When you are on a trip to Dublin you are not going to be amazed by our local snack foods. We can’t really compete with our neighbouring European cities on cuisine delicacies. Dublin dosn’t have the equivalent of the French croissant, the German frankfurter or the Italian pizza to it’s name. However, I came up with some typically Irish options, these are the things we tend to crave while travelling or living abroad, will hunt down in the middle of the night or venture far and wide to find. Yes, we are a strange nation.
Tayto cheese & onion flavour
Firstly let me explain, in Ireland fries are chips and chips are crisps … simple eh? Tayto crisps are so popular in Dublin that sometimes people use ‘Tayto’ to replace the word for ‘crisps’. The ultimate experience is a crisp sandwich. I realise I might have shocked quite a few of you here but don’t knock it until you try it. Spread butter on 2 slices of white sliced bread fill with crisps and squash down to ‘smash’ the crisps.
Mr. Tayto the chap on the front of the packets is so famous that he ran for election and even published his own book ‘The Man Inside the Jacket’.
Tayto crisps also come in salt & vinegar flavour but you can’t beat the original cheese & onion.You will find Tayto crisps in most Dublin pubs as well as local supermarkets and convenience stores.
TK red lemonade
The reason you can’t buy red lemonade in any other country is because it is so bad for you. However, you can still buy it in most supermarkets and off licences in Ireland.
It has a slightly different flavour to white lemonade and has a redish brown colour. It is common to order a southie & red at the bar which is Southern Comfort whiskey and red lemonade. If you drink this expect a hangover.
At children’s parties, a red lemonade float is popular where you put a scoop of ice cream in a tall glass and pour the lemonade over it and watch it fizz. Please feel free to try this experiment at your own risk.
Brown Bread with Dubliner Cheese & Guinness Mustard
If you are planning a picnic this combination is a must to experience. Choose sliced brown soda bread such as McCambrides, smother with Guinness Mustard and lay a slice of mature red cheddar Dubliner cheese on top. This is amazing melted under the grill if you have the option. An alternative variation which is equally as good is to replace the Guinness Mustard with Ballymaloe Relish.
Bickies, Biscuits or Cookies
There is nothing quite like dunking a Jacob’s club milk into a cup of hot tea until it melts. The combination of soggy biscuit and melted chocolate is simply divine. Any visit to a friend of family member in Ireland always involves biscuits. The choice however is quite eminence but my personal favourites that are largely unique to these isles are Jacobs Fig Rolls, Chocolate Kimberley’s. Mikado’s, and of course the club milk. Fig rolls are figs wrapped around a soft biscuit. While Kimberleys are gingery biscuits enclosed in a marshmallow centre. The Mikado is smothered in jam sprinkled with coconut and also has an unhealthy dollop of marshmallow, traditionally it is served at kids birthday parties.
I put Barry’s Tea adjacent to the Bickies section as they should always be together. Tea is essential to the life of an Irish person. Barry’s is close to many hearts and large shipments are often requested by those living abroad to sustain them. While in Dublin make sure you stock up. The complimentary tea that you get in your hotel room will never be the same as the real stuff. Ah now for a nice cup of Barry’s and a Kimberley !
My vote for worst Irish Snack:
Irish Stew flavoured crisps. I don’t really need to explain do I ? It’s just wrong.