Irish Food History

irish food history

Throughout history Irish people have enjoyed meals that are very hearty and filling. They also ate plenty of fruit, vegetables and meat.

Before the potato was introduced in Ireland, the diet consisted mainly of oats, porridge and wheat. These foods acted as thickeners for stews and cakes.


Irish Soda Bread is one of the most famous Irish foods and it has become a staple in many homes. It is a great way to wash down pots of tea or mop up stews, and it’s especially popular during the weeks leading up to Saint Patrick’s Day.

It is made with a simple, basic formula: flour, baking soda (used as a leavening agent instead of yeast), soured milk, and salt. The dough is then divided into four triangles and each is cooked on a flat griddle.

Soda bread was the solution to a number of problems faced by home cooks in Ireland. Yeast, a common leavening agent, didn’t work well with the type of wheat that was grown in Ireland. Soft wheat flour, a low-gluten variety, was the best for making soda breads.


Porridge, which can be sweet or savory, is a popular dish around the world. It can be made with a wide variety of grains, legumes, and processed foods, and it is usually served hot or cold.

Oats are a common ingredient in porridge. However, other grains and beans can be used too, as well as various types of vegetables.

Porridge can be a tasty breakfast or a filling meal. It can be flavored with spices, fruits, and other ingredients. It is also a great way to get some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet!


Historically, meat has been a staple of the Irish diet. It was a good source of protein and a way to build up the body.

Meat was a major part of the economy in Ireland, with cattle and sheep making up the majority of a farm’s herd. Cattle were prized for their milk and their ability to fatten and breed bulls.

Meat was a common part of the daily diet, especially during religious fasting. Those who were Catholic would not eat meat on Wednesday and Friday.


Vegetables were a key part of an Irish diet. They included cabbage, parsnips, onions and turnips. They also ate lots of wild herbs and greens, and a variety of fruit.

However, the main vegetable crop in Ireland is potato. Currently, commercial growers produce potatoes across 9,122 hectares of land countrywide.

It is a very profitable crop, and has been since the mid-19th century. As such, it is very important to Irish agriculture.


Potatoes were the staple of Irish diets during the 1700s and 1800s. They provided a higher nutritional yield per acre than other crops and required less cultivation and storage.

The potato was also a very good source of iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. These nutrients helped to ensure that a typical Irish peasant could stay healthy on a diet of potatoes alone.

In Ireland, a meal consisting of potatoes and meat was very popular. This was a meal that was often eaten during Sunday dinners as the potatoes were roasted in the oven.

Oat bread was also a very common food in rural Ireland. This was cooked on hot stones in the hearth (fireplace). It was also used to mop up stews/sauces, or even baked over a pot of cooling embers without a lid for an overnight bread bake.