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Irish Food? - Page 3

post #61 of 129


Thanks, Rmullins, for that.  I was thinking actually, how Ireland was forced onto a single-crop agriculture (hence famine when that one crop, not even native to the land, the potato, failed) and how could any actual native cuisine survive?  Though i presume that there were, as there always are, people who sided with the invaders and got advantages and had the money to buy food that most people couldn't get, but then it would have been strongly influenced by british cuisine, i guess. 

 

You forget, among the invaders, the Vikings, who used Ireland as a supermarket and playground - for slaves, slaughter, rape and silver.   When things got bad back home, they would go a-viking, though not only to ireland.  Britain had managed to keep out much of the Viking invasions for a time, had a viking king for a while, but then were definitively invaded by the Normans, who were --- Vikings who had taken over Normandy and then came in to England speaking french leaving the language completely transformed (hence we say pig and pork, cow and beef, house and mansion - guess what the aristocrats spoke and what the peasants spoke!!

 

Not meaning any slur on modern-day members of any culture.  Look what the ancient Romans did!  Look at Alexander the great, Napoleon, and all these so-called heroes, who basically were bullies and warlords, under the guise of "civilization".  So can we all be, alas.  I can talk about history, but not current events on this forum so i will say no more. 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #62 of 129
but ireland did indeed have a 'cuisine!' Some of it was rough, and ready but if you go back far enough in all cultures you will find that.

Years ago i researched irish food extensively for my thesis, and found that there were detailed descriptions of irish food recorded by travellers to these shores. There are descriptions from the 15th century of 'white meat' goods this was the name given to dairy by the irish. Cheese and a sort of clotted cream is mentioned. Another recounts the impressive array breads and cakes available in the 1600s. And yet another talks of the many taverns and food establishments and the booming trade they were doing in irish towns up until the famine. I have the sources on a disk somewhere i will try find it.

With the famine we lost much of our food culture, recipes and traditions. And what we have left is often a result of the famine soda bread being a prime example of this. But the cheesemakers, smokers,butchers,bakers, publicans were there and they were producing irish food, yes influenced by former invaders and colonisation but what culture hasnt been?

Dont forget too ireland was involved in slave trading especially along the british coast. saint patrick was welsh, snatched by irish slavers and brought to ireland
post #63 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by siduri View Post



Thanks, Rmullins, for that.  I was thinking actually, how Ireland was forced onto a single-crop agriculture (hence famine when that one crop, not even native to the land, the potato, failed) and how could any actual native cuisine survive?  Though i presume that there were, as there always are, people who sided with the invaders and got advantages and had the money to buy food that most people couldn't get, but then it would have been strongly influenced by british cuisine, i guess. 

You forget, among the invaders, the Vikings, who used Ireland as a supermarket and playground - for slaves, slaughter, rape and silver.   When things got bad back home, they would go a-viking, though not only to ireland.  Britain had managed to keep out much of the Viking invasions for a time, had a viking king for a while, but then were definitively invaded by the Normans, who were --- Vikings who had taken over Normandy and then came in to England speaking french leaving the language completely transformed (hence we say pig and pork, cow and beef, house and mansion - guess what the aristocrats spoke and what the peasants spoke!!

Not meaning any slur on modern-day members of any culture.  Look what the ancient Romans did!  Look at Alexander the great, Napoleon, and all these so-called heroes, who basically were bullies and warlords, under the guise of "civilization".  So can we all be, alas.  I can talk about history, but not current events on this forum so i will say no more. 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmullins View Post

At the risk of stirring up trouble (something I seem to have no problems doing here) being full Irish I can tell you there is no real Irish-centric cuisine.  Now, If you want to count the fact that the 'gaels' pretty much owned all of spain, France, etc, etc, then I guess we do have something of a culinary history.  Most of what you see as 'Irish' cuisine today is really adaptations of what you see in the United States.  

Of course there are the regulars like Boxty, Colcannon, champ, etc, etc, however most of historic Irish cuisine was nasty, nasty stuff.  In my own research I turned up the fact that most of Irish cuisine was whatever could be hauled out of the sea and boiled to hell.  Most vegetables in Ireland were introduced there including the potato.  In addition birds were sometimes caught and they were slathered with clay and then baked whole in a fire, guts, feathers and all.  On the upside, once the bird was done, all you had to do was crack the 'clay pot' and the feathers came off with the clay.  Nicely done!

500 years of British assault and tyranny really ripped the heart and soul out of the Irish culture.  There was a very rich and vibrant beginnings of culture through their music and language, and were beginning to develop more organization as such when the Irish were subjected to slavery and abuse from other cultures, IE. beginning with the spanish invasions and then of course British colonization which I will avoid for political reasons.

Once Great Britain had cut-down all Irelands trees, (thank you Cromwell the Butcher) burned all of Irelands beautiful harps and burned all of the music for harps, and cut the hands off all known harpists in the land they had effectively begun to change and destroy her culture forever.  To this day none of Irelands original musical subculture has been re-gained.

All that being said, once you destroy a people-groups culture nothing much else can really emerge.  The Irish were scatterd to the four-corners of the globe, and generally followed the Brits as they tried to colonize (read subjegate) other cultures.  As slaves they populated the Barbados and other sugar-rich colonies, (hence why you still see black people with stark red hair and freckles there at times) Africa, and India.  Where-ever the British tended to go, not long after they would bring the Irish to be the 'sub-culture' in the area filling the roles such as nurses, butchers, housemaids, bakers, and other support functions.

my two cents worth.

Well said!
post #64 of 129
So this takes us back to the original question? Is there no hope of recovering Irelands gastronomic heritage? Are we now relegated to inventing Irish cuisine for the current era?
If so what classifies as "Irish cuisine"? Who decides that? If I serve lamb chops with a Guinness cream sauce is that irish? Do we create dishes in the "spirit" of Ireland? Using only grass fed/finished cow milk for cream and cheeses? Seafood dishes using Ingredients that are common to Irish waters? My goal is to in the not to distant future open a truly authentic "irish" food establishment. But it's been very difficult finding historical Irish fare to prepare. There are a handful of items mentioned like boxty and soda bread, and champ etc. But its the same handful of recipes you get from anyone you ask. I feel like my best bet is to head back to Ireland and go to the Gaeltacht regions and simply work in the bakeries, butcher shops and cheese makers there to learn how to make their goods and bring that back and produce those items here. Very interesting discussion going on here. One I am very interested in! Keep the discussion going smile.gif
post #65 of 129

@Cakeface:  It would be awesome to see whatever research you turned up.  The fact you had a thesis on the topic makes my own research seem quite paltry. ;)  I would love to try to bring some of that cuisine into my home and have tried to inculcate a kind of Irish Heritage in my home with my children.

 

On a slightly other note, it is true that even the Irish went 'a-slavin' and those were such brutal times I think we try to forget them.  And while every culture or land has it's own turn at throwing rocks at the other cultures of the world, I still mourn the historic authenticity of a true Irish Heritage and that one of the brightest days of Irish History was the day JFK was elected to the presidency.  That says something about the tyranny imposed upon them for well over 500 years.

 

Africa still has her music, India still has her trees, but Ireland....poor Roisin Dubh.  Tiocfaidh ar La! Sinn fein. crying.gif

post #66 of 129

I have removed my post content - I should just be content to keep biting my tongue about the direction this thread seems to have taken.

post #67 of 129

Mmmmm .... soda bread! We would eat it for breakfast and dessert on St. Patty's day (and the next day) as kids. I will have to dig up my (grandmas) recipe and postthumb.gif

post #68 of 129

My best friend's mother made THE greatest soda bread in Scotland!  Mrs Leneghan's Irish breakfasts were legendary amongst our group during our teenage years.  Just the thing to act as a cure-all on Sundays after a good night out on a Saturday.

post #69 of 129

Irish Desserts

Homemade Rice Pudding

Apple Crumble 

Apple Tart 

post #70 of 129

Did i mention i received as a gift the beautiful book

 

Forgotten Skills by Darita Allen

 

It's not exactly an irish cookbook, because it has recipes for many other kinds of food, including how to make prosciutto, but it's a beautiful book for finding traditional recipes but maybe even more, the old ways of farming, raising animals, cooking with local products, and doing everything from scratch. 

She's irish and has a cooking school in ireland, and has many recipes from her mummy that are all good indications for anyone looking for real irish cuisine. 

And anyway, like language, cooking changes over time, influenced from abroad change it and not necessarily for the worse.  English got a great boost as a language with the introduction of norman french (where most of our words come from) and italian cooking from the arrival of the tomato, potato, corn and other new world discoveries.  And irish poets are no less linguistically gifted when they write in English

 

so,  back we go to the nine bean rows in the bee-loud glade and with the golden apples of the sun and the silver apples of the moon, and make ourselves an irish meal (and those are the words of only one irish poet)

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #71 of 129

I've done three courses at Ballymaloe over the years.  I have most of Darina Allen's recipes.  

 

I also have a couple of books by her daughter in law, who contines the Allen cooking traditions!

post #72 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel View Post

I've done three courses at Ballymaloe over the years.  I have most of Darina Allen's recipes.  

 

I also have a couple of books by her daughter in law, who contines the Allen cooking traditions!


Now why am i not surprised, Ishbel? 

It sounds like a wonderful place. 

For a moment while looking at her home chicken coops i was half tempted to try on my terrace... but then i remembered what comes out of the chicken besides eggs - they'd run me out of the building! 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #73 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by kokopuffs View Post


King Arthur Flour sells some whole wheat flour that's both soft and low in protein that makes a really kick *ss loaf of soda bread.

The February 2013 KAF catalog lists "Irish-Style Wholemeal Flour" along with an Irish Soda Bread recipe. Haven't tried it yet, but think I'll order some and try it out!
post #74 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefedb View Post

7 course Irish Banquet   a 6 pack of beer and a boiled potato.

Well, being Irish, I'd have to think about this one!! ROFLMAO Hummmmm...nope....don't think so! LOL
post #75 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmullins View Post

@Cakeface:  It would be awesome to see whatever research you turned up.  The fact you had a thesis on the topic makes my own research seem quite paltry. ;)  I would love to try to bring some of that cuisine into my home and have tried to inculcate a kind of Irish Heritage in my home with my children.

 

On a slightly other note, it is true that even the Irish went 'a-slavin' and those were such brutal times I think we try to forget them.  And while every culture or land has it's own turn at throwing rocks at the other cultures of the world, I still mourn the historic authenticity of a true Irish Heritage and that one of the brightest days of Irish History was the day JFK was elected to the presidency.  That says something about the tyranny imposed upon them for well over 500 years.

 

Africa still has her music, India still has her trees, but Ireland....poor Roisin Dubh.  Tiocfaidh ar La! Sinn fein. crying.gif

Are ya still around rmullins? sorry I never replied to your post - almost a year ago now, I moved house and had sporadic internet connection (thats Ireland's rural infastructure for ya!)

 

Was thinking about your post since and I  don't really agree,  Ireland's culture is still alive and well and we still have our music and language - English and Irish is compulsory in school and schooling can be all in Irish or all in English depending on the school.  OF the 4 tv stations here, one is in Irish only, and two others offer programs in both languages. There are also Irish language radio stations.  I suppose its general apathy that makes Irish a secondary language outside the gealtachts (Irish Speaking Regions)

 

And I wouldn't be a sinn fein supporter myself (more of a mé féiner!) and as or tiocfaidh ár lá - well the Republic's government has messed up big time and it seems that most people in the North will vote to remain part of Britain in the upcoming vote for independance-and I would'nt blame them to be honest! 

 

Basically, what I 'm saying is that Ireland is a beautiful country and it still has its own great culture and language and music, and there is great food produced here but if there is any decline then we would only have ourselves and not our history to blame.  Those of us outside the Gealtachts could make a greater effort in speaking Irish, people could give more support to their artisan food producers - but I don't think these problems exists just here - apathy is worldwide and probably accentuated by the modern lifestyle.   There is my tirade over!


Edited by cakeface - 2/11/13 at 8:03am
post #76 of 129

Interesting History lesson. Since I know little about Irish cuisine. Thank You

CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #77 of 129

Welcome back cakeface

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #78 of 129

Thanks Siduri, I missed Cheftalk!

post #79 of 129

There may or may not be economic/historical reasons, but the Irish diet doesn't seem to have a "fresh and light" component at all.  smile.gif  Might I be incorrect, though?

post #80 of 129
There are some wonderfully light dishes in the Irish culture. Apple snow for instance. Some of the seafood dishes as well like sole with cider sauce. These are examples of lighter Irish fare but your definition of lighter and mine may differ smile.gif
post #81 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by X86BSD View Post

There are some wonderfully light dishes in the Irish culture. Apple snow for instance. Some of the seafood dishes as well like sole with cider sauce. These are examples of lighter Irish fare but your definition of lighter and mine may differ smile.gif

Oooooooo...do you have a recipe for the Apple Snow?? I would LOVE to try that one! smile.gif
post #82 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChocolateDiva View Post

Oooooooo...do you have a recipe for the Apple Snow?? I would LOVE to try that one! smile.gif

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs apples
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg whites
optional toppings
whipped cream (optional)
brown sugar (optional) or crumbled vanilla wafer cookies (optional)
Directions
Peel and core apples.
Slice into a saucepan.
Add water and lemon juice.
Cook covered on low heat for about 15 minutes until apples are soft.
Put apples and sugar in a blender and mix into a puree.
Set aside until mixture is cool.
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff, and fold them into the apple mixture.
Divide into serving bowls and allow to chill in refrigerator.
Before serving, top with whipped cream and either brown sugar or crumbled vanilla wafer cookies (or both!).

I didn't have my cookbook in front of me but this is from food.com and is almost identical. It's basically apples cooked down until very soft with some sugar, a splash of lemon juice and puréed and then egg whites folded in to lighten it up, makes it look like "snow" smile.gif really easy to make, and can be churched up easily. Maybe crumble your favorite biscuit on top or whatever you like.
post #83 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyandotte View Post

There may or may not be economic/historical reasons, but the Irish diet doesn't seem to have a "fresh and light" component at all.  smile.gif  Might I be incorrect, though?

 

Well being an island there is always plenty of great, quality seafood available, and that is often kept fresh and light.  We don't have much of a Summer in Ireland so I suppose alot of the food would be traditionally classed as ' heavy'.  

 

There is a programme on telly at the moment called Ó Cuisine, and it features Irish chefs cooking three courses, these are chefs with their own restaurants but not celeb chefs, so you get an idea of the kind of food served up in some restaurants here.

 

 

If anyone interested, the wed site is http://www.tg4.ie/ie/tg4-player/tg4-player.html?id=2099079596001&title=%C3%93%20Cuisine

 

 

with English subtitles, but the player may not be available outside ireland.  Only one programme of it is on youtube, but this version has no English subtitles.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoRzHfgxAgA

post #84 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by X86BSD View Post

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs apples
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 egg whites
optional toppings
whipped cream (optional)
brown sugar (optional) or crumbled vanilla wafer cookies (optional)
Directions
Peel and core apples.
Slice into a saucepan.
Add water and lemon juice.
Cook covered on low heat for about 15 minutes until apples are soft.
Put apples and sugar in a blender and mix into a puree.
Set aside until mixture is cool.
Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff, and fold them into the apple mixture.
Divide into serving bowls and allow to chill in refrigerator.
Before serving, top with whipped cream and either brown sugar or crumbled vanilla wafer cookies (or both!).

I didn't have my cookbook in front of me but this is from food.com and is almost identical. It's basically apples cooked down until very soft with some sugar, a splash of lemon juice and puréed and then egg whites folded in to lighten it up, makes it look like "snow" smile.gif really easy to make, and can be churched up easily. Maybe crumble your favorite biscuit on top or whatever you like.


Sounds great! Think I'll make this one today...and color it red or pink for Valentine's Day! (and a green one for St. Patty's Day!)
post #85 of 129

MyMum used to make apple snow regularly when we were children and I still make it occasionally.  Mum always said it was an English pudding, but frankly, the various parts of the UK and Eire are a fairly small geographic area!

post #86 of 129
I'm from Ireland heard of Apple snow but never made it apple desserts are very popular .u couldn't beat bacon cabbage floury potatoes and good butter that to me is a good Irish meal .
post #87 of 129
Caroline, my understanding is that co. Armagh is where the good apples are to be had. It's what Armagh is known for among other things. I have several apple cakes and desserts n my cookbooks most of which are from co. Armagh. I'd love to get your collection of traditional food recipes you ate growing up smile.gif
post #88 of 129
Interesting. I've never heard of it referred to as a pudding. English or otherwise. But it's not like I hang with a lot of Irish nationals here in kansas in the states. You learn something new every day!
post #89 of 129
So I was too impatient to read all of these posts, but I couldn't believe fish and chips wasn't mentioned right off the bat?!

I'm half Irish, second gen. I've found the stereotypes to be true- enough booze by dinner (or lunch for that matter), the cuisine is not so cherished. I say this half jokingly of course, as there is plenty of good Irish food:

Corned beef and cabbage
Irish soda bread
Things with bacon and sausage
Stews, fish, cabbage, kale
Plenty of dairy (great cheeses)
Beer
Whiskey
Barley, grains
Breads and cakes aplenty

Was shooting the shit with a guy from Dublin, I asked him what he missed from home that we don't have here in the states.
"I tell ya bloke, a good fokin potato!"
post #90 of 129
Quote:
Originally Posted by X86BSD View Post

Interesting. I've never heard of it referred to as a pudding. English or otherwise. But it's not like I hang with a lot of Irish nationals here in kansas in the states. You learn something new every day!

"Pudding" simply means desert in uk and i imagine also ireland - probably in some of the other english-speaking countries in the world too. 

As in

Q. "what are you having for pudding?"

A. "chocolate cake" 

A. "apple pie"

A. "Ice cream"  etc

 

What americans call "pudding" is called - hmm, i think "custard" if it has eggs, and blancmange if it doesn't - but correct me if i'm wrong 

"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
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