Irish Food Traditions
- Lmonach Apr 4, 2013 09:54 AM
Hi Folks - looking for any inspiration you can provide on traditional Irish food/recipes. What are your favorite dishes? What ingredients are quintessentially Irish? If you have any favorite websites/blogs, send those along too please!
A few for starters:
Boiled bacon, cabbage and spuds, with parsley sauce
Coddle (sausage soup/casserole type thing)
Irish stew (made with lamb neck, spuds etc)
Is Bread & Butter Pudding Irish? I always thought it was an English dish.
OK as Harter's says lots of foods are similar across the countries of the Britsh Isles but some foods have a pretty definite origin i.e. soda bread and potato bread have an Irish heritage. And of course no Irish list of foods would miss the wonderful stouts the country produces - not just Guinness.
It's wise to remember much of traditional Irish food is the food of the poor, so lots of offal (blood puddings) and boiled bacon, with basic vegetables like cabbage and lots of potatoes, and of course the old "cheaper" fish like oysters and salmon (both of which used to be common and cheap).
The rich in Ireland were often the wealthy English and Scottish landowners so the food of the wealthy was much he same as the wealthy in those countries. Today Ireland has a strong food heritage based on it great local produce and modern chefs so much has changed.
Phil's right about the issues of diet between the classes. But, then, there are always issues of diet between the classes. And, certainly, for the middle and upper classes in Irish society their traditional diet would be no different from the diet of the same classes in the other regions of the UK. Going back to Victorian and Edwardian times (the latter being a period of history in which I'm particularly interested), I believe there would have been some differences between people of all classes, depending on whether they lived in a rural or urban area.
Quintessential Irish ingredients are the quintessential ingredients of northern Europe - for example pork, lamb, dairy, root vegetables, brassicas. Think of foods that grow well without a lot of heat or sunshine and you wouldnt go far wrong.
So, take Irish stew - or, if you prefer, Lancashire hotpot, lobscouse or Welsh cawl. All very similar stews of lamb, onion, potato, stock or water. Very simple dishes which are ingredient-led.
On the pork front, the Irish make some decent black puddings - which can be as good as those from north west England. They also make white puddings which are very similar to those from Scotland. http://www.clonakiltyblackpudding.ie/...
In preparation for a trip to Ireland, my mum loaned me Darina Allens' Irish Traditional Cooking. It's a weighty tome, but very interesting, quite a lot of detail on the foraging aspect of traditional Irish cooking, and a ton of recipes. Limpet soup, anyone?