Monday, 16 May 2016

7 observations about food in Ireland

I just got back from a fortnight in Ireland and ate a tonne of delicious food while I was there. Here are some thoughts about the things I put in my stomach.

Saint Bridget: The perfect representation of the killer dairy game and the stronghold of the Catholic church in the country

  1. The soup of the day is ALWAYS vegetable. It's a tasty, creamy orange puree of some unknown mix of vegetables. It's delicious, but it is the only soup, (aside from clam/seafood chowder) that exists on the island.
  2. The butter is out of this goddamn world! A dear friend told me how good the butter was when she found out I was going to Ireland, and I dismissed it as an odd comment... I mean, how good can butter honestly be? It's just butter? Boy was I wrong. I couldn't get enough of the stuff! I was slathering two or three pats on each slice of bread I ate. And before you ask, no, there was no margarine or other butter abominations insight. With such national dairy pride, I wouldn't be surprised if margarine was illegal in Ireland.
  3. Ireland's dairy game is so strong it only make sense that their whipped cream/clotted cream would be to die for also. Like their butter, Ireland's clotted cream should be put on everything - especially some homemade scones. Yum!
  4. If you are a person who regularly puts cream in their coffee, you're going to have a hard time in Ireland. They put milk on every table, but wait staff seem very confused when you ask for cream. Nine times out of ten the confused international hotel staff will bring you clotted cream. To save you from this mild annoyance, I highly recommend you change to drinking tea during your time in the country -- and the tea is fantastic! Rich and thick flavour without getting bitter. I drank copious amounts of the stuff while I was there. They also will let you buy a pot of tea at a lot of coffee shops and restaurants, which I think is very cute and quite civilized.
  5. Supermac, the Irish version of McDonalds is not worth trying. Their food is pretty shitty, excluding their ice cream, since, well this is Ireland after all, and anything their cows produce is pure gold. The soft serve ice cream at Supermac's is so light! It tastes like their whipped cream and comes with a chocolate stick. The guy at Supermac even put sprinkles on mine for me. I appreciate the lack of agism, and wish Canadian ice cream scoopers would get on the equality bandwagon. You don't just "grow out" of sprinkles!
  6. Every pub menu is the same the whole country wide. Every pub looks the same. Every pub sign has the same lettering (actually a large percentage of shop signs in the country look like pub signs. They really love Victorian lettering, which is pretty cool. It gives the whole country a sense of design unity, which, as a Canadian without a defined culture, is always interesting to see). Your Canadian/American neighbourhood "traditional Irish Pub" looks like a traditional Irish Pub. 
  7. Despite being spelled with a "thw", the beer Smithwicks is pronouced "Smiddicks" and despite it's dark colour, it is a very light and tasty beer. 

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