It’s a wonder then that when you Google the term “Irish Food”, you mostly find horrid-looking pictures of stews of boiled meat and potatoes and recipes for corned beef and cabbage or dishes made with Guinness. Yuk! That’s not real Irish food. That’s kitsch Irish food.When people visit In an Irish Home they often ask, “What is Irish Food?” In my experience, real Irish food follows the seasons and celebrates the holidays. It’s sensible and healthy. It’s mostly made from scratch, despite the fact that chain supermarkets are desperately trying to force-feed buyers preprepared meals. It is uncomplicated. It’s influenced by international cuisine. It has many artisan producers. And now, thanks to the advent of blogs, it has many outlets.
So, in answer to the question I get asked the most at In an Irish Home, “What is Irish Food?” I offer you four Irish blogs and one website to whet your appetite. In the coming weeks and months, I will continue to share with you the ever-growing list of Irish food-experts whom I like to consult. I’ll also be adding a “My Library” tab to the top of In an Irish Home so you can see what books make up my cookbook collection. For now, however, enjoy your exploration of Ireland’s amazing food landscape. I think you’ll be surprised at just how wonderful it is. Please be sure to let me know if you have your own favourite Irish food sites you like to visit.
I Can Has Cook? – Aoife started writing in 2009 as a way of becoming (in her own words) a better cook. Her journey in the past month has taken her and us from deep-fried cauliflower to chocolate peanut butter cake and everything in between, including beetroot hummus, lamb flatbreads and homemade gyoza. At I Can Has Cook?, Aoife offers an excellent list of some of her favourite Dublin food haunts under the tab “Visiting Dublin?” – well worth a review if you’re visiting Dublin any time soon.
Donal Skehan – Without a doubt, Donal Skehan is Ireland’s food pop star! Young, handsome and talented, he was approached by Mercier Press after only six months of blogging his food adventures and recipes. A self-taught “home-cook” (I love that term…isn’t it what we all are?) and photographer, Donal has been blogging since 2007. This year he appeared in America on NBC’s Today Show with ideas for Saint Patrick’s Day. His recipes are simple, healthy and interesting. Most recently he’s written about wild garlic pesto, rustic rhubarb tarts, ham spring rolls with ginger dipping sauce and chocolate chip, oat and raisin cookies.
An American In Ireland – This blog has me hooked. Part “personal journal”, part “food blog”, Clare writes about her experiences of moving from America to Ireland and the experiences and foods that move her. Hmmm, sounds like me in reverse! This month Clare is writing about missing America, her wedding plans, chocolate beetroot cake, buttermilk cornmeal pancakes with blueberry sauce, cheesecake tart with fresh berries and stuffed Portobello mushrooms.
Biabeag – Biabeag is Irish for “small food”. Keith Bohanna writes in celebration of entrepreneurs and businesses who are passionate producers of Irish artisan food. From local brews to food festivals, Biabeag has everything covered except recipes – there are none. If you want to know about specialty packaged and branded food products in Ireland, this is the best place on the web.
Dinner Du Jour– Kelly and Kristin are friends who live thousands of miles apart: Kelly lives in Milwaukee and Kristin lives in Ireland. Asfriends do, they’ve been swapping recipes for years. Finally, their food exchange of complete menus (think mains & sides) are available to all, with ingredient conversions (cups to grams) for foodies in both countries. The meals are tasty and easy to follow – a God-send for anyone who has to whip up a meal on a busy day! The “Browse by Category”, down along the left-hand side of the blog, is really helpful as is the “Family Favorites” tab at the top of the blog.