Hungry Gap, Fat Friars, Food Poverty – Episode 2

Alannah White getting ready to bake like it’s 1750.

From 1500 and through the next five centuries, Ireland became more and more of a British colony before emerging, after many famines and rebellions, as a Free State and then a Republic. In Episode 2 we are joined by Dr Susan Flavin and Dr Elaine Mahon who will, in turn, deal with distinct aspects of food history at either end of this 500-year period – firstly, the food landscape of the mid-16th to the mid-17th centuries and more recently, Ireland’s approach to food diplomacy in the first half of the 20th century.


Oisin & Alannah White taste the Potato Lemon Cheesecakes.

Dr Susan Flavin is Associate Professor of History at Trinity College Dublin, and Principal Investigator on the European Research Council funded FoodCult Project ( She is the author of numerous publications on early modern Ireland, including Consumption and Culture in Sixteenth Century Ireland: Saffron, Stockings and Silk. She is currently writing a book on food and identity c 1550-1700.
Dr Elaine Elaine Mahon is a lecturer in gastronomy, culinary arts and food studies in TUDublin. Elaine is Assistant Director of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies, is on the organising committee of the Dublin Gastronomy Symposium, and a trustee of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery where she coordinates the Young Chefs programme.

Rossa Cassidy at Elmhurst Cottage Farm, Glasnevin.

We will also hear a report from two first year students in Edmund Rice College in Blanchardstown – Alannah and Oisin White, who have recreated a potato lemon cheesecake from a 1750 cookbook, a Vox pop from 5th year students in St. Kevin’s College in Ballygall, and an interview with Rossa Cassidy at the beautifully atmospheric Elmhurst Cottage Farm in Glasnevin, where traditional methods are practiced.

The intro and outro music for the three episodes is from Tell Everybody, produced by artists from across Africa in 2015 to support UN efforts to create a sustainable future for all people and the planet. The song addresses the Sustainable Development Goals aimed at eradicating extreme poverty, fighting inequality and tackling climate change. Find out more about Tell Everybody and hear the full song on

Produced by Berni Dwan, with sound engineering support by Declan McGlade.

Made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision scheme through the Television License Fee.