Irish food isn’t all potatoes, beer, and carbs. A lot of the meals eaten in Ireland are similar to the states. The food comes straight from a farmer’s field and is not genetically modified. The fruit tastes crisper and the veggies are fresher even if they go bad quicker than hoped. But appropriately so, most of our favorite delicacies fall under that vast carb-loaded category.
Just a forewarning: If you want to lose 7 pounds, you chose the wrong country for that.
Cue a semester or weekend trip of butter, potatoes, garlic chips, Guinness, and so much more. Here is the breakdown on how to eat your way through Ireland:
Scones and Tea:
To enjoy scones, you must use homemade jam, you must use real butter, and for best results, eat them straight out of the oven.
Hand in hand with your cup of Barry’s tea, limit yourself to two (okay maybe three) servings. If scones are not available and tea is in your mug, open the press and grab some digestives. Digestives? Digestives are cookies or biscuits, with a coat of dark chocolate on one end: perfect for dipping into your Barry’s branded tea. If tea isn’t your thing then maybe it’s time to spice up your beloved American coffee with a bit of Irish influence. A swig of Bailey’s: Irish whiskey and cream based liqueur should get you assimilated. If you find yourself at a pub and Guinness is just too dark to handle, do yourself a favor and order a true Irish Coffee. The cream layer at the top is a little too heavenly, masking any bitter whiskey aftertaste.
With the mention of alcohol, I must introduce you to Arthur Guinness. Black, malty, filling, or as some call it, “old man drink.” While you enjoy this staple of Irish culture, remember to first inhale, fill your mouth, swallow and then exhale in order to get the full taste. We can attest that this process actually does enhance the taste. Also, not that not too many Irish people actually drink Guinness – they’re drinking Budweiser, Carlsberg, Heineken or Murphy’s. (The cheaper option being Foster’s, for college kids of course.)
*Insider tip: if you hate Guinness but want to drink it while out, ask for a little blackcurrant from the bartender. This is a nice berry flavor will mask the intensity of the Guinness.
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A traditional meal in Ireland can consist of bacon or ham, with a side of cabbage or mash. Irish Beef? It’s delicious – always fresh and flavorful. Better yet, try Irish Lamb. It is incredible here, it is cooked so tenderly that the meat literally falls off the bone and usually unto a delicious gravy speckled with fresh vegetables or potatoes.
Ireland loves them. A quick run through of the most popular; French fries are called chips and they’re often paired with garlic sauce or garlic mayonnaise. There’s mash, which is mashed potatoes. Roasted potatoes out of the oven are typically coated in layers of garlic and oil. Croquettes are breaded, fried pockets of mashed potatoes – essentially a far better version of french fries than you could ever imagine.
An Irish Breakfast:
Consists of everything you could hope for. Fried eggs, toast, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, and rashers. Rashers are basically a bigger version of our bacon and they are dangerously addictive. It may take a few rounds to fall in love with the sweet brown beans slathered over toast. The key components that make a Full Irish Breakfast full are the portions of black and white pudding. Wait, what? Pudding for breakfast? It’s not pudding as we know it – these are sausage patty shaped pieces of meat. White pudding is made from pork meat and fat, suet and oatmeal and it tastes like sausage. Black pudding is where things get weird – it’s black because of the high blood content in the pork patty. Don’t think, just eat.
By this quick list, you can tell that some Irish meals are homegrown and heavy. But not to worry the light-hearted and sing-songy Irish personalities will lift your energy level right back up or a cup of tea should do the trick.
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