Ireland has some unique and memorable food items that make fantastic gifts for the Irish foodie in your life. Whether you’re looking for something for Christmas, birthdays, St. Patrick’s Day or just to remind someone you love of your time in the Emerald Isle, here are a few ideas for irish food gifts that are sure to bring them joy.
Cavan-based Aine’s Chocolates has a plethora of products to choose from, including its iconic Hot Chocolate Swirl Sticks and its range of luxury gift hampers. The company also produces an excellent range of artisan Easter eggs to help celebrate the season.
Aine’s has a sterling reputation in the world of chocolate. The business supplies a wide range of major retail multiples and exports to Russia, Dubai and the UK.
One of the biggest challenges for Aine’s was during the recession when people cut back on their discretionary spending. During this period she had to rebrand, introduce new products and rework her pricing structure to keep the business afloat.
Need is the mother of invention, and it is in this spirit that Maria Flynn and David Flynn have reimagined the business model at Ballymakenny Farm in County Louth. They have now evolved from growing commercial potatoes to growing visually beautiful Irish heritage varieties of potato primarily for chefs, but also online for consumers.
The Flynns have been in the crucible of financial crisis and were in danger of closing the doors on their family-run potato farming operation. So they decided to create a contactless drive-thru service called the Ballymakenny Spudshack, inviting customers to drive up and pick up their favourite potatoes without having to leave their car.
One of the most well-known artisan food producers in Ireland is Burren Smokehouse. This family-run business was founded by Birgitta and Peter Curtin in 1989.
They produce their smoked salmon and other fish products in a custom-built smoker, hand built by Peter and Birgitta to achieve exactly what they want. The smoker pushes smoke through a hundred little vents and openings to ensure that each piece of fish is smoked evenly and gently.
In addition to the award winning smoked salmon, Birgitta and Peter curate a carefully curated selection of local Irish provisions, crafts and foods. You’ll find Kilshanney Gouda, St Tola goat cheese, Attyflin juice and preserves from Limerick (and more!), Bean & Goose chocolate from Wexford, Achill Island sea salt from Mayo, and more.
Little Cheesecake Shop
Located in the Mayo county town of Kiltimagh, Little Cheesecake Shop has a wide range of confections for the connoisseur in your family. The company has a slew of award winning cheeses and other dairy delicacies to delight even the most hard to please gourmand. The best part is that they deliver to your door. They also have a great customer service department. They have even got a special deal on their website for a limited time. If you are on the hunt for the perfect bauble to impress the most important person in your life, you have come to the right place.
Wicklow Willow is a family business run by Aoife and Pat Patterson. They are passionate about willow growing, fencing and garden features, creating everything from simple ditches to elaborate domes and sculptures.
Their garden beside their home is dominated by pines and spruce, but they have an extra patch of land devoted to willow.
Aoife and Pat see willow not as an underutilised tree or a weed but a resourceful material. They make the most of its resiliency to grow quickly and even from a tiny starting point, constructing living sculptures.
Established in 2012, Dingle Distillery is Ireland’s first purpose-built distillery in more than 100 years. It produces whiskey, vodka and Dingle Original Gin.
Their small, artisan, independent distillery located in a converted saw mill is based in County Kerry and their whiskeys are made from locally sourced barley. They use local well water, manually mash their barley and use wooden fermentation vessels and copper pot stills to produce their range of whiskeys.
This year, Dingle Distillery are getting into the festive spirit with a range of gin-filled Christmas baubles. They are collaborating with Scottish giftware company Angels’ Share Glass to create 3,000 of the hand-blown baubles, each filled with 50ml of award-winning Dingle Gin.
Foxford Woollen Mills
If you’re looking for a unique gift this Christmas, a visit to Foxford Woollen Mills in County Mayo is worth considering. The company has been weaving luxurious blankets since 1892 and their products are inspired by the west of Ireland’s landscape.
The company is known for their quality products and they offer a guided tour through the mills. Visitors can learn about a century of innovation, forward thinking and manufacturing, while they also enjoy world renowned customer service.