Irish Foodways


What is Irish food? Is it ham and cabbage? Does it include Irish lamb stew? Is soda bread quintessentially Irish? Or is there nothing more central to the Irish diet than the potato?


These might be the most obvious candidates. Other people may legitimately argue that there is no such thing as a particularly Irish diet anymore, with Indian curries, Italian pasta, and Moroccan tagines among the regular dishes served in Irish homes and restaurants.

Food is central to celebration, and is intimately connected to calendar customs. At Christmas, ham and turkey form the centre of the Christmas dinner, but other seasonal foods and products include Brussels sprouts, Christmas cake, and mince pies. Irish people in the United States, and American people in Ireland, may take part in the Thanksgiving dinner, which traditionally includes turkey, cranberry sauce, yams, mashed potatoes, and pecan pie or pumpkin pie. At Easter time, many people eat lamb, while Halloween foods include colcannon, blackberries, barm brack, and toffee apples.

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