Being from Belfast, one of the things I miss most about home is some of the excellent Irish cuisine. While coming to England has its foodie perks (I’m still praying for the day Pret A Manger reaches Ireland), there are some things that the English just don’t do like home. So, with St Paddy’s this week, here are some of my favourite Irish foods that I will be binge eating during our Easter break to sustain me through next term…
Soda Farl: A traditional Irish bread which you’ll be able to grab in every decent Irish bakery. Toast it under the grill with ham and cheese to make a Paddy’s Pizza if you want a standard, quick Irish supper.
I’m actually drooling thinking about a big plate of champ
Champ: I’m actually drooling thinking about a big plate of champ. Essentially, it’s just mashed potatoes but with loads of milk and butter, with spring onions stirred in to get the creamiest, most dreamy mound of potato ever.
Tayto: Move over Walkers, the best brand of crisps is hands down Tayto, specifically Tayto cheese and onion which have to be the cheesiest, most oniony crisps in existence. A Tayto crisp sandwich is commonplace in an Irish lunchbox.
an Ulster Fry has potato bread; it’s this doughy, carby, fried goodness that makes it the best hangover cure around
Ulster Fry: Okay, I will be honest here, the absence of hash browns in an Ulster Fry may persuade people that the English Breakfast is superior, but I disagree. Especially because an Ulster Fry has potato bread; it’s this doughy, carby, fried goodness that makes it the best hangover cure around.
Irish Stew: I’m not going to lie, I don’t really like Irish Stew but felt I should include this for nostalgia’s sake, as I was force fed it so much growing up. Its traditionally made with lamb, potatoes, carrots and onions, all stewed together (and most likely served with bread). If comfort food is up your street, then you will probably love this way more than I do.
I know I’ve mentioned a lot of bread, but it is a staple in Ireland
Wheaten Bread: Yes, I know I’ve mentioned a lot of bread, but it is a staple in Ireland and, for me, wheaten bread is the best. It’s kind of oaty and nutty, and toasted with butter and jam, can be the most comforting snack with a big old cup of tea.
Guinness: How can I talk about Irish cuisine and not mention the national drink? If ever any of my English friends tell me they don’t like Guinness, my response is always the same (what my dad told me to say): “Guinness doesn’t travel well.” And it’s true! The drink of the Emerald Isle tastes so different to anything you get in an English pub. So, don’t you dare slate Guinness until you’ve actually tried one in Ireland – it’ll be transformed. I guarantee that you’ll end up drinking so much you’ll wish you never discovered the true Guinness.
Irish Potato Hash: This is probably eaten for dinner at least once a week in a normal Irish household and it’s so easy! Fry potatoes in a frying pan with cabbage and bacon and there you go – a super easy and satisfying dinner sorted.
Happy St Paddy’s!
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