FROM the Golden Vale to Mizen Head, Cork encapsulates a wealth of natural resources that we can enjoy at dining tables the length and breadth of the county.
From dairy products that are known throughout the world to fresh fish and seafood that attracts visitors from all over, the Cork table is well served. Add to these some of the finest meat in the world and it's a recipe for culinary success right on our doorsteps.
And whether you are fine dining or having a fish and chips at the local takeaway they are quick to point out when their food is locally sourced. Certainly there's a patriotic ' buying local, selling local' importance but here in Cork there's also the reassurance of tasty, top quality fare.
This has been added to immeasurably by the rapidly developing culture of diversifying, adding innovative new product ranges and combinations.
Black pudding is no longer just black pudding. Nowadays you're likely to find it turning up combined with fish or poultry. The range of cheeses on offer in Cork has expanded exponentially in recent years, as have the variety of dishes on the menu.
This revolution on the culinary landscape is exemplified nowhere better than on the restaurant menu. This is where restaurateurs and chefs take inspiration from the blooming food industry around them and fashion out ever more tempting treats for our dining out experiences.
Better again, each town and village seems to have has its own niche, or an eaterie that specialises in some local goodies.
It all makes for a rich gastronomic landscape, a landscape laid out like a treasure map, to be explored and enjoyed at your leisure.