Fun Irish Foods

 Irish Foods

Fun Irish Foods

We all love food. We love exploring new recipes and sampling different flavors from around the world. And with St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner we figured it would be fun to check out what the Emerald Isle serves up. What we found to be most fun were the names of the dishes. From colcannon to boxty we’ve got the 411 on some fun Irish foods that go beyond the typical corned beef and cabbage.

Black and White Pudding

Not really pudding, and certainly not for dessert, black pudding is more of a hearty, savory dish. The Irish are not the only ones who delight in black pudding. It is popular throughout all of the United Kingdom. Comprised of pork, fat, and blood mixed with barley, suet, and oatmeal to create an intensely flavored sausage. Its counterpart is similar, just minus the blood. No proper Irish breakfast would be complete without a slice of each.

Coddle

Historically a dish created by the working-class of Dublin. The name Coddle comes from the method of slow simmering or “coddling” various ingredients in one pot in a stew. For example, folks would place all the fridge leftovers from the week into a pan and either stew them on the stove or the oven, low and slow. Perhaps then adding additional slices of pork sausage potatoes and onions. Pretty much whatever is left in the house goes in the coddle. Traditionally served with hearty bread, it makes a delicious weekend comfort meal.

Barmbrack

Similar to English fruit cake, this is a delicious and fruity tea loaf served smothered in butter with a steaming cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon. Baked with raisins, candied citrus peels, spices and sometimes seeped in whiskey or coffee overnight. For fun, around Halloween, Irelanders put charms in the loaf, and your slice could predict your future. The different trinkets could foretell future wealth, nuptials, or family quarrels.

Colcannon and Champ

Throughout Ireland’s history, potatoes have been a staple in Irish cooking. Most people associate it as quintessential to Irish foods. Many have heard about how millions of people perished during the Great Potato Famine. It all happened when potato harvests were decimated by blight in the 19th century. Regardless, potatoes are still an integral component of most meals. Colcannon is a classic comfort food where potatoes, cabbage, and butter are mixed together and seasoned with butter and spring onions. Champ is very similar but without the cabbage. It is a bit creamier with the addition of milk to the butter and spring onions.

Boxty

Potatoes are the main ingredient, but cooks interpret the dish differently. Potato dumpling, potato pancake or potato bread could all accurately describe boxty. The name is thought to originate from the Irish phrase arán bocht tí, which means “poor-house bread.” Most recipes call for mixing grated raw potato and mashed potato as a base. Variations include adding flour and salt then boiling, slicing and frying in butter. Another version mixes it all up like a pancake batter, and it is baked in a loaf pan, then sliced and fried in butter.

Soda Bread

Perhaps you have heard of Soda Bread but never quite knew what it was. Most families in Ireland have a recipe for this traditional food that is not only passed down through generations but is a well-guarded secret hidden from outside inquiring eyes. Some prefer it sweet with a spoonful of honey, sugar, dried fruits like currants. Others like sprinkled-in caraway seeds, bran or oats for a health boost. The essential ingredients never change: bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and buttermilk form the raising agent. This is then mixed in with flour and the secret ingredients. Always served sliced and slathered in butter, it is the perfect accompaniment with coddle (see above) or a cup of afternoon tea.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Naval Bagels!

This year, like years past we will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with our delicious green bagels. They are available for a very limited time, so stop in and a pick up a dozen to enjoy during your St. Patty’s day revelry! Sláinte!

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