So, Ireland isn’t really that well known for it’s food. It’s a mix of traditional somewhat European food, home cooked comfort food in the country and contemporary from almost anywhere in the city (Dublin in particular has amazing food). There are a few Irish food staples that Ireland is (rightfully) known for, but for the most part we ate whatever looked fabulous on the menu. Anything from pastries, to wonderful chowders, to soda bread and Spanish tapas. Here are a few of my favorites.
It’s not what you think. Trust me. I’m from Cincinnati, where we are famous for our weird “sausage-like” breakfast meat – goetta. This reminded me so much of that, so I strangely liked it! It comes in two ways: black or white. Black pudding is made with blood, pork and oatmeal, while white is without the blood. I preferred the white, which was basically my precious goetta, so I felt right at home.
The Irish Full Breakfast
The Irish full breakfast will have you full through lunch. Sautéed mushrooms, grilled tomatoes, 2 eggs cooked your way (fried for me!), puddings (see above), sausage, bacon/ham and bread. It’s huge, and very filling!!
Soups and Chowders
Fish chowder, potato soup, corn chowder… the Irish know how to make a fabulous soup with high quality ingredients and tons of flavor. Bonus – they’re served with soda bread, which brings me to my next point…
I really don’t know how the Irish have managed to make a dense and hearty bread so delicious, but it works. This is the one thing I really crave from ireland, but I’m a carb girl through and through.
Fish and chips
Breaded and fried fish is done just abut everywhere, I know. But, the Irish seem to have a real handle on it – some of the best fried fish I’ve had!
Guinness (and every craft beer you can get your hands on)
I love stouts and porters, but after I saw my first Guinness poured, I still wondered if I would like it. It’s thick, practically a meal in itself, and really really dark… but I loved it. You can really taste the roasted barley it’s made from and there’s nothing like getting it fresh from the source in Dublin.
Here we are back at another comfort food. The meat is tender and the broth flavorful, typically cooked with all kinds of root veggies – potatoes, carrots and parsnips. Yum!
Pies – the savory kind
I LOVE pie. Something about that crispy buttery pie crust on top I think. Many restaurants serve a meat pie of the day and you really can’t go wrong with it! Order early, they often run out.
Pies and pastries – the sweet kind
So many pastries, so little time… I love sweet stuff and am typically mostly a fan of ice-cream and chocolate. I made an exception for Ireland (poor me) and ate all kinds of baked goods. Do not miss them when you go!!