Ireland and it’s Food!

10 Dec

In the past, Ireland wasn’t quite known for it’s food. When I first told my grandmother that I was going to Ireland she told me that I may be doing my own cooking for every meal. When she had visited there wasn’t much of the Irish Cuisine that she cared for. To be honest, I have no idea what the woman was talking about. I haven’t had a bad meal while I’ve been here. I think was makes the food so good is the fact that all of the ingredients are grown in this country. It makes the food that much better. I also think that there aren’t really any fast-food restaurants, except for Supermac’s and McDonalds. There is one restaurant that I would classify as fast-food, but not at all like the two restaurants I already stated. I think that KC Peaches could be a classified as a fast-food restaurant. But it’s all home cooked foods like, stew and chicken potpie and pastas.

Popular types of foods made in Ireland: Irish Soda Bread, Irish Beef Stew and the Irish Breakfast.

Irish Soda Bread wasn’t actually invented by the Irish. The “soft wheat” is the only suitable flour that can grow in Ireland’s climate, and when mixed like a traditional dough it doesn’t form any gluten like a traditional yeast bread, it does work well with a soda bread recipe. Some people make a cross on their bread when they are about to bake it. The cross on the soda bread has several explanations, legend has it that folks did it to “let the devil out” while it’s baking for good luck, and others say that it made it easy to divide into 4 pieces. It was also a symbol for a cross during Christian holidays.

Irish Stew is a celebrated Irish dish, yet its composition is a matter of dispute. Purists maintain that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water. Other would add such items as carrots, turnips, and pearl barley; but the purists maintain they spoil the true flavour of the dish. The ingredients are boiled and simmered slowly for up to two hours. Mutton was the dominant ingredient because the economic importance of sheep lay in their wool and milk production, and this ensured that only old or economically non-viable animals ended up in the cooking pot, where they needed hours of slow boiling. Irish stew is the product of a culinary tradition that relied almost exclusively on cooking over an open fire. Irish stew was recognized as early as about 1800.

There is an old motto that says “Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper” meaning it is wise to start the day with a large cooked breakfast. Such a motto could very much be applied to the traditional full Irish Breakfast. A large cooked breakfast of meat (bacon, sausages and black and white puddings), eggs, vegetables and potato all fried in creamery butter, it is served with a generous helping of homemade Irish soda or brown bread for soakage and washed down with a strong cup of breakfast tea such as Barry or Lyons tea and a glass of orange juice. It is a meal that was traditionally concocted to prepare one for a full days heavy duty work on the farm on a cold winter morning and was comprised of the best local and homemade farm produce all cooked in butter in a frying pan. While today it is not possible to be eaten on most work mornings, the traditional full Irish serves as a staple treat for most households to indulge in on a lazy Sunday morning whilst reading the Sunday papers. And it is not just confined to mornings, it is a meal that can be eaten at any hour of the day depending on your liking.


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