What do Irish people eat?
Although Ireland is not famous for its cuisine, the truth is that the food is absolutely delicious! During each Travelling Language’s programme our students have the chance to taste Irish food in traditional pubs and restaurants. Today we will tell you which are the most typical plates in Ireland to whet your appetite!
“Super Irish Breakfast”
Irish people like to start the day with energy…or calories! The Irish Breakfast is made with fried eggs, toasted,crispy bacon, tomatoes, bread, sausages, beans, and pudding, white or black. Normally it is accompanied by coffee or tea. But for Irish people any time is good to have a cup of tea!
About coffee, you should know that they usually serve it alone if you don’t ask for milk. And if you do, they will bring it to you cold, unless you say that you want it hot.
Irish coffee is famous around the world. It is like a cocktail made by mixing coffee with Irish whiskey, three lumps of sugar, and two centimeters of cream to sweeten it.And who invented it? Its creator was Joe Sheridan, a barman of the Shannon airport. In 1940, during a hard winter, Joe thought to add the whiskey of his country to the coffee to counteract the cold of the passengers. When someone asked him if its origin was Brazilian, he said that it was Irish Coffee.
Irish whiskey is made from barley and is distinguished by its triple distillation, which makes it softer and purer. This is one of the things that our students learn during the factory tour of Bushmills Whiskey, on the Northern Ireland programme.
More Irish drinks
For sure, the most famous drink is the black beer Guinness, of which we speak at long length in the post: The Guinness beer, brand and symbol of a nation. Other famous beers from Ireland are Kaliber, non-alcoholic lager; Beamish Red Ale, a traditional, sweet and pleasant to the palate red beer and the Caffrey’s Irish Ale, a creamy beer that has only been manufactured since 1994.
There is also a strong tradition of drinking cider, and between those, Bulmers is the favourite. Bulmers is the original brand of cider in Ireland, but outside of Ireland, it adopts the name Magners, however it is exactly the same drink. So you know, if you order a Bulmers outside Ireland, it won’t be Irish but English cider, unless you ask for Magners.
THE MOST TYPICAL DISHES:
Colcannon: this is a traditional Irish dish made with mashed potatoes, cabbage, butter, salt, and pepper. It may contain other ingredients such as milk, cream, onion, or garlic. It is always considered a very simple dish of humble people. It is an old tradition to eat colcannon for Halloween. For this festival, symbolic objects are hidden in the colcannon: a coin, a thimble, a button and a gold ring. Whoever gets the coin will become richer, the person who gets the thimble or button will remain unmarried and to get the ring means you will be married within the year.
Irish stew: this is a stew made with lamb, potatoes, onions and parsley. Delicious!
Coddle: (sometimes Dublin Coddle) This is a dish traditionally associated with the city of Dublin. It consists of different layers of sausages cut into slices and coated pork bacon, all mixed with sliced potatoes and onions. It’s a cheap, easy dish to prepare and quick to cook. Usually it is eaten in wintertime.
Seafood Chowder: white seafood soup, mollusks and very fresh crustaceans. We spoke about it in our last post about Hook Head, do you remember?
Fish and Chips: Although it is commonly associated with English cooking, it is so easy to find on the menu of many pubs and restaurants in Ireland. We tried fish & chips in Dingle and Galway, and in both places it was so good!
Bacon and Cabagge: This dish consists of boiled bacon steaks with vegetables (cabbage, carrots …) and mashed potatoes. It is accompanied by a delicious white sauce made of flour, butter, milk and parsley.
As you can see, the main ingredients of Irish cuisine are fish, beef, and potatoes.
The best known fish are salmon and cod, and of crustaceans, Dublin Bay prawn and oysters really stand out. Anyone who has tried oysters served with ice in Galway can tell you that they are spectacular! Soup of mussels seasoned with herbs is very popular as well. Or steamed mussels, with garlic sauce and Guinness, is a typical starter.
All the plates make an excellent impression, don’t they? Are you hungry now? But wait! Just one last thing before we go. Although you may have heard about the famous burgers from the USA, we bet that you did´t know that in any pub in Ireland you can eat juicy burgers, beef or steak that are at least three layers high! A real challenge to eat!
We hope you like this food and that this post has whet your appetite enough to come to Ireland! Who said that the food here wasn´t good? Come and judge it for yourself! We´re sure you will change your mind and you might even gain some weight! Just kidding girls 😉
See you next week! Regards from the team Travelling Languages.