A handful of ingredients – lamb, potatoes, bread – feature in many traditional Irish dishes. Irish Stew, with lamb, potatoes, onions and often carrots and bacon, is an iconic dish across the island and is particularly popular in the colder winter months. As you might expect there are many potato-based dishes, including Colcannon (creamy mashed potatoes mixed with cabbage and served with ham) and Boxty (a type of pancake made with finely grated fried potatoes).
Bread is also something of a national symbol. Irish soda bread takes many forms, with traditional recipes passed down between generations of the same family. Barmbrack, meanwhile, is a fruitcake filled with raisins, fruit and spices which is then soaked overnight in tea and whiskey.
And it would be unforgivable not to mention two of the other staples of the Irish culinary experience, the Irish breakfast and the Sunday roast.
While there's plenty of tasty food on offer, Ireland arguably remains better known for its drinks. With 18 distilleries in operation, and more in the pipeline, Irish whiskey is in robust health. Newer producers like Slane and Dead Rabbit are keeping the venerable old Jameson’s and Bushmills brands on their toes.
It’s a similar story in the beer business, with the iconic global stout brand, Guinness and other large producers like Murphy’s working alongside the dozens of micro-breweries spread across the island.
Read more about Food and drink in the other Celtic regions:
- Cornish Food and Drink
- Breton Food and Drink
- Scottish Food and Drink
- Manx Food and Drink
- Welsh Food and Drink