Anyway, notwithstanding the above, the other night we had something or other and my wife told me she'd used a little spice from a new jar she had acquired. I looked. On the label was 'Middle Eastern...rub to marinade'. It was pretty good, as it turned out - subtle, which isn't always the case. But it made me smile a little to myself...I wondered if peeps over there in the 'Middle East' have a wee jar with a label on it which says 'Irish' on it. I doubt it.
No, Ireland is a great source of good basic ingredients - particularly good dairy produce, beef, milk etc. All that rain, all that pasture - good for the cows, y'know.
It's a very troubled place, the Middle East, these days. Perhaps it always was. I travelled a bit in that region in me younger days and boy am I glad I did then, because I sure wouldn't be up for it now, in spite of the beauty of that part of the world.