Top 10 Irish foods


Kylie Sciarra, Staff Writer

Since St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, people who are Irish have a variety of foods for dinner time. Here are some of the top 10 traditional Irish foods.


Soda Bread: Every family in Ireland has its own recipe for soda bread, hand-written on flour-crusted note paper and wedged in among the cook books. Some like it sweet with a spoonful of honey, sugar or dried fruits. Others prefer sprinkled-in seeds, bran and oats for a health boost, or treacle and Guinness for the opposite effect. However, the basic ingredients don’t change (bicarbonate of soda and buttermilk form the raising agent, which is mixed in with flour) and neither does the way it’s eaten: sliced and spread liberally with butter.


Shellfish: Visit Ireland outside of summer and your chances of seeing the sun may be slim. On the plus side, you’ll be able to feast on the west coast’s plump native oysters. 


Irish Stew: Crock pot cooking doesn’t get much simpler than Irish stew, traditionally made with mutton, onions and potatoes . To avoid the stew being watery, some recipes recommend adding pearl barley, a spoonful of roux or sliced potatoes, while others reduce the liquid by leaving the stew to simmer. These days, you’re more likely to find Irish stew made with lamb, with stock and herbs.


Colcannon and champ: Potatoes transformed the Irish diet when they were introduced from the New World in the late 16th century. Ireland’s population boomed with this cheap and plentiful food source, but was later decimated when potato harvests were hit by blight in the 19th century. Potatoes are still a staple at most mealtimes, with traditional dishes remaining popular. Colcannon is a classic, comforting mash of potatoes, cabbage (or kale) and butter (or cream), flavored with spring onions.


Boxty: Potato dumpling, potato pancake and potato bread are all descriptors for boxty; some say the name originates from the Irish phrase arán bocht tí, meaning ‘poor-house bread’. Try it alongside bacon and eggs or smoked salmon and crème fraîche.


Boiled Bacon and Cabbage: Boiled bacon, boiled cabbage and boiled potatoes might not sound all that appetizing but it remains a firm family favorite. A silky parsley sauce is the classic accompaniment.


Black and white pudding: The Irish weren’t the only ones to discover the delights of black pudding (pork meat, fat and blood mixed with barley, suet and oatmeal in an intensely flavored sausage). White pudding may be less common around the globe, but no full Irish breakfast would be complete without a slice of each. 


Coddle: With roots as a working-class Dublin dish, the name coddle comes from the slow simmering or ‘coddling’ of ingredients in a one-pot stew. The leftovers at the end of the week would be slowly stewed in the oven for hours, with slices of pork sausage packed in alongside bacon rashers or leftover boiled bacon and sliced potatoes and onions.


Barmbrack: Enthusiasts make this fruity tea loaf all year round, serving it smothered in butter with a cup of tea in the afternoon.