Ah, Ireland… the mere mention of Ireland conjures up images of St. Patrick’s Day, beer and naturally, traditional Irish cuisine. Any local knows that Irish stew and corned beef with cabbage are popular traditional foods, despite the fact that they are rarely presented on restaurant menus in the country. Dishes including boxty (a type of potato pancake), coddle (a beautiful trio of sausage, bacon, and potato) and soda bread are also lovely Irish classics.
Surprisingly, many countries around the world have similar recipes with slight variations. Irish staples such as potato, bacon, and stew are hardly exclusive to Ireland, which means that should you leave the fair isle of beauty, you’ll be able to find some fantastic equivalents for traditional Irish food around the world! Here’s a list of some equivalents that we could find.
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Some Irish food equivalents around the world include:
Bacon and cabbage
Often served with potatoes, bacon and cabbage is a traditional Irish dish. The base of the dish is boiled bacon, served with potatoes and boiled cabbage. In the past, this dish was the backbone of the Irish, because the ingredients could be bought easily through farming instead of marketing, and the dish was healthy. Even today, the dish is still a common meal in many Irish homes.
There’s a Polish equivalent that uses the same ingredients: a bacon and potato casserole often served with cabbage. The Polish name is ‘Zapiekanka z boczkiem i ziemniakami’ (yes, it’s a mouthful – and if there are any Polish readers out there, feel free to correct us if it’s wrong!) Sounds equally yummy!
Over the centuries, soda bread received its share of glory in Ireland. Fine flour or white flour forms the base of the bread and can be sweetened to taste. An alternative to Irish soda bread is the Serbian soda bread, although it’s a dish eaten mostly at Christmas. Serbian soda bread has strong cultural significance and is broken amongst family members when they gather for Christmas dinner. Small objects are often inserted, such as a coin, and the person who finds the piece with the object is thought to have luck bestowed upon them for the coming year. If you won’t be in Ireland for Christmas, Serbia sounds like a good second choice.
This dish consists of chopped onion, mixed with mashed potatoes, milk and butter. Easy to make and easy to love! Because the dish is so simple, it shouldn’t be too hard to find an equivalent abroad. Many countries enjoy mashed potatoes with milk and butter. Simply add in a bit of chopped onion and you’ll survive the United States, Australia, and England – to name just a few places where mash is popular.
Bangers and mash
Although bangers and mash originated in England, it soon became popular throughout Ireland. The dish consists of cooked pork meat or fragrant meat sausages and mashed potatoes. It is often served with onion sauce, rich and tasty. Your best chance of getting a close alternative is probably heading over to England, just a hop and a skip away. After all, the dish originated there.
Boxty refers to a potato pancake dish of Irish tradition. The dish is mainly found in the northern settlements. There are many recipes and variations, with the most popular version today including flour with mashed potatoes, butter, baking soda, and eggs.
There are quite a few equivalents to boxty around the world; feel free to head over to Korea and eat Gamjajeon, or Germany to eat reibekuchen (also known as kartoffelpuffer), or even India to enjoy an aloo tikki that is often served with additional spices.
An Irish dish made of boiled pigs’ feet that are battered and fried, crubeens are traditionally eaten by hand and accompanied by a side of cabbage. Looking for an equivalent? Although it might require some traveling, Jamaica’s traditional dish of pigs’ feet – called pigs’ trotters there – follows a similar recipe and is usually eaten with baked beans, or curried in a stew.
As you can see, leaving Ireland doesn’t have to mean leaving behind its delicious traditional dishes. Many countries worldwide have either been influenced by Irish cuisine or coincidentally came up with similar dishes by combining the same ingredients but in a different and often culturally influenced way. Let us know if you can think of more equivalents. Happy eating!
Ellie is a freelance travel writer, originally from the UK. Publishing for some of the top travel websites around the world, writing about everything from hidden gems to luxury hangouts all over the world, Ellie is currently writing for Travel Department.