If you are planning a trip to Ireland and still wondering what Irish foods to enjoy, I am here to help. Ireland is a great place to visit. It is famous for its beautiful landscapes. But has anyone told you that the food there is also excellent?
Your days in Ireland will be more remarkable if you try the delicacies there. Each dish has its unique history and reflects a part of Irish culture. You shouldn’t miss them.
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2 Irish Appetizers That Looks Good And Taste Amazing
Finding some appetizers should be the first step in planning a perfect Irish meal. Let me show you what the best choices are.
1. Boxty (Potato Pancakes)
Irish people often say that “boxty in the griddle, boxty in the pan, if you can’t make boxty, you’ll never get a man.” It implies that Boxty is a traditional and basic dish in Ireland. Let’s see what makes it so special!
Boxty is the name of the pancakes made from potato, buttermilk, flour, and baking soda. Everything is mixed together then pan-fried. It originated in the 1700s when poor people relied much on potatoes for food.
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It has long been a staple of St Brigid’s Day, which celebrates the start of spring. I highly recommend Boxty as the first food to try in Ireland.
A review of Boxty’s taste will be exactly what you need right now.
2. Colcannon (Mashed Potatoes)
Colcannon is another potato dish that has gained popularity since the 16th century when it was officially introduced in the journal of a traveler named William Bulkely. Now it is a must-have Irish recipe on Halloween days and Saint Patrick’s Day.
There is another tradition associated with Colcannon. On holidays, some girls will find a small trinket in her Colcannon bowl, which means that she is the next one to get married.
That girl will then pour the last spoon of Colcannon into her stockings and hang them over the doorway. Any man that goes through these stockings is believed to be the husband of that lucky girl.
Colcannon only has 5 ingredients, and they are regarded as the most common food in Ireland, which are mashed potato, milk, butter, and kale or cabbage. It is rich, healthy, and refreshing. People fall for it so much that they even wrote a song for it.
14 Irish Main Dishes That Are Associated With Irish History And Traditions
The main dish is the most important element in a party. In Ireland, each dish is distinctively tasty and has a unique story of origin that tells a lot about Ireland. Let’s explore them!
3. Shepherd’s Pie
Speaking of Shepherd’s Pie, people often know about it as British food. But it is also an iconic and traditional dish of the neighboring country, Ireland. Its history is complicated. It originated in Britain between the 13th and 15th centuries.
I bet that you have tried Shepherd’s Pie before because it is so prevalent in America. So what is the point of trying it in Ireland? Well, this is because it is one of the dishes to celebrate Saint Patrick’s day. Enjoying a dish is way better, isn’t it?
4. Bangers And Mash
Bangers And Mash has long been a popular pub dish of Ireland and Britain. It contains sausages, mashed potatoes, and a delicious sauce. Are you curious about the weird name? Let me tell you its story.
Sausages were a very common food. But when World War II happened, the meat source was scarce so people produced sausage by adding more water to the meat. But the thing is that it exploded while frying, so they called it “bangers”.
About “mash,” there is nothing interesting at all. It is called so just because the potatoes are mashed before serving.
5. Irish Stew
Ireland has its own stew recipe which was named after the country’s name. It was invented in the 1800s as a food for lower-class people.
At that time, potatoes and onions were the cheapest and most common vegetables, and mutton was the most pervasive meat. People had to use low-cooking methods to cook the meat because it was too hard.
Nowadays, Irish stew is a popular Irish dinner recipe and is served on Saint Patrick’s Day. Beef and lamb are used more widely. Some people also add carrots to the stew.
The history of Irish stew will fascinate you.
6. Smoked Salmon
The entire Ireland is covered by the sea, so there is no doubt that fish must be one of the specialties here. Ireland is particularly famous for smoked salmon, which is exported in large quantities worldwide.
This dish is made from Atlantis salmon, a kind of salmon that is native to the Irish sea. Traditionally, people serve smoked salmon with coleslaw, butter, lemon, and bread. It has a remarkably salty taste that can make everyone addicted.
7. Champ (Mashed Potatoes With Butter, Milk, And Scallions)
Champ deserves to be the national dish of Ireland. People love it so much because it is fantastically mouth-watering and can be made with just some simple ingredients, namely mashed potato, butter, milk, and green onion.
In the past, potatoes were the only food available. This dish helped many Irish people survive from famine since it is nutritious and inexpensive. That’s why it is very meaningful to Irish cuisine and culture.
Champ is an amazing Irish lunch recipe. Its light taste and creamy texture will make you feel relaxed and refreshed.
As you read to this point, you may realize that Champ and Colcannon have something in common. They are both made from potatoes. However, in Champ, people use cabbage or kale rather than scallions.
Moreover, Champ is pervasive in Ulster while Colcannon is more common in the other provinces. People cook Champ when the first potatoes in the season are collected.
8. Black and White Pudding
In Ireland, puddings are not puddings at all. They use that word to refer to blood sausages. There is no exact data about its history, but people believe that it was created a long time ago, probably before the 15th century.
There are Black Puddings and White Puddings. But only the black one contains blood. White puddings are made of pork meat and spices. They are one of the most common Irish breakfast recipes. People serve them with beans, bacon, mushrooms, eggs, and potatoes.
Regarding flavors, Black Pudding has a distinctive salty and metallic taste due to the amount of blood. White pudding, however, tastes oniony and slightly spicy.
Why not explore some more interesting information about White Pudding?
9. Fish Pie
Fish Pie or Fisherman’s Pie originally came from Scotland, and now it has become a traditional dish of the entire UK, including Ireland. It has some shared features with Shepherd’s Pie. Both are creamy, warm, and comforting dishes and have similar toppings.
You can find Fish Pie in most Irish pubs, especially in Dublin. There is nothing better than enjoying such a hearty dish with a glass of wine.
10. Seafood Chowder
A night in Ireland will be very cold without a bowl of seafood chowder. If you plan to come to Kinsale, you will have a chance to try the best seafood chowder in a cooking contest called “All Ireland Chowder Cook-Off.”
Seafood chowder is a hearty and cozy dish that you can find in pubs and restaurants, especially those in the coastal regions. Ireland is very famous for chowders, so I am sure that you will have a wonderful culinary experience.
11. Potato Soup
It seems that every country has a potato soup recipe. It is cheap, nutritious, and easy to make. However, in Ireland, this soup has a lot more meaning.
It originated in the 1800s when most Irish people didn’t have meat to eat, and they had to rely on the only source of food, which was potatoes.
By mashing potatoes and slow-cooking them with onion, salt, and pepper, they created a simple but delicious dish that helped them go through that difficult period. Nowadays, it is still a very common dish in rural families.
12. Coddle (Leftover One-Pot Stew)
Coddle is the specialty of Dublin. It originated in the late 1700s when a famine occurred in Ireland. At that time, they tried to cook any leftover meat and root vegetables available to create a soup that could fill their stomach.
The classic version of Coddle consists of sausages, potatoes, onions, and bacon. But now carrots are also added.
Coddle is served all year round, thanks to the availability of the ingredients in all seasons. Local people particularly love to enjoy it in winter since it can warm them up.
13. Beef And Guinness Stew
Besides the common beef stew recipe, Ireland has a unique recipe that contains Guinness black stout beer. This well-loved Irish drink emerged in 1759 and has long been used in cooking. It provides the meat with a mouth-meltingly tender texture that is incredibly yummy.
The ingredients of Beef And Guinness stew are very similar to ordinary Irish stew. The basics are potatoes, beef, carrots, and onions. It is a very famous pub food in Dublin. People love to enjoy it alongside a cup of Guinness.
14. Irish Breakfast
The way Irish people eat breakfast will stun you. The dish was created in order to provide enough energy for workers. It contains bacon, eggs, black beans, black or white pudding, soda bread, grilled tomatoes, sausages, and mushrooms.
Every ingredient is placed separately and fried in a pan with some butter. All of them are just very common food that can be made at home and always available even in rural areas.
Since Irish Breakfast is a big meal, people can hardly finish it on a normal working day so they more often serve it on Sunday morning or Christmas morning when they don’t have to work.
Travelers love Irish breakfast. Why don’t you give it a try?
8 Irish Desserts For A Touch Of Sweetness
If you are a fan of sweet treats, then surely you will be satisfied with these 8 delicate Irish dessert recipes. Check them out!
15. Bread Pudding
What can be done with cubed bread? Well, Irish people used it to make a tasty dessert, that is bread pudding. It is said to come from Europe but the exact place and time are still a mystery. Some posit that it was created between the 11th and 12th centuries.
People make Bread Pudding like making a sweet casserole. They coat the cubed bread in the sauce made from milk, egg, sugar, and vanilla and bake it until a creamy texture is formed. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it?
It is hard to find such a delicate dessert in America. You should definitely give it a try.
16. Apple Cake
If you ask Irish people what the national dessert of Ireland is, surely Apple Cake will be their answer. It is said that Irish people spend €100 million per year on apples. I believe that most of that amount is spent on making apple cake.
Irish Apple Cake is made differently from American Apple Cake. It is accompanied by a delicious creamy custard sauce. I promise that it will make your day.
17. Brown Bread
Another iconic dessert of Ireland is Brown Bread. People use baking soda to make the Brown Bread more fluffy and airy. It is so popular that most people think that it originated in Ireland.
The truth is that the technique of using baking soda was invented by North American indigenous people. Irish people adopted it in the 1840s and created Brown Bread soon after then.
Nowadays, it is used as a sandwich. You can have a sweet or savory filling, such as jam and cheese.
18. Soda Bread
Similar to Brown Bread, Soda Bread was created by the technique borrowed from native North American people. Baking soda is used in place of yeast, resulting in crusty bread, a staple of Saint Patrick’s day.
American people first used pearl ash to replace yeast and soon discovered baking soda. In the 1830s, it was brought to Ireland, and people used it to create the famous Soda Bread.
At the present, you can find Soda Bread in both bakeries and local households. Many Irish people make Soda Bread for their families using the unique recipe that was passed down from the previous generations.
Legend has it that in the 15th century when Mary Queen of Scots ruled the country, the leftover dough that was used to make bread was left in the oven until it became dry and crispy. People loved to eat it and referred to it as “biscuit bread.”
Over time, people use butter instead of yeast and add more sugar. Then its name was changed to “shortbread.” The Queen and Prince even enjoy it in teatime with guests. It is perhaps the easiest dessert to make. But its taste is just amazing.
Barmbrack is a staple of Halloween and New Year’s Eve in Ireland. It has a dough made of flour, brown sugar, and pumpkin pie spice. A lot of sultanas and raisins are embedded in it, creating a stunning bread that is perfect for tea time.
Tradition has it that on New Year’s Eve, the woman of the house bakes a giant Barmbrack. At night, the men will get 3 pieces and throw them against the door. At the same time, he calls for the Holy Spirit. They do that in order to prevent starvation.
The tradition of cutting Barmbrack on Halloween is fascinating.
21. Gur Cake (Chester Cake)
Gur cake is the short form of gurrier cake. It is particularly popular in the city of Dublin. “Gurriers” is an old word that refers to students who skip their class. They are also said to be “on the gur”.
Since most gurriers’ families are poor, they don’t have money to buy food. So when they want something to eat, they will collect the leftover bread and cake in the bakery and invent a new cake to enjoy at dinner, which is called bread pudding.
All of the ingredients are leftovers, namely breadcrumbs, raisins, and sweeteners. It is square in shape and has 2 thin pastry layers and a thick filling in the middle.
22. Chocolate Guinness Cake
This may be the first time that you heard of a cake that is made from beer. In Ireland, people make chocolate Guinness cake and serve it on holidays, birthday parties, and Saint Patrick’s day. Guinness provides a caramelized taste to the
This cake comes in the form of a chocolate dough topped with whipped cream made from sour cream, egg, and butter. Such a beautiful cake will always be the spotlight of the entire party.
4 Signature Irish Alcoholic Drinks To Chill You
Ireland is very famous for alcoholic drinks. They are all produced in a unique way that you can hardly find in other countries. Let’s take a look at the most popular ones!
Similar to baileys, Sheridan’s is an authentic Irish drink that was invented by Thomas Sheridan & Sons, a company under the ownership of W&A Gilbey, in 1994. It is also a very impressive drink that will spark you.
Looking at the bottle, you can see how it is different from ordinary alcohol. It has 2 parts separated by glass. The black part contains a mixture of coffee and whiskey, while the white part is filled with milk white chocolate.
Are you curious about how to drink it? First, pour the black liquor into a cup, then let the white chocolate float on the surface. Then you will have an amazing 2-layer drink.
24. Irish Coffee
Irish people seem to have a huge passion for combining whiskey and other drinks. There was a chef named Joe Sheridan. He worked for Foynes Port near Limerick. In 1943, a flight had to go back because of the storm.
He saw the passengers cold and weary and decided to make them a drink by combining whiskey and coffee then topped with some cream. Surprisingly, they loved it so much that it became the airport’s specialty.
25. Baileys (Irish Cream)
Baileys is a unique alcoholic drink that you can find in nowhere except for Ireland. It has whiskey as the base and is added with cocoa powder and cream, creating an unusually delicious flavor that has seduced both local people and travelers.
This fantastic drink was invented by Tom Jago, an English liquor executive at W&A Gilbey, in 1971 and reached the market in 1794. Not long after then, it became a hit and has been considered one of the most loved drinks in the world.
Let’s take a look at some exciting facts about Baileys.
Do you remember the beef and Guinness stew I have introduced before? Now let’s learn about Guinness alone. It was created by Arthur Guinnes who worked at St. James’s Gate Brewery, one of the most famous brands for alcohol.
Guinness is a dry liquor made from barley, hops, roast malt extract, water, and brewer’s yeast. Its taste is both sweet and bitter with a hint of chocolate. People enjoy it alongside hearty dishes such as stew, shepherd’s pie, and baked salmon.
Ireland Is A Dreamland When It Comes To Food
Have you decided which foods to try when coming to Ireland? I guess that can be a challenging task since there are too many great options. But you don’t have to worry that you would not be able to try all of them. There are more chances ahead.
I hope that you will have a great vacation in Ireland. Before you leave, don’t forget to give this article so that it can reach more people. If you know any delicious Irish food that has not been listed, kindly let me know in the comment section below so this article can be more completed.