We start our summer adventures this week in Dublin, Ireland. Most adventures described here are culinary in nature, however we did have one non-food adventure that was distinctly Irish and I think worth mentioning. We had the fortune of spending a day with good friends of ours who are from Ireland, but shared time with us in Singapore years ago. They surprised us with an opportunity to go swimming in the Dublin Bay. If this doesn’t sound crazy to you, that is because you are unaware that Dublin is only 7 degrees latitude south of Greenland, and practically in the Arctic Circle. Luckily for us, an iceberg had melted shortly before we arrived, to give us something to go swimming in. We did muster the courage, and submerge our whole bodies, head and all, and stayed in as long as we could. I think the temperature of the water was about 100 below. It was crazy and exhilarating, but mostly just crazy, which I also think describes our friends Jane and Graham.


We aren’t spending a great deal of time in Dublin, so we are forced to leave some Irish treats for another feature. The most notable snub for this week’s entry is the lamb shank. In my opinion, it’s the best meal you can get here, and a couple of friends took me to get this season’s finest from the Hairy Lemon.


Thanks Florian and Eric!

I vow to dedicate time to learning how to make a shank that falls off the bone and packs as much flavor as the ones I have had the privilege of devouring in Dublin. Stay tuned…

A little known fact is that one of the best Chocolatiers in the world hails from Dublin, Butlers Chocolates. Immediately, you associate chocolate with the Swiss and Belgian, and for good reason. But the Irish most certainly deserve to be mentioned. In fact, in a previous visit, we randomly stopped in a Butlers Chocolate Cafe for a cup of hot chocolate, both to warm up and to get out of the rain. Oh ya, it rains here…


And as soon as we tasted that hot chocolate, we were hooked, and knew we needed more. Several chocolates and a year later, we planned to go behind scenes and document this incredible delight.


Upon getting to the factory, they have us change into the appropriate chocolate making garb. At this point our little Play Gourmet, puts on his game face and vows not to let his readers down.


They take us through the entire process, which is quite fascinating. They spent over an hour showing us every detail of how different chocolates are made. We were shown how they keep there chocolate at a perfect 40 degrees Celsius in order to keep it molten, to later be poured and molded. And they showed us how they make the outside different from the inside on some varieties. They even took us through the packaging process.


They gave a view of every kind of machine, but in respecting their wishes, we did not photograph their robots and assembly lines.

Our tour ended with the opportunity to make some chocolates of our own. This is where our little researcher/chef really shines. First he absorbs the lecture on the process…


Next comes the craftsmanship…


And like any great chef or chocolatier in this case, don’t trust them, if they won’t eat their own cooking. This chocolatier just wants to prove he and his chocolate can be trusted.


Butlers Chocolates has captured happiness and put it in a box. Indeed the little boy approves of this weeks research project!

8 Comments on “Lambs and Chocolates and Polar Bears, Oh My!”

  1. Wow, your blog is always such a pleasure to read. Hope to read more as your family goes on more adventures.


  2. It looks like you have all the money and time in the world to explore a fascinating land and become a member of the family at a world class chocolate facility. Well done!!


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