Ireland is a small country with a big personality. Often associated with traditional music and the pub scene, rolling green pastoral settings and its ancient past, what is often forgotten is its food.
Every country has its own set of standard fare, which to an out-of-towner may seem slightly odd. Ireland is no different.
Here are the top ten weird Irish foods which you should try at least once!
10. Garlic Cheese Chips – a late-night delight
This is a popular junk food trend that has been around for donkey’s years (local slang for “a long time”)!
The dish, which is generally procured from fast food establishments after midnight, consists of chips (or French fries) smothered in garlic sauce and shredded cheese.
If you’re not a fan of this big, gooey, indulgent delicacy already, you will be after you try it. Needless to say, this is one of the top weird Irish foods!
9. Crisp Sandwich – a childhood classic
Every single person on the island of Ireland (we reckon) has had a crisp sandwich in their life.
The dish consists of the contents of a packet of crisps (also known as potato chips), most likely Tayto crisps, between two slices of white bread.
If you haven’t had the pleasure of this experience already, now is the time.
8. Irish Breakfast Roll – the king of breakfasts
The Irish are famous for their breakfasts. If you want to step things up a notch stuff that breakfast plate into a freshly-baked baguette. To top it off, smother it in tomato ketchup or BBQ sauce – you can thank us later.
You can get Irish Breakfast Rolls in most local newsagents with a delicatessen like Centra or Spar as well as many cafes, too.
7. Blaa Bread Rolls – a simple staple
Blaa bread rolls are soft white bread buns dusted in flour. They are typically served on their own with butter or a selection of breakfast or lunch fillings. These originated from Waterford in the 17th century and remain as prevalent as ever in the Irish diet.
6. Irish Stew – perfect with a pint
Irish stew is a native dish. This meal consists of one type of meat (or a variety) alongside an array of root vegetable in a soup or broth. Irish stew is a traditional dish which dates back centuries, and although it may seem like weird Irish food, you have to try it!
Most traditional Irish pub serve this dish, and it is best enjoyed alongside a pint of the “black stuff” (a colloquial term for Guinness).
5. Colcannon – Nanny’s favourite
Everyone who has an Irish nanny will remember being served this dish when visiting the family. This is a classic Irish meal which consists of potatoes mashed with kale and/or cabbage.
It is usually served alongside meat and other vegetables. Colcannon is also a popular dish to be served at Halloween. In tradition, people hide rings and other small prizes in the recipe, which are the property of whoever finds them first!
4. Champ – the ultimate comfort food
Like Colcannon, Champ is another Irish dish that is potato-based. This traditional recipe sees mashed potato mixed with tonnes of butter, milk, cheese (optional), spring onion and salt and pepper to season.
This dish is also best served as a side and often accompanies boiled ham or Irish bacon.
3. Coddle – weird but wonderful
This dish definitely can raise a few eyebrows when out of towners come into contact with it. Saying that this is definitely a weird Irish food worth trying!
Coddle is another stew-style dish. It is usually made up of leftovers, thus being cheap to make and affordable to the masses.
Contents tend to include chunks of potatoes, sausages, rashers (also known as bacon), onion and sometimes carrot. Seeing as it is a “leftovers dish”, there is no solid recipe.
2. Bacon and Cabbage – the perfect pair
A list of weird Irish foods would not be complete without this native staple.
Bacon and Cabbage is a classic Irish dish that has survived generations in Ireland. This meal usually features – as you may have guessed – sliced bacon and cabbage and usually sits alongside a bed of potatoes.
If you happen to find an Irish nanny, steal her recipe – you can thank us later.
1. Boxty – the ultimate odd one
Boxty is a potato pancake that is made of flour, potatoes, baking soda, buttermilk (and often eggs to bring the dish together).
It originated in Ireland and is most commonly associated with counties in the North Midlands and Northwest coast of Ireland.
Today the dish has made a comeback on the Irish food scene and one reputable restaurant specialising in this traditional Irish dish, Gallaghers Boxty House in Dublin, is well worth a visit!