- In Ireland, traditional breakfasts are hearty meals.7 image by S??bastien Delaunay from Fotolia.com
Guests of the many bed and breakfasts that dot the Irish countryside will likely be treated to a traditional Irish breakfast, also commonly referred to as a "proper fry-up." Many of the offerings--like fried eggs, sauteed mushrooms, and sliced, grilled tomato--will be familiar to American guests. Other traditional Irish breakfast fare, however, may be unfamiliar.
Bangers and Rashers
- The sausage and bacon served in a traditional Irish breakfast differ from those commonly served in the United States. Irish sausages, also called bangers, are made of ground pork and shaped into large links. They are much leaner than their American counterparts. Rashers, the traditional Irish bacon, are thin slices of pork loin, similar in taste to Canadian bacon, that are fried in Irish butter until they are golden brown, but not crispy. Two to four bangers and two to four rashers are traditionally served per person.
- Unlike the custard-like puddings familiar to Americans, Irish breakfast puddings are a mixture of ground pork, oatmeal or suet and various seasonings formed into a salami-sized roll and steamed. The traditional breakfast includes servings of white pudding and black pudding, which is also called "blood pudding" as it is flavored and colored with pig's blood. The puddings are sliced and fried in Irish butter.
- Soda bread has been a staple of Irish cooking since the early 1800s. Since most Irish kitchens had no oven, the original version was baked in a big cast-iron pot on top of hot coals. This ingredients of this simple table bread are few: flour, bicarbonate of soda, soured milk or buttermilk, and salt. The bread requires very little handling and is not kneaded. A cross shape is traditionally marked onto the top, allowing the heat to access thickest part of the loaf. Brown soda bread is made with whole wheat flour, while refined white flour is used in white soda bread. For breakfast, soda bread loaves can be sliced and toasted.
- Potato farls are fried potato cakes or bread commonly served for breakfast in northern regions of Ireland. Cooked mashed potatoes are mixed with flour, butter and salt and either pressed into a pancake shape or cut in quarters, or "farls," and fried in bacon fat.
Irish Breakfast Tea
- Irish Breakfast Tea has long been a staple of the traditional Irish breakfast table. Fuller-bodied than its English cousin, Irish tea is a blend of various black teas.