The Best of traditional Irish foods cooked with modern flair. The Irish calendar provides many days for feasting and traditional celebration: St Brigid's Day, which announces the spring; St Patrick's Day, Shrove Tuesday, Bealtaine (May), Bloomsday, Lughnasa (August), Hallowe'en, Women's Christmas (Nollaig na mBan). Then there are the newer festivals that celebrate the rich harvest of our seas and fields -- The Galway Oyster Festival, the Wexford Strawberry Festival. These sixty recipes offer a tempting selection of foods for all these occasions, as well as for christenings, weddings and wakes. Details of customs, folklore and Irish regional food traditions provide a fascinating background to the recipes.