BOXTY is on the menu in many Fermanagh households this week in the run-up to Halloween.
The traditional Irish potato pancake has been associated with the county and surrounding counties for many years.
And some readers may recall how it has become of Irish folkore with the old rhyme that suggests it’s a useful ally in the art of match-making: “Boxty on the griddle; boxty on the pan. If you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man!”
Belcoo woman Marian McGrath feels she has the tastiest boxty around and had the honour of providing the Irish delicacy for the G8 summit in June 2013.
Marian, runs Fermanagh Boxty House between Boho and Belcoo and sells her product throughout the county, including Enniskillen, Derrygonnelly, Belleek, Garrison and of course Belcoo.
She has been making the delicacy by hand for over 20 years and says demand has steadily been growing.
“It is becoming very fashionable, it is the sort of thing that can be served with any dish and is suitable for breakfast, lunch and dinner, hot or cold.
“We have noticed recently people are also using it on the barbecue and tourists coming to Fermanagh are trying it as it is so traditional and is a fresh product.
Students also love it and bring it back to university with them because it’s so tasty and so easy to cook.
“I would just cook it in the pan, but it can be incorporated into lots of different dishes.”
Marian makes three different types of boxty, but it is griddle boxty which she specialises in.
She began making it as a child with her mother and has continued the tradition ever since.
The dish, of which there are many varieties, all contain finely grated, raw potatoes, but Marian says there is a real art to creating it, with few able to properly do justice to the traditional Irish potato pancake.
“It is not just in the ingredients, it is the art of making the boxty,” said Marian.
“There are traditional secrets in getting the product right and it all comes down to the way you make it.”
“I couldn’t possibly say what it is though,” she added with a smile.
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