Fast becoming Europe’s next big foodie destination, the island of Ireland is full of singular food and drink experiences.
Ireland’s lush green landscapes, surrounded by some of the world’s purest waters, form a natural larder that serves up true local flavours to a host of gastronomic experiences.
In Dublin, you can graze through a bustling food market, relax over a brunch of locally sourced fare, pay homage at the legendary Guinness Storehouse and sample the explosion of whiskey distilleries or craft breweries.
You could leave it there and you will have an unforgettable flavour of what makes contemporary Ireland tick. But travel around the country and you will come across inspirational tastes and flavours to savour at every turn.
If you are in the Wild Atlantic Way area in late summer, look out for Connemara Hill Lamb, one of several Irish foods to have European Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status. The unique range of Connemara’s natural herbs, grasses, heathers and wild flowers ensures this tender meat has a very special flavour, texture and distinctive aroma.
And don’t forget that all along the Wild Atlantic Way the freshest seafood imaginable is plucked straight from the clean waters. Most of the time it is served a few kilometres, or even just metres, from where it was caught.
Call into the Burren Smokehouse (only 15 minutes from the Cliffs of Moher) and you will smell the oak smoke as soon as you go through the door. Marvel at the nostalgic atmosphere in the visitor centre, learn how they smoke the salmon and make sure to sample the fresh silky taste of their Burren Smoked Irish Organic Salmon.
The story of the king of fish continues on the mighty Causeway Coastal Route, where you can taste Glenarm Organic Salmon. Quite the special smoked salmon, not only is it organic and responsibly sourced, but the method used to smoke it is a 100 year old recipe. The result is a unique, melt-in-your-mouth texture and delicate flavour.
Another Irish PGI food is the Armagh Bramley Apple, and when the harvest is in, the Armagh Food & Cider Festival will be one of the autumn’s hottest foodie tickets. From 19–22 September, this international extravaganza will feature multiple can’t-miss events in venues right across the fruit-laden Orchard County. Festival-goers can expect to raise more than a glass of cider to an incredible spread of mouth-watering events.
If you can’t make the festival, an award-winning ‘blossom to bottle’ tour of the orchards at Armagh Cider Company will provide entertaining insights into the county’s rich apple-growing heritage.
It might be the slow food, innovative farmers and award-winning restaurants of Ireland’s Ancient East. Or maybe the wealth of small-scale independent food and drink producers and honest-to-goodness fare of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands. But all around the island of Ireland there is a dish, a dining table and a food story to relish.
Need more resources? View our images and videos from across Ireland