9 essential foods and drinks to try in Ireland

9 essential foods and drinks to try in Ireland

Traditional Irish cuisine consists of simple, hearty dishes that follow age-old family recipes passed down from generation to generation. Famous for potatoes and pints of Guinness from the brewery in Dublin, Ireland has lots to offer when it comes to food and drink. After looking at the English, Scottish, and Welsh national cuisines, we now head across the Irish Sea to take a look at some food and drink staples to try in Ireland.

1. Irish Stew

Irish stew is a one-pot dish commonly made from lamb, mutton, or beef and root vegetables grown locally. As with all traditional Irish recipes, the ingredients can vary from place to place and family to family. Purists claim that the traditional recipe should only include mutton, potatoes, onions, and water. More modern recipes typically use lamb or beef instead of mutton and also include the addition of carrots, red wine or even Guinness! Despite the controversy over the recipe, this delicious dish is the ultimate Irish comfort food, perfect for a cold winter’s day.

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With the craziness of the world right now, I think we could all use an extra dose of comfort food, right? And since tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day, I'm going out on a limb here and saying that I may not be the only one who wants to put my beer IN my dinner while also drinking it. No? Just me? If you're picking up what I'm putting down, I give you Irish beef stew made with stout beer and topped with biscuits infused with MORE stout (yes, please) and sharp Irish cheddar cheese. Yes, yes, yes. It's just what the doctor ordered during this time of stress. Rich and succulent and incredibly comforting! The perfect meal to make while you’re stuck in the house. #shareyourtable #tastingtable #foodphotographer #foodstyling #foodtographyschool #thatsdarling #thekitchn #feedfeed #foodandwine #foodblogeats #foodblogfeed #thecookfeed #huffposttaste #mywilliamssonoma #yestoyolks #StPatricksDay #StPattys #Irish #beefstew #stout #Irishbeefstew #stoutbiscuits

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2. Irish Soda Bread

Irish soda bread is a simple, moist bread created using only four basic ingredients (bicarbonate of soda, buttermilk, flour, and salt). Again, recipes do vary as families add their own twist on the traditional recipe with different fruit, seeds, and spices. The bread is typically enjoyed with butter alongside soups or stews for dipping.

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Nothing really says, “comfort and home,” like fresh bread, right? Irish Soda Bread is one of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day foods and in these weird, uneasy times I think we could all use a little comfort. __ A few weeks ago, I was wishing this year would slow down. It felt like it was moving at a breakneck pace and my kids were growing inches overnight. It’s a bit amazing. I never imagined it would come to a complete hault. And while I’m not personally good at slowing down or sitting still or being stuck at home, now I have no choice. I need to go slower too. Maybe the problem wasn’t that the world was moving too fast. Maybe it was me. __ I hope no matter where you are you’re enjoying a few quieter, slower moments…Taking a deep breath and leaning into your family that’s with you. Stay safe, stay healthy and have a happy St. Patrick’s Day, friends. 🍀 __ Full recipe for this traditional, delicious, biscuit-like Irish Soda Bread at Or click the link in my bio. #happystpatricksday #farmhouselife #irishsodabread

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3. Boxty

Potatoes changed Irish cuisine forever when they were introduced to the country in the 16th century. Despite the tragedy of the great potato famine of the 19th century, the potato is prominent in many traditional recipes. A boxty is a potato pancake made from cooked mashed potato, grated raw potato, buttermilk, flour, and salt. Boxtys can be paired with almost anything and are used in a variety of different ways, the most common is alongside eggs and bacon in the morning.

4. Colcannon

Yes, another potato recipe! Considered the holy grail of mashed potatoes, this recipe consists of mashed potatoes, kale, green onions, milk or cream and lots of butter. This dish is served as an accompaniment to a main meal and can also be prepared with bacon.

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Ready to change your mashed potato game? 🥔 This traditional Irish colcannon takes mashed potatoes to a whole new level by incorporating kale, green onions, salted butter, and cream. 😋 You won't believe how life-changing these mashed potatoes are! 😮 Get the recipe in my bio link. . Hungry for second helpings? Follow @savortheflavourblog for more food photography and delicious recipes! . . #mashedpotatoes #colcannon #irishfood #kale #comfortfood #greenonion #potato #pinchofyum #foodbloggerpro #kitchn #seriouseats #bonappetit #imsomartha #bbcgoodfood #thechalkboardeats #huffposttaste #nytimesfood #foodgawker #tastespotting #saveur #thecookfeed @thecookfeed #EEEEEATS #eatingfortheinsta #feedfeed @thefeedfeed #buttery #potatolover #truecooks #freshlymade #onmytable

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5. Coddle

Coddle or sometimes known as ‘Dublin Coddle’ is a one-pot dish traditionally made to use up leftovers at the end of the working week. Again, like many traditional Irish dishes, there is not one true recipe, every family has its own and what goes into the pot usually depends on what is available. However, it most commonly consists of sliced pork sausages, bacon, potatoes, onions, and seasoning resulting in a hearty, comforting stew.

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Showing up fashionably late for today’s Potluck o’ the Irish collab – hosted by the inimitable @plate_and_pen and @cooking_with_wine – because not only do I not get to work from home, I worked extra. Wheeeee! • You’ll 100% forgive me for being late when you try @wholefully’s Dublin Coddle and @31daily1’s Brown Irish Soda Bread. With Kerrygold, obvi. So warm, so rich, salty and cozy; a Fair Isle sweater in a bowl. • Please click through #potluckoirishcollab to see the rest of today’s shared meal and be sure to check out the original bloggers tagged above for the recipes! • #homecooking #easycooking #comfortfood #easiestbreadever #dublincoddle #applesausage #baconmakeseverythingbetter #irishsodabread #kerrygoldbutter #andofcoursetherewasguinness #cookingwithguinness #andnowicansit

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6. Barmbrack

Barmbrack is a sweet Irish bread made with dried fruit (usually sultanas and raisins), and is the perfect accompaniment to a pot of tea. This bread is the centre of various traditions in Ireland. The most popular is at Halloween where charms would be mixed into the dough before baking and held significance for those who found them in their slice.

7. Guinness

Known as the national drink of Ireland, Guinness is well-loved across the country and world over. The dark liquid is almost creamy in texture with a hoppy bitterness and tasting notes of coffee, chocolate, and herbs. This pint may not be suited to everyone’s tastes but don’t miss the chance of trying it whilst on the Emerald Isle with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin!

8. Irish Whiskey

Ireland has a rich and long history of whiskey making and was once the most popular spirit in the world. Irish whiskeys are typically distilled using unmalted barley and triple distilled so generally produce a smooth and sweet flavour profile. With over 25 active distilleries now in operation, Irish whiskey is making a come back and with so many brands and styles to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice!

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My own hand bottled Jameson’s whiskey!🥃 . I have a strong love for Dublin; the people, the atmosphere, and of course the whiskey, especially Jameson, but not forgetting the Guinness too!🍺 . Every year I go to Dublin to taste the delights and had the opportunity this summer to bottle my own cask strength version of the traditional Black Barrel brand of Jameson at the old distillery in Bow Street🇮🇪 . Despite setting me back €100, It was certainly a very unique and unforgettable experience to have your mark on your very own whiskey, even being able to taste some before bottling🥃 . Safe to say it puts the hairs on your chest at 60% & 120 Proof, but the flavour is amazing. Details of the bottle are below: . Bottle Number: 103🥃 Cask Number: 332391🥃 ABV: 60% & 120 Proof🥃 Distillery: Jameson’s Bow Street🥃 Bottle Date: 20/06/19🥃 . Amazing, yet expensive opportunity but certainly an amazing experience. If you’re ever in Dublin, I’d certainly recommend visiting! Cheers🥃 . #jameson #jamesonwhiskey #jamesondistillery #irishwhiskey #jamesonirishwhiskey #caskstrengthwhisky #caskstrength #blackbarrel #jamesonblackbarrel #handbottled #bottledbyhand

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9. Irish Coffee

Variations of this hot alcoholic drink can be found worldwide, give it a try if you are looking for something to warm you up right down to your toes! Irish coffee is made in a warm glass and uses brown sugar, Irish whiskey, coffee, and fresh layered cream.

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