When planning a trip to Ireland, food and drink-based highlights may not instantly come to mind. However, we’re here to change this mindset! Ireland’s foodie scene has changed remarkably in recent times. Whilst the classic Irish staples are still around, there is a growth in local producers coming onto the scene – benefitting both locals and travellers, alike. Check out eight things to wrap your taste buds around in Ireland –
The farmhouse cheese scene has proved itself year after year to be a powerhouse for Ireland since the 1970’s. The naturally lush pastures that we often associate with the Emerald Isle are rich in nutrients, meaning the cheese is often a beautiful yellow colour thanks to a higher level of beta-carotene. Head to a local farmer’s market and wrap your taste buds around the Dubliner or a Cahill’s Farm cheddar.
2. Soda bread
You may have already heard of the iconic soda bread, a staple in Northern Ireland. While denser than other breads, soda bread is the perfect accompaniment to a traditional Irish stew or as a sandwich base. Keep an eye out for some unique takes on it that incorporate Guinness, olives or honey.
3. The full Irish
Just like their English neighbours, Ireland has its own version of a big breakfast. Also known as an ‘Ulster fry’, typical inclusions are bacon, sausages, eggs, tomatoes, potatoes in some form, and – the pièce de résistance – black or white pudding! You’ll leave feeling satisfied, ready to tackle the day ahead.
Smoked salmon is making big waves through Ireland, with smokehouses dotted around the country utilising different types of wood to impart a unique flavour. Whether you try it on its own, on toasted bread, or with a salad, salmon lovers will rejoice over this tasty fish.
5. Irish coffee
Do you have a sweet tooth, like whiskey and/or coffee? Then you’re in luck! A traditional Irish coffee will hit the spot and warm the cockles of your heart on a cool day.
It wouldn’t be a blog about Irish food if we didn’t include a potato-based delicacy! Boxty are also known as a potato dumpling or pancake. Using such a versatile vegetable means it can be paired with anything, making it a great snack.
7. Waterford Blaa
As you may have guessed, the Waterford blaa hails from County Waterford. Picture a moreish soft bread roll, so special that it was awarded Protected Geographical Indication status by the European Commission in 2013! Spread a good lick of butter and top with ham or bacon, and you have the ultimate bread roll.
If you are an oyster fan, Northern Ireland is a must-visit! The Atlantic Sea that surrounds its coast provides the perfect cold temperature for growing the delicacy. They take a little longer to grow than the norm, but the end result is worth the wait! Wrap your taste buds around some of the freshest, plumpest oysters you will ever eat.