Its March 17th and today, Irish people all over the world will be celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
Most of us will drown the shamrock pretty much alone this year as we feel (and heed) the effects of social distancing. Although festivities have been curtailed, there’s a great sense of Irishness today. We’ll be indulging in as many of the following as possible and I hope that those of you who have yet to visit Ireland will get to enjoy them some day also……
Might as well start with the obvious! Guinness is brewed in over 50 countries but everyone knows it tastes better in Ireland! Containing just 4 ingredients – malted barley, brewer’s yeast, hops and barley – 3 million pints are brewed daily in Dublin. It takes exactly 119.5 seconds to pour the perfect pint and you should preferably drink it with your elbow perpendicular to the floor!
2. The Full Irish
Ah! Great after a night on Guinness! Bacon, sausage, black and white pudding, fried egg, tomato, and whatever else you can find!!
3. Brown Soda Bread.
A must with the Full Irish! The name ‘soda’ comes from the use of baking soda rather than yeast. In the 19th century, it was believed that cutting a cross on top let the devil out while the bread was being baked!
4. Irish Smoked Salmon
Ireland is renowned for its trout and salmon fishing. Of course most of us prefer to just eat it! Our smoked salmon is perfect on a slice of brown soda bread!
5. Irish Whiskey
Different from Scotch in its ingredients and production process, Irish whiskey is renowned for its smoothness. To be legally considered Irish, a whiskey must be distilled and matured in Ireland for at least 3 years. In Irish we call it ‘Uisce Beatha’ – meaning ‘the water of life’. Its experiencing a renaissance at the moment with new distilleries in development. Tip – Shouldn’t really ask for it with ice as this detracts from the flavour.
6. Irish Coffee
Start with a measure of Irish Whiskey, add sugar, then pour in some hot strong coffee and top with freshly whipped cream. Do not stir – the best way to enjoy is to drink the coffee and whiskey through the cream. Absolutely YUM!!!
7. Baileys Irish Cream
Around only since 1973, this liqueur, made with whiskey, cream, chocolate and vanilla, is one of the most popular in the world (just check out the duty free shops). 38,000 cows in 1500 Irish farms dedicate themselves to providing the milk for the cream. The bottle has a shelf life of up to 2 years but that never happens!!! Try it in coffee… or cheesecake… divine!!
8. Tayto Crisps
A photograph alone is enough to bring tears to every expat’s eyes! We were all raised on Tayto Cheese and Onion ( maybe Salt and Vinegar at Christmas!) crisps. Is there anything better in life than a Tayto cheese and onion sandwich!
9. Dairy Products
All that rain has to be good for something! We have fantastic milk, cheese, butter, cream…..
10. Club Orange
Yes – we do non alcohol also!!! This matches perfectly with a bag of Tayto! Around since 1940, we all grew up on this carbonated soft drink. We just love those juicy bits!
Now of course if you’re very clever, you will just find a decent pub that serves the lot, settle in for a long session and work your way through the list!!!