Traditional Irish Cuisine

Traditional Irish cuisine is a reflection of the Irish culture, the people, the land and the climate. Ireland has a temperate climate and is located in the Western most part of Europe being the first large island you come across once crossing the Atlantic Ocean. This means Ireland has a large amount of rainfall each year which irrigates the grasslands and provides the perfect agricultural environment to grow vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, turnips and onions, and to rear farmyard animals such as sheep and cows which constantly graze on the green fields of Ireland, pigs are also easy to farm in this climate. The fact that is an island means that is has a plentiful supply of fish and seafood, too.

Some well-known classical Irish dishes include ‘cabbage and bacon’, which are boiled together with potatoes; ‘black pudding’, which is a type of sausage made from pig’s blood; ‘white pudding’, similar to the black pudding, but made with pig’s meat and fat rather than blood; ‘cottage pie’, which is a dish made with minced beef, gravy and vegetables topped with mashed potato and then baked in the oven; ‘shepherd’s pie’, a cousin of the cottage pie, made the same way but using minced lamb instead; ‘champ’, mashed potato with scallions (spring onions) with butter and milk, often served with ham or bacon; ‘coddle’, which consists of slices of sausage and bacon casseroled with large pieces of potato; and ‘colcannon’, being a mixture of mashed potato and kale, but sometimes containing cabbage instead. Perhaps the most famous of all is the ‘Irish stew’, made with lamb/mutton, potatoes, onions and carrots.

In summary, the Irish cuisine is mostly slow cooked (boiled, cooked, stewed, casseroled, baked or roasted), with local and readily available produce. It is hearty food made with fresh ingredients, which will warm your cockles on a cold night and provide you with enough energy to work a hard day’s graft from dusk till dawn.