Irish Cooking

Although not everyone associates the culinary arts with the Irish, the truth is the country that once suffered the Great Famine is now a country of substantial–and very tasty–meals.

Breakfast in Ireland, for example, is an unhurried, bountiful event, featuring some sort of hot cereal, such as stirabout (hot oatmeal); fresh eggs; the best bacon you’ve ever tasted; and a variety of homemade breads.

If you enjoy a wee snack in the late morning, you’d love the Irish custom of a tea and pastry break.

The main meal of the day–dinner–is more often eaten in the early afternoon, and you can anticipate a veritable feast, with choices from among the following: salmon or other fish; roast pork or ham; lamb chops; roast beef; Irish stew. Naturally, you can expect to find any variety of potato you can imagine, and the Irish firmly believe that they hold the patent on the tastiest potato dishes in the world, including colcannon (potatoes with cabbage, cream, butter, and onions); potato cakes or patties; potato soup; potato pie; boxty bread (whole wheat flour, butter, potatoes–raw or mashed, sometimes both–and bacon grease.)

If you like puddings, Ireland is the place for you. Irish cooks are also wizards with fruit desserts of almost any flavor, and they have an especially grand way with fruit tarts.

Irish cooking isn’t known for its exotic flair, but more for its freshness, simplicity, and generous portions. And good company with which to enjoy it!

Oh, and if you should happen to be expecting corned beef and cabbage, better stay in America. That’s not an Irish dish at all, but more our Yankee idea of one!

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