Real Irish Food

Melanie Acevedo

When extolling the virtues of bonny Ireland, its culinary reputation isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Breathtaking scenery? Check. Friendly people? Check. Lively pubs? Check. Sumptuous meals? Hmmm …

Yet, in our travels to the Emerald Isle through the years, we've found that Ireland is, indeed, a place where gourmands can find themselves eminently satisfied, with simple, hearty food that draws from the bounty of that gorgeous land- and seascape—locally raised lamb, a rich variety of seafood, fresh vegetables from the country's ubiquitous farms, and—of course—Irish potatoes.

In honor of that most festive of Irish-American holidays, St. Patrick's Day, we've compiled our culinary journey through Ireland's food, and, by extension, its warm, welcoming culture. We start with the odyssey made by longtime SAVEUR editors Colman Andrews and Christopher Hirsheimer, who explored countless miles of Irish byways in pursuit of the country's culinary soul to create Ireland: From Farm to Fork.

Next, we delve into the Country Comforts of Country Tipperary, experiencing the wonders of rural Ireland through the real food of its farms, bakeries, and groceries, again as discovered by Colman Andrews and Christopher Hirsheimer. And in a nod to the melding of culture and cuisine, we conclude with a look back at our very first feature on Eire, Irish Fish Tales. This charming piece by Brid Mahon (photographs by Melanie Acevedo) interweaves Irish folk traditions with some of the most delicious dishes on either side of The Pond.

Finally, we invite you to create some Irish spirit of your own, with a St. Patrick's Day Celebration menu of our favorite dishes from the land of clover and leprechauns.

(Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! Happy St. Patrick's Day!)