In this extract Marie Murphy recollects the food that she used to eat as a child and still does. She notes that a lot of the food that was quite common when she was young is now very difficult to get or is very expensive. In particular she remembers how she loves to eat pigs cheeks!

Item Type

Moving Image


And then, thinking about food actually with those fruit and vegetables, do you remember your favourite meal when you were a child?

I liked everything really, you know, because there was a good taste off everything.

Okay and what kind of food did you eat?

Cabbage, potatoes, corned beef, pig cheeks, all that, sheep’s head in the soup, do you know what I mean?!

So, food has definitely changed then.

Ah definitely, yeah.

Would you eat that kind of stuff now?

Oh I often do, yeah.

Even sheep’s head now?


Where do you get it?

In Moore Street, you’d only get one now there, do you know what I mean? I’d never try the butchers... but I got a pig's cheek there last week and it was gorgeous and it was, what, €7! You used to get them for 50 cent!

It’s now probably like a delicacy!

Exactly. And the ox tails is €5 for one!

My God, so the food that you used to eat all the time is now really expensive?

Yeah, yeah.

That’s… and even stuff like, because I know even from talking to my own granny, she used to say that chicken was really expensive, that she never had chicken for years and years and now it’s like the cheapest thing.


It’s really interesting, totally the reverse!

I remember my grandmother used to send me up to Dunne’s there in d’Olier Street for the chickens.

Okay and would that have been regularly… ?

Oh every Saturday and then down to Ryan’s in Townsend Street for the neck bones and pigs’ heads!

Oh my God!

And tongue, you know, she used to buy the… press it with the gelatine! You’re probably eating all that stuff in curries and anyway!

I know, probably, it’s so smothered in stuff you don’t even see it! So, even shopping has changed, like, food shopping has changed because nowadays would you, like, do kind of a weekly grocery shop or would you still shop the way you used to?

I do shop local, the odd time I’d go into the supermarket but it’d be very odd now, it’d be just to get butter or cornflakes, you know, because I have all the veg, you know.

Of course.

And I use me own local butcher.

Okay so only just for bread and butter and milk, that kind of thing. Because that would have been quite common when you were younger, that people would have bought in different places.

Well you’d go for… up further to the shops that sold a bit of everything, you kind of had your daily shopping in one… you don’t want to be walking the streets or getting on buses and getting off them.

Yeah, yeah so would you say your mother would have done a bit of shopping every day, like, for whatever?

Oh yeah.

And she would have been the main cook now in the house?

She would.

Did you like her food?

Oh yeah.

You don’t remember anything particular that she made that you just loved?

Well the steak and onions, my son says you still don’t… ‘it’s lovely but you don’t do it the way granny done it!’!

Oh really?

Yeah, steak and onions!

Aw! So did she hand down recipes to you then?

More or less yeah.

And did she get her recipes from just her… ?

Her mother.

She never wrote them down?


Never recorded them, so it’s just all in your brains. And have you given some of her recipes to your daughters?

Ah yeah, show them how to do it, how long do you leave that on for and everything else!

That’s nice.


21:06.6 - 24:41.5


About this item


Dublin City Life, Housing, Food and Cooking



Date Added



"Marie Murphy recollects the food that she used to eat as a child, and still does.." Lifescapes: Mapping Dublin Lives, Item #196 (accessed February 23 2018, 4:52 am)