Things I Miss from Ireland: Food

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Having given this matter a lot of thought, I have discovered that most of the things I miss about Ireland are food and drink related. Now, I know this must seem incredible seeing as how I am living in Italy, a food heaven if ever there was one.

Much as I absolutely love Italian food – all that wonderful fresh produce in abundance has to be unrivalled anywhere in the world – there are comfort foods that I associate with Ireland from my childhood and beyond.

This is my list and I’d love to hear if I’m alone in my occasional cravings:

Guinness on draught: never tastes the same outside Ireland, if you can get it at all. (At all).

Tea: good old Lyons Green Label and Barry’s are impossible to beat when it’s dark brown and in a mug. Builders’ tea at its finest.

Marmalade coarse cut: Old Time Irish on your toast with all the big lumps of chewy orange peel. I’m still desperately searching for the equivalent.

Porridge oats: ah! A hot bowl of Flahavan’s first thing is unbeatable, with a bit of sugar and milk

Soda bread: brown or white soda bread, round, with a big X cut into the top. Though my loaves were inclined to fall apart on cutting – perhaps because I was too impatient to let them cool down first – I was faithful in my use of fresh buttermilk in the making.

Tayto Crisps: what can I say. Cheese & Onion Tayto has a taste all of its own. Legend.

Black and White Pudding: my butcher in Gort, Co. Galway, used to make a black & white pudding combo which was seriously fantastic. Essential for a Sunday morning.

Irish pork sausages: big fat ones from the butcher or from Superquinn. Unbeatable.

Brennan’s bread: the soft white sliced pan made up into ham sandwiches with Coleman’s mustard. Too good not to pine for.

Marmite: as they say, you either love it or hate it. Personally, I love it on toast with a mug of Green Label (see above).

Cheddar Cheese; last but not least. Kilmeaden and Charleville red cheddar from the supermarket, remain lodged in my food memory forever.

Let me have your own lists of food items you miss. Note: you need to be starving when you comment for maximum impact.

11 thoughts on “Things I Miss from Ireland: Food

  1. Pingback: THINGS I MISS FROM IRELAND; FOOD « Orna O'Reilly - travel & design

  2. Dear Orna, I thought that only I am so crazy to miss some Russian food in a very tasty Italy!
    Here is my list: 1) rye bread, 2) buckwheat porridge, 3) sour cream, 4) herring, 5) cottage cheese.
    Last but not least – TEA! I use to take to Italy lots of of tea. It is almost impossible to buy green tea there.
    But on the other hand, I miss terribly Italian food in Russia!

    • Dear Tatiana,

      It just shows the different things we are used to eating from our childhood. In Ireland, we don’t eat much rye bread, buckwheat porridge, sour cream or herring and we only eat cottage cheese if we’re on a diet! And yes I agree with you completely; I desperately miss Italian food when I am in Ireland. There’s no pleasing us!

      I do hope you will make it to Padova again sometime soon.

      Best, Orna

      • Right you are! Rye and buckwheat are cultivated in Russia but not in Italy or Ireland. By the way they are exellent diet products.
        I’d love to visit fabulous padova someday.

  3. I lived north of Milano for 8 years. I live in NY now. I love all things Italian. I visited Ireland a few months ago and loved it. The food was amazing! Although a very short visit, I have been craving Smithwick’s beer, brown bread, soup – any soup, fried cod, cheese, and Burren smoked salmon. Nothing can compare to the real thing!

    • Thanks for your comments Anne. I love all Italian food too, but, as you say, nothing can compare to the real thing and there are many Irish foods I crave on a regular basis. Here in Italy, tea, in particular, is not strong enough for my palate and Cheddar cheese is greatly missed!

  4. Hi Orna, I loved your post!
    I’m from Italy, but I lived in Dublin for four and a half years.
    When I was there, I missed Italian food a lot… now that I’m back, I’d like to have some Cheddar handy, and most of all I would give anything for a Smithwick’s! 🙂

    Cheers, Daniela

    • Hi Daniela, for me it’s Lyons Green Label and Flahavan’s Progress Oatlets all the way. Every time I go back I stock up and if I’m checking in a bag, I pop a jar of Old Time Irish (Rough Cut) in with my woollies! Delighted you loved my post. Orna

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