Nell’s Fruit Cup

Nell's Fruit Cup For my first article in the August series for the Irish Times (today’s paper), I decided to write about Nell Grandfield (picture below, from an old postcard), who was making ice cream in our Dingle shop from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Nell outside her shope

I often think how we’re so proud of our gourmet foods in recent times, and are so snobbish about the old fashioned ways.

Yet, if you think about it, virtually all Irish farmers were organic 50+ years ago, before pesticides really came in, and there were many, many people making small batches of what we’d now consider artisan foods. Of course, they didn’t have access to the wide range of ingredients we do, and perhaps not the level of outside influence, but you can’t hold that against them.

Many of the top chefs are now extolling the virtues of buying organic and buying local from small producers. If you think about it, that’s what everyone was doing in the days before the big supermarkets. So either people in the food business back then were all ahead of their time, or we owe them a bit of credit, or both…

Nell’s Fruit Cup


  • Nells Fruit Cup1 scoop vanilla ice cream (recipe here)
  • 1 dash of raspberry cordial or coulis
  • A couple tablespoons of fruit salad or fruit cocktail
  • A wafer, cut diagonally

What to do:

  1. Scoop the ice cream into a glass dish
  2. Spoon over the fruit
  3. Add the raspberry sauce
  4. Top with the wafer
  5. Enjoy it!

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7 thoughts on “Nell’s Fruit Cup

  1. What a fantastic photo of the old shop, I guess the building craves ice-cream.
    I’ll make the coulis and the salad for the fruit cup but then I’ll very smugly run down the road and buy myself a tub of Murphy’s ice-cream to top it all off.

  2. Hi there, I finally made it into your Dingle Shop over the weekend, I have to say the Baileys and whiskey choc ice-creams were delicious and your staff are sooo pleasant and helpful. The place was mobbed and they were so helpful.

  3. Nell was my father’s aunt. I visited her shop in Dingle when I was 7,9 and as a teenager 17/18. The photo of the shop is the way I remember it. No matter what my age the ice cream was delicious. I went bcak in 1999 to see my cousin Michael Slattery (Nell was in great great aunt) and the shop had a make over

  4. In NYC, I once befriended “Mark Grandfield” who was a bit of a wildcat, but of a very interesting social background. High spirited, hot tempered, intelligent, a good person to have watching your back side! Since we’re just chatting, I am very proud to have visited Ireland three times, each trip was explicitly undertaken to paint small watercolors of the curious scenery. A month in Gallway, (on Loch Carrib,) a month in Inistiogue, and a third month touring about the coastlines on a scooter–each trip, a “once in a lifetime” phenomenal experience!!

  5. hi … I remember Nell well and her delicious addictive “fruit ice”…. spent every penny i earned doing messages (errands) for a year for a neighbour in Dublin. Then we went to Dingle every August.. my first thing i did was go to Nells and every day for 2 weeks… I think i kept her in business as i was ever the only in the shop when i went there, great memories….
    Martin Nugent

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