Ireland is known for many things, but something they do really well that doesn’t always get recognition is food. There have been a lot of dishes that have originated from Ireland, and they still have some traditional meals that are eaten on special occasions to celebrate their history and heritage. Here are 5 such dishes:
Irish Stew – Perhaps the most well down dish from Ireland; Irish Stew is a staple favourite around the UK. The flavours and cooking techniques have made it around the UK and this dish can be ordered on a number of top restaurant menus. It is traditionally made with lamb or mutton (depending on the desired texture and flavour) and the meat is cooked with potatoes, carrots and onion. Herbs such as parsley are also added for depth. The recipe supposedly dates from 7th Century BC where goat and root vegetables were combined in cauldrons. As of late, the addition of stout or beer has been introduced for a modern take on the dish.
Barmbrack – This is a traditional bread that is usually eaten around Halloween. It was traditionally used as part of a fortune telling game, where the positions of the currants in the bread predicted your future. It is also eaten toasted with butter for an afternoon treat because of its sweet nature. It is not as dense as cake, but sweeter than traditional bread giving it the unique appeal. It literally translates to ‘speckled loaf’, so this is where the name came from.
Boxty – Boxty is another traditional dish that is generally associated with the north midlands in Ireland. They are potato pancakes created by finely grating potato and adding various herbs to enrich the flavour before being fried. It is cooked in a similar way to a pancake; on a frying pan for a couple of minutes on each side. The smooth texture is created by finely grating the potato and this is the dish that has seen huge growth in the last 10 years as the popularity of Irish cuisine soars.
Crubeens – Although not the most glamorous food; crubeens, or pigs trotters, are slowly making a comeback. They are now found on the menu of many Michelin Starred restaurants in the UK, and the tradition of eating them comes from Ireland. These cheap cuts can be boiled so the meat falls off the bone. This meat can then be fried into balls or used as an accompaniment to another piece of meat.
Seafood – Ireland has a close association to a variety of seafood varieties, especially in the coastal cities such as Galway and Dublin. Fresh fish is regularly caught and served around the coast and the Galway Oyster Festival is held every September, shining a spotlight on the produce. Other sea fare such as carrageen moss and dulse (algae) are also used in Irish seafood preparation. The most popular fish dish has to be the ‘Dublin Lawyer’, which is lobster cooked with whiskey and cream.
Steve is a food lover from Ireland. He can’t cook so often relies on Dublin takeaway to get food delivered.