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Food and Drink in Ireland

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When you think Irish cuisine, think of simple, hearty dishes with age-old family recipes passed down through generations. Ireland is not just Guinness and potatoes and following is a list of traditional Irish dishes.

1. Irish Stew

One of the most controversial dishes in Ireland which is often made from lamb, mutton or beef and vegetables. Purists claim  that the traditional dish should only include mutton, potatoes, onions and water. In modern times recipes typically use lamb or beef to replace the mutton and also include carrots, red wine and wait for it..  Guinness..

Irish stew remains the ultimate comfort food and is perfect for any rainy day.

2. Irish Soda Bread

Soda bread uses only four basic ingredients:  bicarbonate of soda, buttermilk, flour and salt. With this combination a simple, moist bread is created.

Soda bread is enjoyed with soups or stews. Some people add their own twist, adding spices, seeds or fruit.

3. Boxty

Potatoes are famous as an Irish staple food and  despite the tragedy of the great potato famine of the 19th century, the potato is prominent in many traditional recipes. 

The boxty is a traditional potato pancake consisting of mashed potato, grated raw potato, flour, buttermilk and salt. Boxty is often enjoyed as a breakfast condiment to eggs and bacon.

4. Colcannon

Considered the holy grail of mashed potatoes, this recipe consists of mashed potatoes, kale, green onions, milk or cream and lots of butter. This is usually a side-dish served with a main.

5. Coddle

Coddle or  ‘Dublin Coddle’ is a one-pot dish  that use  leftovers at the end of the week. What goes into the pot usually depends on what is available and cloud include sliced pork sausages, bacon, potatoes, onions, etc. mixed together to make yet another comfort stew.

6. Barmbrack

Perfect with tea, Barmbrack is a sweet Irish bread made with dried fruit (usually sultanas and raisins). Barmbrack features in various Irish traditions and the most popular of these would be charms that would be mixed into the dough.

7. Guinness

Guiness, the national drink of Ireland,  is well-loved across the country and world over.  

8. Irish Whiskey

Irish whiskeys are typically distilled using unmalted barley and triple distilled so generally produce a very smooth finish.

9. Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is made in a warm glass and uses brown sugar, Irish whiskey, coffee, and fresh layered cream. Another drink from Ireland that has become world famous.

10. Irish Fish Stew ( chowder )

An Irish chowder generally uses a mix of fresh and smoked fish, with the fresh fish often a combination of white fish and salmon.  Bacon is an ingredient in most of these stews with mussels sometimes added but not always.


Last updated May 29, 2023


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Deanna Webber

Monday 31st of January 2022

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