Italy has pasta, Spain paella, America has burgers and France has escargot. So what about Ireland?
Aside from Irish stew (which has always been a hit), our island’s food hasn't exactly been famous throughout the world. Now, though, the island’s smartest eateries and best chefs are rediscovering Ireland’s culinary heritage, with respected artisan producers are turning out everything from award-winning black (blood) pudding (Kanturks) to acclaimed raw milk cheese (Durrus).
The result? Our produce is hitting the shelves in some of the world’s most salubrious delis and department stores (Dean & Delucca in United States), and a wave of Irish chefs are reawakening traditional recipes.
Foods that have been ignored for years are being revived and served up in hip cafés and restaurants all over the island, with regional specialities.
You can try a "blaa" (a soft white roll) in Waterford; tuck into an Ulster fry for breakfast in Belfast; snack on dulse (salty seaweed) in coastal areas; or discover your adventurous side with some fried Lough Neagh eel. Then there’s soda bread, potato farls, Irish stew, crab claws and seafood chowder. And that’s not forgetting the potato…
Want to sample traditional Irish food? Here's a few to get you started
Gallagher’s Boxty House, 20/21 Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Specializing in traditional potato pancakes or “boxty”, Gallagher’s also serves up classic Irish dishes including seafood chowder, spiced beef, bacon and colcannon, and the Dublin classic coddle.
An Súgán, Clonakilty, County Cork
Local is the name of the game at this celebrated pub, with delicious seafood chowder, a West Cork artisan cheese and meat plate, and Bantry Bay mussels.
Crown Bar, 46 Great Victoria Street, Belfast BT2 7BA
Victorian elegance mixed with classic pub food makes this city centre icon an enduring favourite. Enjoy black (blood) pudding potato cake, ham and cabbage, sausage and champ, and pies to beat the band.
Belle Isle Cookery School, Eniskillen , County Fermanagh
The ultimate destination for food lovers. Discover the delights of creating modern cuisine in a foodie’s paradise.