Some Of The Best Irish Foods To Try Out When In Ireland

Despite being a small country, Ireland is one nation with a big reputation and an age-caressed, timeless landscape and friendly, fascinating people whose poetic nature is expressed through the warmth of their welcome. There is just something different about Ireland and it can be seen in the nation’s somewhat unvarnished informality. Sitting on the southwest peninsulas, with a dramatic wildness and the brooding loneliness of the Connemara Ireland presents much for any person visiting. However, of all the interesting things and beauty of this small nation, there is something Irish that any visitor should try – and that is their food.

Here is a list of some of the Irish foods to try out when in Ireland:

Irish Stew

One-pot cooking does not get any simpler than the famous Irish stew, which is traditionally made with mutton that has been slowly stewed for hours till the meat is tender with some potatoes, onions and with some recipes including a couple of carrots to create one of the tastiest broths you’ll find anywhere. To ensure that the stew does not get watery, some recipes incorporate a knob of roux or pearly barley.


One crop that transformed the Irish diet since its introduction in Ireland is the potato. Potatoes are basically a staple when it comes to cooking in most Irish homes and one classic dish that incorporates this crop is Colcannon which is a mash of potatoes with kale or cabbage and cream or butter flavored with spring onions.

So loved is the meal that it is almost impossible to miss it on most dinner tables around Ireland.

Soda Bread

Another traditional and loved Irish food is soda bread. What makes this bread so unique is the how it is made. The standard ingredients used to make Irish soda bread include buttermilk, flour, salt and bread soda. The buttermilk contains lactic acid and is what reacts with the baking soda to form tiny carbon dioxide bubbles. Irish soda bread can also be made using ingredients eggs, nuts and raisin.


It is without a doubt that the Irish love their potatoes, and this evident in the number of meals made using this crop. Another popular and tasty Irish dish that incorporates potatoes is the Boxty – which means poor house bread and is basically a traditional potato pancake. Boxty recipes vary all over the island, but they all tend to include raw, finely grated potatoes which are fried. Boxty is normally served as a beef or any other meat-based dish accompaniment.

The above are just some of the traditional Irish foods that you are bound to come across in Ireland, and which you should consider trying out. However, do not be limited to only these as there are plenty more options that are sure to get your taste buds charged and your appetite well satisfied. Take time and try out as many traditional Irish dishes during your stay – you can bet on this, you will not be disappointed.


Gaelic Games

Gaelic Games are games which are originally from Ireland and are organized by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). The most popular games in Ireland, considering the amount of attendants and supporters are Gaelic football, Gaelic handball, hurling, and camogie.


Gaelic Football
Derived from traditional Irish ball games, just football or Gaelic, as Gaelic Football is often referred to, is an Irish team sport. Gaelic football is a ball game played on a grass pitch between two teams, consisting of 15 players each. Players have the objective to pass the leather ball across the grass pitch and through the goal of the opposite team in order to earn points and goals. The ball can be carried, bounced, kicked, hand-passed and soloed (kicked with the tip of your shoe back to your hands). Points are signaled by the raise of a white flag and are awarded for kicking or hand-passing the ball over the crossbar; whereas, the goals are signaled by the raising of a green flag and are awarded for kicking the ball under the crossbar and into the net. Positions and roles of the players are similar to those in other football codes.

handball_mainGaelic Handball
Gaelic Handball can be played with two players or four players; in other words, it can be played in singles, and in doubles. It is played in a court or an “alley” which is measuring 60 feet by 30 feet, or alternatively in a smaller alley measuring 40 feet by 20 feet. Gaelic Handball is related to, and almost identical to American Handball. The objective of Gaelic Handball, often referred to as just handball in Ireland, is to hit a ball with a hand or a fist to your opposition in such a way that the opposition cannot return the shot in order to score a point. Only the person who serves the ball can score a point, and in order to win the game, you should score a set a total of points before your opponent does.

23 June 2010; Daire Plunkett, Dublin, in action against Paul Murphy, Kilkenny. Bord Gais Energy Leinster GAA Hurling Under 21 Championship Semi-Final, Kilkenny v Dublin, Nowlan Park, Kilkenny. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE

Named after a wooden stick used in the game, or hurley, the objective of this ancient game of Gaelic and Irish origin is to hit a small ball, called a sliotar, between the opponents’ goalposts. The sliotar can be hit over the cross bar, which rewards the team with one point; or under the crossbar and into a net pass the goalkeeper, which brings three points to the team. The players can carry the sliotar in the hand for not more than four steps, struck it in the air, or on the ground with the hurley. Hurling has prehistoric origins, as it has been played for over 3,000 years. It is also considered to be the worlds’ fasted field sport. Hurling is similar to Gaelic football, in terms of numbers of players, terminology and the fact that it’s a field sport.



Almost identical to hurling, camogie is a stick-and-ball game. Camogie is played on a wide field, with H-shape goal posts, players are divided into two teams, and yes, they are women! Each year 100,000 women in Ireland and worldwide play camogie divided in two teams consisting of 15 players each and they have a ball!