A visit to Ireland is something that has to be done at least once in a person’s life. The small Atlantic neighbouring island is among the most untouched in all of Europe and is worth a visit for the scenery alone.
However, that said, this vast amount of greenery and the fact Ireland is a nation with a strong sense of identity, makes for some notable culinary delights that must be tried on a visit to the Emerald Isle. So, what’s our pick of the bunch?
This food made from boiled pig’s feet is usually eaten by hand and is often served with pig’s ear. It’s a traditional Irish dish that’s really come back to the fore thanks to the austerity cuts that have become so fashionable in recent years. The dish is often served as a starter and with eggs and caper mayonnaise and was traditionally served in pubs in the 18th century. The salty taste was a shrewd business move by cunning publicans whose dinners meant diners worked up quite a thirst. They can be commonly found in some of the country’s finest markets, though a trip to The English Market in Cork is said to have among the best in the land.
White and Black Pudding
Those who expect pudding to be a sweet course will be surprised to see in Ireland it is pork based spiced food that resembles sausage and in the case of the black version is made with the blood of pigs. However, don’t let that put you off. It’s a delicately spiced dish that’s loved the country and world over and often served with breakfast. The white equivalent gives up the blood and is an oat based pudding, hence it’s light brown colour. Black pudding and white pudding is also seen in the UK, though is often considered to be brought over by Irish people during UK immigration decades previously.
Made from flour, baking soda, salt and buttermilk, soda bread is a very popular form of Irish bread and is often fried and served with breakfasts. The butter milk and baking soda react to create the leavening process and raisins are often added. It’s best eaten fried or toasted, but has a distinct taste, that really works well with the flavours around it at breakfast.
Colcannon is a potato based dish, where onions, cream and butter are added to cabbage. It’s a tasty dish traditionally associated with Halloween, or Oiche Samhain as it’s known in Gaelic. Colcannon was often it was served with a ring placed in it. The person who got the ring on their plate was said to be the next to get married. Kale is often added to the dish instead of cabbage nowadays too.
Anything and everything is thrown into Irish stew and it’s not uncommon to get everything from beef, to seafood. The dish has been the traditional dish of the country for over 200 years and more often than not includes cabbage, potatoes and cream, all of which is simmered down to a thick sauce.
Irish food is among the heartiest in the world and each of the above are worth a try when visiting the Emerald Isle.
Cormac Reynolds writes for Global Visas a UK Visa site.