An Introduction from Darina Allen

Do we have a traditional food culture in Ireland?

Style: "Irish trad"This question always results in a spirited discussion and many Irish people would be hard pressed to name ten traditional Irish dishes, five or six come fairly easily but after that there tends to be a bit of hesitating and stumbling.

In this year of the Gathering let’s all do out bit to give visitors to Ireland a real taste of Irish food heritage. I’d so love if every restaurant, hotel, café, pub and canteen around the country could look at it as our patriotic duty to serve even one traditional dish.

Visitors to Ireland often complain that it’s easier to find a Thai green curry or Mexican fajitas than a bowl of Irish Stew or Bacon, Cabbage and Parsley Sauce. What are we like that so few of us are happy to serve our traditional dishes proudly? It’s a symptom of a nation growing up to be confident of our recipes.
It could be something as simple as Spotted Dog, Colcannon, Barmbrack or Porter Cake. It would send a strong message to all our guests that we truly value our food heritage and want to share it with our family and friends.

For this reason I would like to share some recipes from Traditional Irish Cooking published by Kyle Books and others that I have collected over the years which have now become special favourites.

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