There’s no better way to experience a country than with the senses. And, no sense can give you a better representation of a place than taste can. The food of a place can tell you a lot about its values, history, and even its economic situation. So, it makes sense to sink your teeth in. Yet, many travel tips fail to mention this crucial factor! We think that’s criminal, which is why we’re going to look through the lens of food. Ireland is one country worth mentioning. It has national dishes we can all relate to, and a taste you can get stuck into. Here’s how to experience the best food possible during any Irish vacation!
THE LOCAL CUISINE
Comfort food is the name of the game in Ireland. We’re talking hearty, warming dishes that will hug your insides. The best way to get an initial feel for the place is to get a taste of local cuisine. Look out for dishes like Irish stew, and shepherd’s pie. Bacon and cabbage also seem to be popular. It may be new to you, but give it a try anyway. Trying new things is the point of travel, isn’t it? It can help to do a little research before you go, but for the most part, the local cuisine will make itself known. Look out for the dishes that crop up in every restaurant you visit. You can bet they have some cultural relevance. As well as the more widely known dishes, you may come across things you haven’t seen before. Champ, for example, is a traditional dish consisting of mash potato and spring onions! It may sound a strange combination, but it’s delicious.
THE BEST RESTAURANTS
Another fantastic way to understand the cuisine is to visit the best local restaurants. You may need to do some groundwork to discover these, but a quick search online should show you what you want to know The Pig’s Ear in Nassau Street offers contemporary twists on traditional dishes. Or, you might want to try something like Two cooks at Co Kildare, which was rated best for casual dining in the Irish Times. As well as helping with your quest for national dishes, it’s worth visiting restaurants that serve non-traditional cuisine, like these paleo dining options in Ireland. Seeing where a country is trying to progress with cuisine can be a fantastic indicator of what it hopes to achieve.
VISIT THE MARKETS
Visiting markets when you’re away is always worth doing. Not only will you see a different aspect of Ireland this way, but you’ll also be able to buy some Irish food of your own. Make sure to pick up ingredients you’ve never come across before. It may be your only chance! It’s also worth buying food prepared at the market. Restaurant food is often made with tourists in mind. It’s designed to impress. Market feed is real, wholesome food. It’s your best way to ensure you’re eating the same way the locals do!
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*PR collaboration but all thoughts are honest and my own.