The beauty of travelling somewhere new is trying the different food of that particular place and immersing yourself in their culture. Uncovering the hidden secrets of a new destination is often fascinating and exciting, with many finding firm favourites to add to their list of recipes.
Ireland is no exception. Our favourite dishes go back hundreds of years and are steeped in our history, carrying yet another set of traditions with them, just like our Irish sweaters sold here at The Irish Sweater Mill. Simple but delicious, if you’re visiting Ireland, you mustn’t leave without trying this collection of popular food and drink!
Traditional Irish Food
Irish food is mostly very comforting and still has influences of when potatoes were intrinsically linked to the country. Potatoes completely transformed the Irish diet from the late 16th century until the blight in the 19th century. However, they are still a very popular ingredient in a lot of traditional Irish dishes.
Colcannon is a mash of potatoes, cabbage or kale and butter or cream, often flavoured with spring onions but there are many different varieties. A simple but effective recipe, it was something that was cheap and easy to make years ago.
Coddle is an Irish dish that has its roots in the working-class population of Dublin. Usually made up of the week’s leftovers, it’s a slow-simmering pot of vegetables with added slices of sausage and bacon rashers. Stewed in the oven for hours, this was a dish perfect for using up any food you had left.
For those with a sweet tooth, you might want to try barmbrack. An Irish fruit loaf, this is usually full of raisins and candied peel. Traditionally served at Halloween, they were sometimes filled with hidden objects such as pennies that were said to bring good or bad luck.
Traditional Irish Drink
We bet you only need one guess when it comes to Ireland’s favourite drink. Guinness is synonymous with Ireland, first coming to Ireland in 1759 when a brewery was opened in Dublin. Becoming well known and well loved ever since, it is estimated that 10 million glasses of Guinness are drank around the world every day. Over the last 250 years Guinness has become a dark stout that is enjoyed by Irish and non-Irish populations alike.
Another drink you may associate with Ireland is whiskey. There are many distilleries dotted around Ireland which produce some of the world’s best whiskey. Some popular and easily found types of whiskey include single malt and single grain.
Irish tea is another favourite when you visit Ireland. If you think this is just regular tea but drank in Ireland you are sorely mistaken; Irish tea is a special blend of black teas, usually Assam Indian varieties.
When visiting Ireland, throw yourself into the culture and get involved in our favourite food and drink; if you want to feel really immersed in Irish heritage, enjoy our favourite recipes while wearing a traditional Aran sweater. You might even find yourself indulging in our delicious cuisine when you return home!