We’ve listed 15 of the best tasting Irish traditional foods you absolutely need to try. Scroll down to check how many of them you’ve already tasted and which ones you have yet to try…
While Ireland has not seen the same reputation for cuisine as some other European countries, that’s beginning to change. In general, Irish delicacies are simple, but they are ultimately some of the best tasting foods in the world. Here’s a best selection that you will definitely want to taste and, most importantly, you can celebrate the potato all year long!
1. Crisp sandwiches
An undisputed Irish food gem — slabs of white bread, lashings of butter and crisps. The only question is whether you opt for King or Tayto.
Are you familiar with potato pancakes? This picture perfectly describes boxty. The recipe for boxty includes: grated raw potato, mashed potato, salt, flour and butter. It is said that “boxty” comes from the Irish ‘arán bocht tí’ which means “poor-house bread”.
3. Spice bags
People just can’t get enough of this slightly more recent phenomenon — a mixture of crispy chicken or chicken balls, with chips and a blend of spices, all popped in a bag.
4. Beans on toast
This is also one that people living across the pond just do not understand — and that’s okay, all the more for us! It’s a quick and delicious recipe for people on the go and a specialty of college students around Ireland.
Brown bread, or soda bread, fresh from the oven with plenty of jam and a steaming cup of tea — is there anything better?
Ireland is known for its delightful pudding made from blood and fat mixed with barley, pork meat, oatmeal and suet in one flavoured sausage. Specifically, the Clonakilty variety is very popular.
7. Wexford strawberries
Nothing says summer like picking up some Wexford strawberries from the side of the road as you head down the country to the blue flag beaches.
8. Waterford blaas
The doughy white bread bap known as a ‘blaa‘ is a Waterford staple, and we couldn’t leave these soft floury bap-shaped rolls out of the list. And did you know that “Waterford blaa” is now a protected term?
9. Bacon and cabbage
This dish is becoming increasingly popular with foodies who enjoy good old “honest” food. The bacon goes in to boil first, then the potatoes, and last (but not least) the cabbage.
This is the typical Irish breakfast: sausages, black and white pudding, dry-cured rashers, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggs, baked beans and toast, served with a steaming pot of tea. Nowadays, many have the full Irish not just for breakfas, but at any time throughout the day.
Traditional Irish stew comes in many forms, but the most widely used recipes usually revolve around lamb, potatoes and onions as the central ingredients. This dish dates back many centuries, and is popular during winter months. Herbs like thyme and rosemary make it even tastier.
Barm brack (brack) is a sweet type of bread made with sultanas and raisins, traditionally served with tea. This dessert is especially popular around Halloween and can be found in many cafés, but if you’re feeling brave, you can try and make it yourself.
The name coddle was originated from the slow cooking of ingredients. It is reported to have been the favourite meal of Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels, and is generally made up of leftover items from other meals like sausages, bacon, onions and potatoes.
14. Guinness cake
Guinness cake is a delicious Irish chocolatey cake made of cacao, butter and beer. The cream cheese frosting resembles the foamy head of a glass of Guinness.
This hearty Irish dish comes from West Ireland, Co. Mayo. Colcannon is a traditional dish made from mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage with milk or cream, butter and salt and pepper.