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Irish butter

What You Need to Know About Irish Cuisine

by Alyssa Smith

March 12, 2019

3 minute read

Irish fare is often miscast as the culinary plain Jane of Europe. And while meat and potatoes are still very much a part of local Irish cuisine, first-time visitors will also see their plates lined with fresh veggies, creamy cheeses and locally-sourced meats and seafood. Plus, with star chefs flocking to gourmet capitals like Kinsale and Dingle, there's a great deal of flavorful and inventive dishes to savor. Dispel any preconceived notions you have about the Emerald Isle's food and drink and get a preview of Ireland's appetizing culinary scene:

Delectable Dairy

Fresh dairy

The rolling, verdant hills of Ireland aren't just a pretty sight - they're also a prime reason why the cows produce such distinctive dairy products. Thanks to Ireland's temperate climate and lush grass, it's one of the foremost milk producers in the world. And with the burgeoning artisan movement, there are a growing number of specialty dairy products, particularly cheeses. Be sure to try:

Coolea: A nutty, gouda-style cheese made by Dutch immigrants in Ireland. A perfect pairing with malty beers.

Ardrahan: An earthy, washed-rind cow's milk cheese with a zesty tang that rivals French varieties such as Epoisses and Livarot. Great with tart grapes and a Pinot Noir.

Cashel Blue: A marbled cow's milk blue cheese that's pleasant with a creamy edge. Try it with figs and water biscuits.

St. Tola: A goat cheese with a golden rind on the outside and a soft, white interior. It's an excellent addition to any cheese board.

Irish Pub Culture

Irish Pub

The Irish Pub serves as a casual and friendly place where you can enjoy comforting cuisine, have a pint, make some friends and really take in Ireland's local essence. Pubs serves as the social hub for Irish people and have been around for roughly a millennium. The fare here is usually hearty and consists of stews and chowders. And to wash it all down, opt for a Guinness.

Farm-To-Fork Freshness

Farm to fork

Local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients are what you'll see appearing on the menus of restaurants across Ireland. Tapping in to the country's agrarian roots, chefs, artisan food producers, and farmers are spotlighting locally sourced ingredients found across Ireland. It's the most authentic way to experience all the flavors of the Emerald Isle.

John Fitzgibbons, Regional Destination Manager for Ireland, on rethinking Irish cuisine:

"Irish food has improved so much and has really surprised so many people over the past few years. The food is so fresh, and great thought is put into the cooking using natural, organic ingredients. From our homemade soups to our grass-fed beef and lamb, the Irish have an excellent assortment of foods. Try everything once."

If you're making your getaway to the Emerald Isle just remember to bring your appetite along with you.

If you're dying to try authentic Irish fare, click here.

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