One of the best parts about travel is sampling the local cuisine. While Ireland might not have the same reputation for food as some of our European neighbors, we still have plenty to offer. If you come to Ireland, there are plenty of snacks that will give you the authentic, flavor of the country.
When Irish people think of home, we often think of these foods and snacks. These are some of the most popular foods that Irish people will ask friends and family to post them, when living abroad. But even if you don’t have any Irish friends to bring these things back to, I still recommend giving them a try…
For this article, I am only going to call this type of snack food crisps, not chips. Tayto crisps are possibly the single most iconic Irish snack food you can find. There exists countless kinds of media about this company from books to theme parks!
These crisps come in a variety of flavors, including cheese and onion, salt and vinegar, and smoky bacon. You’ll find them in just about every grocery store and corner shop in Ireland.
The traditional brand rivalry in Ireland is between Tayto crisps and King. While I might personally prefer the latter, Tayto is far more popular overall. Also, you should know that in Northern Ireland, Tayto has different branding and favors. Make sure to compare them all while you’re here.
Barry’s Tea/ Lyons Tea
Barry’s and Lyon’s Tea are two of the most iconic brands in Ireland, known for their distinct flavors and rich history. While both brands have a loyal following, there has always been a friendly rivalry between the two.
Barry’s Tea was founded in 1901 by James J. Barry in Cork, Ireland. Lyon’s Tea, on the other hand, was founded in 1902 by James Lyons in Dublin, Ireland. Like Barry’s Tea, Lyon’s Tea quickly gained a reputation for producing high-quality tea blends, and its products became a staple in Irish homes.
Despite their shared heritage and similar product offerings, there has always been a friendly rivalry between Barry’s and Lyon’s Tea. Fans of each brand are fiercely loyal, and many people have strong opinions on which brand is superior.
Ballymaloe Relish is a unique and flavorful relish that is beloved by many Irish people and is something I frequently have to bring people living abroad. This relish is made from a secret recipe that has been passed down through generations of the Allen family, in County Cork, Ireland.
What sets Ballymaloe Relish apart from other relishes is its distinct combination of savory ingredients. Its made from a blend of fresh, ripe tomatoes, sweet red peppers, onions, vinegar, and a secret blend of spices. The result is a relish that is bursting with flavor and pairs perfectly with a range of dishes.
Ballymaloe Relish is versatile and can be used in a variety of ways. Its great on sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs, and it can also be used as a dipping sauce for chips and other snacks. The relish is also a popular ingredient in many recipes, including meatloaf, shepherd’s pie and pasta dishes.
Irish Soda Bread
Irish Soda Bread, or “Brown Bread”, is a classic Irish bread that has been a staple in Irish homes for generations. This simple bread is made from just a few basic ingredients, including flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
The bread gets its rise from the chemical reaction between the baking soda and the buttermilk, which creates a light and fluffy texture.
What makes Irish Soda Bread so special is its rustic charm and delicious flavor. The bread has a hearty, slightly sweet flavor that pairs perfectly with a range of toppings, from butter and jam to cheese and cured meats.
Kerrygold is an Irish butter that is known for its rich, creamy flavor and high quality. This butter is made from the milk of grass-fed cows that are raised on small family farms in Ireland, where the lush green pastures provide the cows with a nutrient-rich diet.
The result is a butter that is incredibly flavorful and rich in natural goodness. Kerrygold butter is the standard when it comes to butter in Ireland. Most stores have their own brand versions which are just as good, but Kerrygold can be found in pretty much every home in Ireland.
In addition to its exceptional flavor, Kerrygold butter is a high-quality product that is made with great care and attention to detail. The butter is churned slowly to create a smooth and creamy texture, and it is free from any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Cadbury Dairy Milk
While British, Cadbury Dairy Milk is a beloved chocolate brand that has been enjoyed by generations of chocolate lovers in Ireland. This iconic chocolate bar is made with a unique blend of milk chocolate that delivers a smooth and creamy texture, along with a rich and indulgent flavor.
What sets Cadbury Dairy Milk apart is its high-quality ingredients and attention to detail in its production. The chocolate is made with fresh milk from British and Irish farms, along with Fairtrade cocoa beans from Ghana and the Dominican Republic.
This chocolate has ben popular in Ireland for generations. I remember hearing stories from my grandparents about how they had to smuggle it into the country during the war.
Jacob’s Cream Crackers
I often get asked about traditional Irish snacks, and one of my favorites has to be Jacob’s Cream Crackers. They have been a staple in Irish homes for over 100 years and are loved for their crispy texture and creamy flavor.
But Jacob’s Cream Crackers are not just a delicious snack, they’re also an important part of Irish food culture. They have been produced in Ireland since 1914 and are a testament to the country’s long history of quality food production.
Not only was their original factory used by the Irish rebels during the 1916 Easter rising, but I went to college there too! It has been a location for TUD for the last couple of decades.
I always recommend this hearty dish to visitors who want to experience the country’s rich food culture, Black Pudding is a traditional Irish delicacy that has been enjoyed for centuries.
Its made from a combination of pork meat, fat, and blood, along with oats, spices, and other seasonings. The mixture is then boiled or fried and served as a savory and satisfying meal.
While some visitors may be hesitant to try Black Pudding at first, it’s a true Irish delicacy that shouldn’t be missed. It’s often served as part of a traditional Irish breakfast, alongside other favorites like bacon, eggs, and toast.
If you want a popular Irish soft-drink (or Soda), then you can’t do much better than Club Orange. This is one of the most popular native beverages and has been quenching thirst for at least a couple of generations at this stage!
Club Orange is a carbonated drink made with real orange juice and other natural flavors. It has a distinct and tangy taste that’s perfect for hot summer days or as a pick-me-up any time of year.
In Ireland, Club Orange is a popular drink for both adults and children, and it’s often served at parties and gatherings. It’s also a great accompaniment to Irish pub fare, such as fish and chips or a hearty burger.
McDonnell’s Curry Sauce
If you’re visiting Ireland, be sure to try some McDonnell’s Curry Sauce with your favorite Irish dish. You’ll discover why it’s become such a staple condiment in Irish cuisine, and why it’s beloved by so many.
Made from a blend of high-quality spices, McDonnell’s Curry Sauce has a rich, tangy taste that’s not too spicy, making it a favorite among adults and children alike. It’s also incredibly versatile and can be used as a dip or a sauce, adding a burst of flavor to any meal.
In Ireland, McDonnell’s Curry Sauce is a beloved brand that has been around for over 30 years. It’s a testament to the quality of the product and its popularity that it has remained a favorite among Irish people for so long.
Kimberly, Mikado and Coconut Cream Biscuits
These three types of biscuit definitely go together, you can’t really talk about one without mentioning the others! I certainly always see them together.
Kimberly biscuits are a classic shortbread biscuit with a rich, buttery flavor. They are perfect for dipping in tea or enjoying as a snack any time of the day.
Mikado biscuits are a light, crispy biscuit covered in a layer of milk chocolate. They are perfect for those who love the combination of crunchy and creamy textures.
Coconut Cream biscuits are a unique treat with a coconut-flavored biscuit base and a creamy filling. They are a popular choice for those who love the tropical taste of coconut.
Manhattan popcorn has been a staple in Irish snacking for decades and it has remained popular for more than a generation. If you want a nice bag of popcorn when on the go, then you can’t really do any better than this.
Manhattan popcorn is another one of these brands that hasn’t really changed in a long, long time. So if you want to have the comfort and consistency that has accompanied Irish people since childhood, then pop into a grocery store and get a bag!
Bewley’s Coffee is a beloved Irish coffee brand with a rich history dating back to 1840. Their coffee beans are carefully selected from the world’s finest coffee-growing regions, ensuring that each cup of Bewley’s Coffee is bursting with flavor.
The brand offers a wide variety of coffee blends, including their signature Bewley’s Irish Breakfast Blend, which is a bold and robust blend that is perfect for kickstarting your day. Their coffee is available in both ground and whole bean varieties, allowing you to choose the perfect grind for your brewing method.
Bewley’s Coffee isn’t just about great taste however – they’re also committed to ethical and sustainable sourcing practices. Their beans are sourced from certified farms, and they have implemented programs to reduce waste and improve energy efficiency in their production facilities.
I have been seeing these crisps gradually start to replace the more traditional choices of Tayto and King in recent years. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. These hand-cooked crisps are made using only locally sourced potatoes.
The potatoes are sourced from local Irish farmers, ensuring that they are fresh and of the highest quality. The seasonings used in the crisps are also carefully selected to complement the flavor of the potatoes, resulting in a taste that is both distinctive and delicious.
Whether you’re a fan of classic cheese and onion, the bold flavors of mature cheddar and red onion, or the tangy kick of salt and vinegar, O’Donnell’s Crisps have something for everyone.
Despite its name, it doesn’t actually contain any lemon – it gets its unique flavor and bright red color from a blend of fruit flavors, spices, and coloring agents.
Red Lemonade has a sweet and tangy taste that is hard to describe, but unmistakably delicious. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer day. Its often enjoyed alongside a packet of Tayto crisps or a cheese and onion sandwich.
One of the most popular brands of Red Lemonade in Ireland is Club, which has been producing the drink since the early 1900s. But other brands, such as TK, also offer their own takes on this classic beverage.
Whether you’re a native Irish person or just visiting, no trip to Ireland is complete without trying a refreshing glass of Red Lemonade.
Wexford Strawberries are a delicious and juicy variety of strawberry that are grown in the sunny fields of County Wexford, Ireland. Known for their sweet flavor and vibrant red color, these strawberries are a favorite among locals and visitors alike.
Thanks to the unique climate and soil conditions of Wexford, the strawberries grown there have a flavor and texture that is truly one-of-a-kind. The long summer days and cool nights allow the berries to ripen slowly, resulting in a sweeter and more concentrated flavor.
You will often find these for sale at the side of main roads throughout Ireland.