Ireland has a rich history of hearty and simple foods. The Emerald Isle has plentiful resources for fresh, local cuisine. The island’s coast line is ideal for fishing and the country has an abundance of land dedicated to sheep, cows and crops. Irish people pride themselves on serving dishes made from locally grown ingredients, and many continue to prepare the same traditional staples that have been popular in Ireland for centuries. Here is a list of what you should drink and eat in Ireland.
Potatoes are still a staple at most mealtimes. Colcannon is a dish of mashed potatoes made with kale or cabbage and butter or cream, flavored with scallions. There regional variations are endless so be sure to order this dish more than once. Fun fact: There is an Irish Halloween tradition to serve colcannon with a small prized hidden in it.
Very popular in Dublin, this stew like dish is great comfort food. It is made with layers of slicked ham, sausage, potato and onion and cooked on the stove top in a broth. The name coddle comes from the slow simmering or “coddling” of ingredients in a one-pot stew.
This dish is similar to a traditional Irish potato pancake. You’ll find it thin and finely grated and served wrapped around meat. It can also be a little thicker and served as a side, or even quite thick, topped with butter, almost like a slice of bread. Traditionally, they’re cooked over an open fire on a cast iron griddle, but they can also be boiled like dumplings, and are usually served with a thick and delicious gravy.
Commonly eaten in other parts of Europe as well, black pudding is a type of blood sausage made from pork fat and other seasonings and boiled, fried, baked or grilled. White pudding is similar but doesn’t contain blood and should also be on your list of what to eat in Ireland.
Irish stew is true to Ireland roots. With hardy ingredients like, onions, potato, carrots and lamb, they are all boiled together, and then seasoned with salt and pepper and parsley. This dish might be one of the country’s most popular and unforgettable.
Potato and Leek Soup
Perfect for a cold day, this soup will warm you right to your toes. Try it with another Ireland food staple, traditional brown soda bread. It’s particularly good covered in butter and dunked in a rich potato and leek soup.
When on the west coast of Ireland, try the plump native oysters which come into season in September, when the Galway Oyster Festival is held. If you find salmon on the menu, order it! The best months to try it are April to June.
After your meal, try some traditional Irish dessert. The Irish are also great cake makers. One of the most popular desserts is fruit-packed barmbrack loaf is a treat, slathered with creamy butter. Try a slice of tea brack (a light fruit cake in which the fruit has been soaked overnight in tea), or a slice of traditional fruit cake
When you think of what to drink in Ireland, the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind is Guinness. Make sure to grab a pint of this creamy, rich and dark stout and enjoy the quintessential Irish beer. It is usually available on tap at every Irish pub.
The Emerald Isle is home to some of the best whiskey on the planet. Combine a good shot of Irish whiskey with a steaming hot coffee and top it with thick cream and you’ve made an excellent Irish Coffee.
Lots of people in Ireland are obsessive tea drinkers. To start your morning off right, order an Irish breakfast tea with your full Irish breakfast
Good food starts with good ingredients, green pastures, deep valleys and abundant waters. The native lands have helped create outstanding natural flavors that you won’t get everywhere else in the world and can only eat in Ireland. Visit and taste for yourself how Irish chefs are doing exciting things with simple native ingredients.