The national cuisine of Ireland is hearty and somewhat coarse. The set of dishes in Ireland is quite simple, consisting mostly of meat, cheese, seafood and potatoes. But it is still worth paying tribute to the traditional cuisine of Ireland – even simple dishes are cooked in a special way here.
National dishes of Irish cuisine
Gaelic (Celtic) steak. It is a whiskey-fried beef fillet. Steak is traditionally served with Irish Stew, an Irish vegetable stew.
Pork. It is consumed in all forms in Ireland. Fried bacon, sausages, home-made sausages, baked pork ribs.
Black and white sausage puddings. White pudding looks and tastes like liverwurst. The black one is made on the basis of sheep’s blood.
Shepherd’s pie and boiled corned beef and cabbage. The most delicious beef dishes in Ireland.
Potatoes. Potatoes are a true mainstay of Irish cooking. They are used to make pancakes (boxty), airy mashed champ – with green onions and colcannon – with cabbage, bread and fish&chips – oil-fried fish with potatoes.
- hard cheese “coolea” with a nutty-fruity flavor
- spicy ardrahan
- blue with mold “cashel blue”
- “Blarney castle
- matching the beer and whiskey “cahill cheddar” from County Limerick
- Seafood. On the west coast you’ll find oysters, lobster, mussels and pink salmon in abundance. The Irish eat it all simply, with bread and butter.
The undisputed drink of Ireland is dark beer. The most popular variety is Guinness. And Irish whiskey is as good as the world-famous Scottish whiskey.
What is the most famous Irish dish?
The principle of traditional Irish cuisine is simple: nourishing and tasty. In this practical country, meat and potatoes are especially prized – they are used as the basis for cooking.
Processing of ingredients is also simple: they are boiled, stewed or fried. This is why the local national cuisine is often called coarse – this is a stereotype that has been formed over the centuries and is refuted in a few minutes at the Irish table.
So what to try in Ireland to fully experience the amazing flavor of this extraordinary country? Let’s take a look at a list of 10 traditional national dishes that you just can’t imagine it without!
Once introduced as “bread for the poor,” today boksti have become an integral part of the local national cuisine. This uncomplicated food is a traditional pancake made of grated potatoes with flour, eggs, and sometimes fresh or sour milk.
Most often in Ireland they are offered for breakfast (with soft local cheese) or as a side dish to meat dishes (with chopped herbs).
Herbs stuffed mushrooms
Mushrooms in Ireland are added to soups, vegetable stews, meat dishes and grilled. But nothing compares to such a popular national delicacy as herb-stuffed mushroom caps.
The stalk of the mushroom is carefully extracted, shredded, and mixed with finely chopped basil and onions.
Irish chefs like to experiment and add garlic, walnuts, thyme, and other various ingredients to the traditional stuffing.
The stuffed caps are fried or baked with a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.
The food is exquisite and tender, and the herbs give it a wonderful flavor and aroma.
In Ireland, they are served as breakfast and snacks to main courses.
This national food in Ireland has long been the prerogative of the nobility – ordinary peasants could try it only on holidays.
The reason is that this dish is incredibly meaty: it requires a lot of homemade sausages, fatty bacon, as well as potatoes and onions.
All the ingredients are stewed in a pot, and the seasonings are the usual salt, pepper and parsley.
It is said that Jonathan Swift himself liked to try this delicacy and the koddle became one of his favorite dishes. The Irish also adore this national food, it becomes especially popular during the winter months.
And really: what could be better than a hearty, flavorful, tasty and juicy coddle when the wind is blowing through and wicked outside! In short, coddle is a must eat when traveling in Ireland.
Many traditional Irish dishes are made with or based on potatoes, and the Champ is one of them. It’s a very tender mashed potato that can be eaten on its own or as a side dish to meat or fish. The perfect combination of flavors!
To make chump, besides boiled potatoes, you need very few ingredients: milk (or cream), finely chopped onions, butter, cheese, salt and pepper. At all times in the country, it was considered an everyday dish that was out of place on the holiday table.
Mashed Potato Chump.
Nevertheless, this food means a lot in Irish culture – chump has even been the source of several winged expressions. For example, “as thick as champ” can be interpreted as describing a stupid, crazy person. And “as ignorant as champ at a wedding” literally means “uncultured”, “rude”, “inappropriate”.
Traditional Irish cuisine has a special holiday spirit, and the proof is the Colcannon, which has become one of the country’s crowning Halloween treats.
The local custom required to hide a “talisman” such as a ring or a small coin in the prepared dish. Whoever found one or the other object in the plate could judge his or her future: marriage or wealth.
Colcannon requires cabbage and mashed potatoes (bacon or ham can be used as an addition). Because of such simple, accessible and inexpensive ingredients, this food in Ireland can be tasted at any time of the year, but it is better in the fall, during the fresh harvest season, and of course on All Saints’ Day Eve.
Barmbrack is another unique Irish national dish, which has become an indispensable attribute of the Halloween table. It is made with yeast dough, necessarily adding raisins or grapes. There are also variations of the traditional recipe, such as using Irish whiskey or other savory ingredients.
In earlier times, rings, wood chips, coins, peas, and other objects representing the future were “hidden” in this food. Today, to commemorate the tradition, you can buy a barmbrack with symbolic rings inside.
Basically, barmbrack is Irish sweet bread. It is sliced and served with tea as a dessert. There are many recipes for barmbrack in Ireland and you can try it not only for the holidays.
This traditional Irish stew is made from tender lamb with potatoes and onions. Local chefs do not like to change the traditional recipe too much, adding only carrots, thyme or rosemary to the stew in order to achieve a finer and richer aroma and flavor.
The love of this food has been ingrained in Ireland for centuries, and today Irish stew can be tasted everywhere. Stew is served hot to the table, in deep plates along with the broth. It’s a great dish during the colder months, when its popularity increases dramatically.
Irish Fish chowder
Of course, the love of the Irish for potatoes is known around the world. But Irish cuisine is just as passionate about the gifts of the sea, of which there are many in the country’s generous coastal waters. An example is Irish fish chowder, which is fished in Ireland with salmon, cod, halibut, mussels and shrimps.
The secret of the fantastic flavor of the potpourri lies in two key features: a light, creamy broth and a mixture of fresh and smoked seafood and fish. Curiously, in the vast majority of cases the recipe also involves the use of bacon fried to a crispy crust.
This unusual national food can be found on the menu of almost any pub. You can have it with soda bread and a glass of Guinness, Kilkenny or Smithwick’s ale.
n every home in Ireland, every housewife has her own recipe for so-called “soda bread”, passed down from generation to generation. Some prefer to bake it with honey and dried fruit, some with bran or oatmeal, but the main thing remains the same: the basis of the bread is soda, buttermilk and flour.
Also a frequent ingredient that is added to this dish of Irish cuisine is the famous Guinness beer. It gives the bread its unique, distinctive flavor.
Soda bread is an important attribute of any meal. The Irish serve it with soups, but often eat the bread for nothing, cut into slices and smeared with butter.
You can’t list traditional Irish dishes and ignore such a famous and popular dessert as Guiness Cake. It became an organic part of the national cuisine, although it is said that the recipe was not invented by an Irishman.
Not only is Guiness Cake among the top local desserts, but it’s also considered one of the top St. Patrick’s Day treats.
The cake is quick and easy to make. The main nuance lies in heating beer in the same container with butter and adding the right amount of cocoa powder to the mixture. The dessert turns out as black and “sinful” as night – this is especially emphasized by the cap of sweet snow-white airy cream that they cover the top of the cake with. An unbelievable challenge for those who have decided to eat less sweet things!
When you travel around Ireland, you’re sure to try quite a few more original local dishes. For example Boiled bacon and cabbage, Potatoes with cheese and herbs, or Beef & Guinness Stew. Be sure to also pay tribute to oysters, mussels, shrimp, salmon and other seafood and fish.
And you will also be surprised how many wonderful desserts Ireland has to offer to its guests! There’s Irish Oaty Apple Crumble, Irish Potato Candies (dessert with cinnamon and cream cheese), Irish Whiskey and Stout Chocolate Cake (chocolate cake with alcohol), and Fifteens (dessert of marshmallows, coconut and cherries). In short, the trip across the country promises to be not only interesting, but delicious as well!
Don’t leave Ireland without trying
1. Soda bread. Every family in Ireland has its own recipe for soda bread, hand-written on flour-crusted note paper and wedged in among the cookery books.
3. Irish stew.
4. Colcannon and champ
6. Boiled bacon and cabbage.
7. Smoked salmon.
8. Black and white pudding.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Irish-inspired foods like corned beef and cabbage, shepherd’s pie and Irish soda bread.
1. Redbreast. Redbreast 12 is a mighty whiskey.
2. Irish Coffee. You can’t bate an Irish coffee on a cold winters evening, after a day of being lashed on by the rain while out walking in the countryside!
4. Tullamore DEW.
6. Jameson Whiskey.
7. Bailey’s Irish Cream.