Are you planning a visit to Ireland soon and trying to speed up your knowledge of Irish culture and traditions? Then you came to the right place, we love sharing bits and pieces about daily life in Dublin and other parts of the country. One of the things that you must explore once you are here is the local cuisine, with dishes made in Irish kitchens for generations, adapting to the seasons and using local ingredients to perfection. Here’s a list of 6 authentic Irish food that you shouldn’t leave without trying:
The traditional Irish Breakfast
The full Irish breakfast was created to keep the people working on the farms and fields fed for a longer period of time even with all the hard work, and it worked perfectly! Served as a combination of fried eggs, black or white pudding, baked beans, rashers (the Irish version of bacon), grilled tomatoes, and some leftover potatoes, this is definitely a heavy, but very delicious meal. It is a must-try when visiting the country, and can be found in any restaurant serving traditional Irish Food.
Irish cookers love practicality and know how to mix local ingredients to create unique flavors. All these characteristics can be tasted in the Irish Stew, a one-pot dish traditionally made with onions, potatoes, carrots, and lamb. The stew is left to simmer until the sauce is thick enough and the vegetables and meat are soft. You can finish this national treasure in any restaurant around the country serving Irish food, some pubs will also have it on their menu.
There are also vegetarian versions of the dish, made with mushrooms instead of lamb.
Of course one of the things Irish people are most proud of is their favorite local drink: Guinness and dark beer have been added to some food recipes as well. That’s the case with the Guinness Brown Bread, made with a combination of oats, whole wheat, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, buttermilk, vanilla extract, and, of course, a can of Guinness. You can find this Irish specialty in any bakery around the country, it tastes amazing with some Irish butter and strawberry jam, a great option to start your day.
This is one of the most traditional meals in Ireland, prepared for families for many generations to this day. The dish is made with a layer of ground beef with vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, and peas, topped up with a generous portion of creamy mashed potatoes. Everything is then left in the oven until the top is gratin. Most pubs in Dublin offer this local delicacy on their menu, but here are some suggestions on where to go: O'Neill's pub, on Suffolk St, The Brazen Head, which is also Dublin’s oldest pub, and The Boxty House, on Temple Bar.
Black and white pudding
Despite the name, the Irish black, and white puddings are not a desert. It is actually a type of sausage, made with oats and breadcrumbs, as well as pork and spices. This is a very traditional food in Ireland, usually served with toast, beans, and bacon. The difference between the black and white type is just the presence of blood, which is included in the preparation of the black version. The white one is made with no blood.
The Irish Boxty
Traditionally, Irish cuisine follows the seasons with simple, hearty cooking, but one ingredient is never missing from a meal in Ireland: potatoes. The Irish Boxty is also known as the “Irish Potato Pancake”, and used to be made in households around the country when there was no money left to buy bread. Nowadays, it is a dish with emotional value for many people, and that can be easily found in restaurants and pubs in Dublin. It can be paired with eggs and bacon for breakfast, or be a side on your lunch or dinner.
Now you have a complete list of what to ask when going for a meal in Ireland! Which of these dishes are you most excited to try? For more tips on what to do and where to go in Dublin, you can check out our blog.