Happy St. Patrick's Day 🍀
My food blog is doubling as a travel blog today so that I can share the adventures of our epic journey through the amazingly serene country of Ireland last month. If you had 4 days to spend in Ireland - What would you do? Where would you go? What would you eat? There's so much to see and experience on this amazing island that I feel like two weeks would hardly be sufficient time to take it all in. We had only four days to soak in what is arguably the most beautiful place on the earth. 😬
Our four day journey through Ireland was fleeting to say the least. I did my research though and put together a jam packed itinerary loaded with the things and places that we wanted to see the most. We hit the ground running as soon my plane touched down in the land of rolling green hills, castles, sheer cliffs and ultra-friendly locals. 🇮🇪
Our goal was to make our way through both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland during our visit to the Emerald Isle. Ireland is a singular land mass but it's actually divided into two independent nations. The Republic of Ireland, which comprises most of the land mass, and Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom. - Now you know.
We may have come home exhausted but I feel like we got a good taste of Ireland over the 96 hours that we immersed ourselves in Irish culture. We experienced the colorful cities, the quaint small towns, the endless green pastures of sheep, the rugged coastlines, the lively music and the best, most delicious food that Ireland has to offer. We also encountered some of the wildest, most unpredictable weather that we've ever experienced. Sun, rain, rainbows, snow, hail and insanely strong winds - all within a 30 minute window. ☀️🌦🌈 🌨💨
Our time in Ireland was so short and we didn't want to waste the time it takes to even eat a single meal. So we skipped right past Burger King and intentionally sought out the pubs and restaurants where the locals ate and drank. We ended up watching soccer matches with the locals, listening to musicians play traditional Irish instruments and drinking Irish whiskey and beer while sitting elbow to elbow with the notoriously friendly citizens of Ireland. (All things on my list of things to do while in Ireland, by the way.)
The food that we ate on our trip was surprisingly delicious. The most consistent food that we were served in Ireland was homemade brown soda bread. It was served to us at breakfast, lunch AND dinner. I was a fan. 🍞I ate it with a smear of jam in the morning, smothered in Irish butter with my lunch and as a sponge to mop of the sauce from my dinner plate. The Irish brown bread that we had in Ireland was amazing.
I couldn't let an opportunity like St. Patrick's Day pass without sharing a recipe for the food that I would describe as the most quintessential to Irish culture. (The potato is a close second.)
My Americanized version of traditional Irish Soda bread looks a little different from the bread that's made in Ireland. First of all, I'm not Irish and second of all, I don't have access to Irish flour. I thought it best to rely on Cook's Illustrated to recreate this recipe with ingredients that are readily available in American supermarkets and I think they did a fantastic job.
Irish Brown Soda Bread
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
1 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups buttermilk
Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
I want to hear from all of my followers who are either from or have spend some time travelling though Ireland. I'm already starting to think about an itinerary for my next trip to the Emerald Isle. What are the places that I absolutely must see? Experiences that I can't miss? Foods that I have to taste? I'd love to have your input. Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day. ☘️
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