, well-mannered girl from Illinois start an Irish food writing
    revolution? Tune in to find out.
    Related Links
    blastabooks.com
    ninebeanrowsbooks.com
    scoopfoodmag.com
    To order your copy of our cookbook SOUP, click here:
    https://blastabooks.com/products/blasta-books-5-soup

    • 49 min
    Welcoming Lunar New Year the K-Way with Gunmoo Kim & Soonie Delap

    Welcoming Lunar New Year the K-Way with Gunmoo Kim & Soonie Delap

    Welcoming Lunar New Year the K-Way with Gunmoo Kim & Soonie Delap
     
    South Korea is a country that is a pioneer of pop music, cinema, television, fashion, and cuisine. In this episode, we talk to Gunmoo Kim and Soonie Delap as they reminisce about the Korean Lunar New Year.
     
    Our guests are from different generations and backgrounds. Gunmoo came to Ireland in 2010, founded Jaru, a food enterprise that meshes modern Korean cooking with Irish produce, and is opening his first restaurant, Space Jaru on Meath Street. Soonie, a retired social worker, arrived with her Irish husband in the 1980s, and has been for decades at the forefront of promoting Korean culture. She is now the principal of the Korean language Hangeul School in Dublin.
     
    Gunmoo is from Daijeon, a modern, science-forward industrial city. Soonie is from Gyeongju, which was Korean’s capital until the 10th century, and remains steeped in history as a mecca of Confucian practice.
     
    Expect conversation about New Year ancestor worship and why red (a lucky New Year color for many countries) is eschewed in Korean culture. What is Confucianism and its role in Korean Lunar New Year rituals? What is the rice-cake dduk and its significance? Why do some Koreans have pizza on the ancestral table?
     
    Also listen to Spice Bags co-host Mei, who is the 2023 cultural ambassador for Dublin Lunar New Year, chat about Zodiac signs and her favourite Lunar New Year events, which encapsulate both historically erudite and youthfully cool.
     
    새해 복 많이 받으세요! Saehae bok mani badeuseyo!
     
    Mentioned in this episode:
     
    Dublin Lunar New Year and events
    www.dublinlunarnewyear.ie
     
    About Gunmoo Kim
    www.jaru.ie
    https://www.koreadailyus.com/30-year-old-entrepreneur-brings-the-taste-of-kimchi-to-dublin/
     
    About Soonie Delap and the Hangeul School
    www.hsdublin.org
    https://www.independent.ie/life/how-a-house-build-ended-up-unearthing-five-12th-century-bodies-36857404.html
     
    https://www.independent.ie/life/food-drink/a-flavour-of-lunar-new-year-in-every-sichuan-household-there-will-be-a-whole-steamed-fish-40047417.html
     
    Nation of Broth https://www.imdb.com/title/tt21443848/
     

    • 43 min

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