Pack your bags, hop on the Liquid plane, and strap up your seatbelts as we’re taking you around the world to learn all about delicious foods. Not only are we a global company, but we also love learning about our team’s culture and heritage. Now, we want to take you on this journey.
This month, we chatted to our Account Director, Martha Edwards, about foodie traditions from her home country of Ireland. Ireland has some of the best produce in the world – with its temperate, wet climate it’s ideal for dairy and is one of the world’s biggest exporters of butter. Because the grass really is greener, Ireland also produces some of the best meat, especially beef.
As an island nation, surrounded by the Atlantic ocean, seafood is a big deal in Ireland. Martha is from a seaside village mostly famous for surfing and golf, but nearby villages are famed for their smoked salmon, mussels and oyster festivals.
Ireland is a very outward looking and global facing country. The food consumed is not just ‘Irish’. Irish people have emigrated to and returned from many different countries and Ireland has welcomed, really welcomed, people from the EU and farther afield. It has one of the most open economies in the world, with huge inward foreign investment.
Ireland is also known for its love of potatoes. Outside of Ireland it’s seen as a bit of a joke, but it’s because the Irish really do grow great spuds. Particular varieties are bought for different uses and times of year, like Kerr Pink, Golden Wonders and Record. Martha tells us that it’s disappointing to go into a supermarket in the UK and see potatoes sold for their usage only, without any mention of their variety – she finds that potatoes in the UK are homogenised and simplified, so it’s no wonder Ireland’s respect for them is misunderstood.
One look in Martha’s kitchen cupboards and you’ll quickly realise that she’s Irish. Flahavans porridge, Barry’s tea, Tayto crisps, Ballymaloe relish and a fridge door full of Kerrygold butter is what you’ll find – she always tries to buy Irish as much as possible.
Brown bread/soda bread
Martha tells us that her mother makes amazing soda bread, and she would make it more often if it were easier to get hold of buttermilk here in the UK. In Ireland, you can buy a litre of buttermilk in most shops, sold alongside regular milk.
Martha’s mother’s recipe was passed down through a few generations and her mother’s grandparents owned a bakery in their village – see the photo below from 1900!
Irish black pudding is different to black pudding in the UK – it’s crumblier with oatmeal or barley and doesn’t have the big chunks of fat, so is much nicer.
Better still is white pudding, which is more peppery and has a softer texture, just don’t ask what it’s made from!
One of Martha’s favourite foods, again made brilliantly by her mother and lovely on a winter’s day, is Irish stew. This is traditionally made with lamb or mutton but most pubs in Ireland make it with beef. Irish lamb is completely grass fed and kept outdoors, so tastes great.
Martha is a big love cheese lover and luckily there is a huge variety of cheeses in Ireland. So much so, her wedding ‘cake’ was several stacked wheels of Irish cheese including Gubbeen, Cashel Blue, Coolea and Ardrahan!
Which of these Irish foods will you be trying? Let us know and send us your pictures on social media!