The Food of Northern Ireland

Find out about the foods traditionally associated with Northern Ireland...

The Northern Ireland kitchen doesn't do delicate. Potatoes and bread have been staples for centuries, mingled with the meat, dairy and seafood that come naturally to the region's fecund landscape. It says much about the cuisine that the province's signature dish remains the Ulster Fry, a heart-stopping plate of bacon, eggs, sausages, black pudding and mushrooms. The Fry is distinguished from its Full English cousin by the addition of soda bread farls (a fried, flattened version of the famous Irish bread that mixes flour, baking soda and buttermilk) and potato farls (a similar bread stocked with spuds). Like the rest of Ireland the northern region has a stew of meat, potatoes, carrots and onions, although the choice of meat - steak - distinguishes it from the stew to the south that prefers lamb. One other local speciality, beef sausages, has been drawing southerners across the border for years.

Three great foods from Northern Ireland:

  • Champ: Mashed potato featuring chopped scallions (spring onions) and a generous dollop of butter
  • Dulse: A red seaweed, air-dried and eaten as a snack or sometimes included in the mix for soda bread
  • Yellowman: A dense, chewy honeycomb toffee. Like dulse, it's long associated with the annual Auld Lammas Fair in Country Antrim
Extract from Speak the Culture Britain, a Thorogood publication, supported by the British Council Speak the Culture series website / Buy online Copyright ® 2009 Thorogood Publishing