Exploring Ireland will give you quite an appetite, so what can you look forward to eating on your trip to the Emerald Isle? Despite the recent cycle of economic boom and bust, Ireland remains an agricultural country that produces far more food than it can eat. Its green, fertile land and temperate climate ensure an abundance of fresh ingredients and superb meat and dairy produce.

Traditionally, Irish food was plain but hearty. Bread and potatoes accompanied the main meal, a meat stew or fish on Fridays. Vegetables were boiled to a pulp and salads were a rare summer treat. Garlic, avocados and eggplant were unheard of in most homes. However, in one generation Irish cooking has changed beyond all recognition. There is a new awareness of the excellent raw materials available to chefs in the form of grass-fed beef and lamb, fresh seafood from the Atlantic, abundant dairy produce and home-grown vegetables and salads. Even the humble Irish soda bread, made without yeast or other additives, and once considered inferior to shop-bought white bread, has come to be valued for its unadulterated wholesomeness.

Warm fare, excellent drinks, and freshness form the base of Irish food. While most think of Ireland as a meat and potatoes country, there`s much more to Irish cuisine than that (although the meat and potatoes dishes are excellent). On a trip to Ireland, you won`t go hungry and you won`t have to spend a whole lot if you check out pubs, local markets, and take-away restaurants.