Local Food & Gastro Tourism

more than a year ago

Most of Northern Ireland's traditional dishes have their roots in potatoes and bread. This simple peasant fare has endured amid a profusion of fusion cuisine and contemporary twists. So check out these hearty classics and give your mouth a bit of a treat.

Potato bread: It's the humble spud elevated to gastronomic heights. This thin square of loveliness is at the heart of every Ulster Fry and a must-buy foodie souvenir.

Wheaten bread: A healthy brown bread made with wholewheat flour and delicious toasted with melted cheese or buttered and served with a big bowl of steaming broth or fine slivers of smoked salmon and a lemon wedge.

Soda bread: First baked in 19th century Ireland when local peasants added baking soda to help the dough rise. The result is a thick, stodgy bread best served fried or toasted with a big dollop of butter.

Ulster Fry: Often dubbed a 'heart attack on a plate', the humble Ulster Fry has entered the pantheons of classic local cuisine. Take the common fry - sausage, bacon, egg, mushrooms, tomato - and add a hefty heap of potato bread and soda bread. It's as simple as that.

Pastie Supper: Not to be confused with the pastry-wrapped Cornish variety, this local version is a patty-shaped concoction of mashed pork, potato and herbs in a deep-fried crispy coating. The pastie has been immortalised by Van Morrison in his song A Sense of Wonder. Note: Anything with the word 'supper' attached means it comes with a portion of chips.

Champ: A delicious comfort food dish of potatoes mashed with lots of butter, warm milk and chopped spring onions or, as we call them, scallions.

Irish Stew: Traditionally made with lamb or mutton, this hearty peasant dish is best served in a traditional pub accompanied with a pint of Guinness. The dish gets an early mention in Lord Byron's tiresome tome The Devil's Drive.


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