There is a sense in which all Irish cooking - at least the good stuff, the real thing - is country cooking. That is to say that it's almost inevitably straightforward, homey fare, based on first-rate raw materials whose identity shines through. "The Country Cooking of Ireland" captures this culinary spirit with 250 recipes, over 100 color photographs and stories about farmers, producers and regions and - yes, indeed - limericks. Author Colman Andrews traveled Ireland many times over, talking and eating with Irish chefs, farmers, cheese makers, butchers and fisherman. Ireland - for its superlative raw materials, its immensely satisfying traditional home cooking, and its new wave of artisanal producers and imaginative but well-grounded chefs-is simply one of the most exciting food stories in the world today. All over Ireland a new culinary world is taking shape: rural entrepreneurs bucking food-unfriendly regulators to build little businesses around small-scale food production and distribution; restaurants revising their menus to take better advantage of the native bounty, or new ones opening with a sense of Irish-based imagination and adventure; scholars and lay writers delving seriously into the lore and history of Irish cooking and eating, encouraging producers and chefs alike. Forget the jokes: Ireland has the potential to become, in the very near future, one of the most compelling gastronomic destinations in Europe-and it's already a darned good place to eat.