By Maria Kalaitzandonakes
MIDLETON, Ireland – “I have hard core shoppers,” he said. “No matter what, even if it rains, they come.”
All year round, come rain or shine (and let’s be honest, mostly rain) Barrie Tyner mans the pâté stand in the Midleton farmers market on Saturday mornings. He uses a thick metal spatula to spread his creamy chicken liver pâté onto hardy bread.
“Ere ya go lads,” he says and offers a taste to each passerby. Tyner’s enthusiasm is infectious. He waves both his cup of coffee and his spatula hand as he talks.
Tyner has been in the liver pâté business for 12 years now, ever since he took it over from his cousin. She was a blonde-haired food genius who fell in love with an Italian man, he said. The day before she left, Tyner’s cousin asked him to take over the pâté making.
The flavor, he says, comes from the good ingredients. Tyner pays special attention to the quality and sourcing of the garlic, onion, butter and livers (which come from “just two farms thataway”).
Regular customers approach, slapping Tyner on the back and lingering for a few extra tastes. A friend in a red jacket teases, “Did you tell them all you kissed the Blarney stone too?” They both chortle and Tyner prepares a package for him.
When asked what his favorite food was, Tyner shuffled his blue Converse on the asphalt, tugged at his maroon apron tied at his waist, and thought hard.
“Nothing is better than this pâté,” he said and laughed. “Really.”