Mention to someone who has been to Ireland that you are planning a first trip and you will hear raves about the natural beauty of the Emerald Isle and the friendliness of its people. Everyone has a favorite spot – Aran Islands, Cliffs of Moher, Connemara, the Dingle Peninsula and the Ring of Kerry – and a favorite pub. All paint a romantic picture of the verdant green landscape, the dramatic ocean views, and the ancient stone walls and ruins. Advice is plentiful – “bring a rain coat and boots,” “pack layers,” “watch out for the sheep as you drive the narrow lanes,” and “spend less time driving and more time in a pub.” When I ask about Irish food I most often get the same response, “don’t expect much other than meat, potatoes, and beer.” Somehow I do expect more and so I checked out the library’s cookbook collection to bone-up on the flavors and delicacies that make up Irish cuisine.
Check out Country Cooking of Ireland, The Irish Pub Cookbook, and Irish Country House Cooking. Together they showcase the very best of contemporary Irish cuisine. All provide gorgeous photos of the island’s rural and rugged landscape, recipes from some of the most celebrated pubs and manor houses in Ireland, and with a range of recipes that home cooks will find easy to follow.
There is plenty happening in the kitchens of modern Irish chefs well beyond the traditional lamb stew and colcannon. Although the cuisine may still be a wee bit tough for a vegan, these new cookbooks profile foods that make use of an array of the finest artisan cheeses, fresh and smoked fish and seafood, herbs and hearty grains.
To explore Ireland’s food borrow a cookbook, get cooking, or hop on a plane for Dublin.
Check the WRL catalog for The Country Cooking of Ireland
Check the WRL catalog for The Irish Pub Cookbook
Check the WRL catalog for Irish Country House Cooking