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Famous Irish Food Dishes and Drinks

Updated on May 30, 2013

Irish Food - What the Irish really eat

Irish food is like many things in Ireland a bit of a myth. Ireland is a very small island surrounded by sea with a typically wet climate and lower than mild temperatures. The food that we eat then is what we have around us and includes a wide selection of fish, meats, vegetables and potatoes.

There is also quite a strong European influence now and we have some fantastic Italian, Chinese, French, Thai and Indian cuisine to enjoy. I have seen many people fill websites with recipes like corned beef and cabbage with potatoes, and while that may have been true around one hundred years ago, I know of no Irish person who would eat that now.

The potato for sure is still a main part of our diet in its many forms, boiled, sauteed, roasted, mashed, champ, chipped etc and we probably eat them between 2-3 times a week. We have an abundance of fresh vegetables such as cabbage, turnip, green beans, peas, corn etc and enjoy all of these. Dinner is usually served with the above and either fish or meat. This would be very popular as Irish pub food and is usually good value for money.

I would say for myself that as a family we probably eat more pasta than potatoes and we are also very fond of salads, wraps, sandwiches etc.

We do however have some unique traditional Irish foods such as potato bread which I adore as do all my Canadian cousins. We also have many Irish food recipes such as Irish stew which is supposed to be made from mutton, but nearly everyone makes it with meat or beef. This along with vegetables and potatoes formed into a savoury stew is fantastic, but again the typical family would eat this maybe once a month or every two months.

We also have the famous Irish fry for breakfast. Well no, we don't actually, unless we are staying at a Bed and Breakfast or a hotel, and maybe on a Saturday or Sunday morning. We wouldn't have time to make it in the mornings and if we had, then if we ate one of these every morning, we would probably die from a heart attack at the age of 30. I'll tell you what though it tastes great and I love a good fry up about once a month.

The picture below is just pure indulgence to be honest. In Ireland we call these "crisps" but in the USA I believe they are referred to as chips. In Ireland what we call chips are what they call French Fries in the USA. So never get confused about that when you come to visit us in Ireland.

Irish Food

Proper Irish food
Proper Irish food

Irish Food An Irish Fry Up in the morning

Fried and NOT grilled
Fried and NOT grilled

Irish Food - The Fry Up

This is a typical Irish food dish.

2 Bacon, 2 sausages, egg, potato bread, soda bread, tomato and black pudding. I am not going to tell you what is in the black pudding - you can look that up!

Irish Food - What to eat on Saint Patrick's Day

There seems to be some idea that we eat really strange stuff on Saint Patrick's day which is the 17th March every year. Nope, that day falls in the middle of the Christian Lent period. We do usually give up something for Lent, and some people stop drinking during Lent. That is except for one day, and we thank Saint Patrick for that :-)

So that is a day when "some" people concentrate on getting "hammered" or as we do say in Ireland, "have one or two pints of the black stuff." I seldom ever see anyone having two pints, twelve would be a more accurate estimate.

Food in this case becomes like a third priority as it is drink, sport and then food. The sport except for the very fit usually involves doing a horse racing bet, a football bet and then watching our money make the bookmakers richer as we curse our luck in the public bar. Somewhere in between all of that we will squeeze in a look at the parade, though let me assure you my American friends do a much better job of that than we do, and then it is back to the bar for more Guinness. We will buy some Irish food, probably a burger with chips, more drink and then listen to a music group, or even better join in with the group.

Some bars drop green colouring into the lager but if they did that to mine they would certainly hear me. Some bars also do a little shamrock on top of the Guinness and I like that. Some bars also serve Irish stew and by the time I have had 6 or 7 pints, it usually tastes pretty good. I have even see green Irish stew but don't ever serve that to me or my friends.

Irish Food Comments

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    • EndaMac profile imageAUTHOR

      Enda McLarnon 

      7 years ago from Belfast

      All I can tell you folks is that I have never seen it on a menu and have never had corn beef and hash in anyone's house. I have eaten it though and it tasted ok!

    • purp-drag913 profile image


      7 years ago from West Michigan, USA.

      So glad to know my distant cousins in Ireland didn't make up corn beef and hash. Here in the States, it's canned, and looks, (and probably tastes,) like dog food. Loved the charm of this hub and look forward to reading more about your Country and Customs.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I thought historically the Irish typically couldn't afford beef and the notion of corn beef being Irish fare starting after the Irish immigrated to America and found that type of beef more affordable and somehow it became thought of as an Irish favorite.


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