Food Culture and Tradition

Food, People and Culture Resources

Irish Glossary of Foods and Food Terms


Balnamoon Skink: a traditional special rich chicken broth and vegetables finished by beating in egg yolks.

Barmbrack: one of the few yeast leavened breads made in Ireland. Increasingly more varieties are being added. This delicious fruited bread is a special treat for Halloween when tiny charms are often tucked inside, bringing luck to the finder.

Bastable: the three-legged iron cook pot still very much in use in Irish country kitchens. It is hung on a hook above the peat fire in the open hearth and is used for soups, stews, potatoes, and even baking. The famed Irish soda bread is made in a covered bastable.

Bath Chaps: the lower half of the pig’s cheeks together with the tongue, cured like bacon and sold breaded and fried. They may be eaten hot or cold.

Black Pudding: a thick sausage made from well seasoned lard and oatmeal with the addition of pig’s blood. It is served sliced and fried, often with eggs, as a supper.

Boxty Bread: a flat round bread, marked in floury farts and made from mashed potatoes, flour, and buttermilk, and leavened with soda.

Boxty Pancakes: dough similar to the Boxty Bread, only fried in bacon fat instead of baked.

Brawn: a jellied dish of simmered pig’s head and sometimes vegetables. The meat is chopped and set to gel! in the cooking broth.

Brotchan: an oatmeal thickened soup.

Brotchan Roy: Brotchan, with the addition of leeks.

Carvies: caraway seeds.

Caveach: boned and fried fillets of fish (usually mackerel) stored in a crock covered with vinegar. This dish is served cold, often with potato salad.

Champ: hot mashed potatoes served with a pool of melted butter. Each spoonful is dipped in the butter. An Irish favorite.

Chicken Broody: oven-roasted chicken, cut up and served with a cheese sauce, potatoes, and mushrooms.

Chocolate Sandwich: a layered cake prepared from mashed potatoes, eggs, flour, and melted chocolate. After baking, the layers are filled with mashed potatoes blended with melted chocolate, butter, and sugar. More filling is spread over the cake before serving.

Coddles or Dublin Coddle: traditional Saturday night supper in Dublin said to prevent hangovers. Chunks of bacon and pork sausages are stewed with sliced onions and potatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper and served like a thick soup.

Colcannon: Scottish dish of hot potatoes mashed with another well-cooked vegetable (often cabbage or turnips) and served with melted butter.

Corned Beef and Cabbage: pickled brisket is slowly simmered in water. Near the end of the cooking time, wedges of cabbage are added and cooked till tender. The meat is sliced and served with the cabbage wedges; the broth is reserved to use as a soup base for another meal.

Cottage Soup: a meatless vegetable soup seasoned with salt and pepper and a dab of butter, finished with a roux and sprinkled with grated cheese.

Crubeens: pig’s feet.

Cumberland Pie: a two-crusted pie made with a potato and flout pastry filled with rolls of bacon and beaten eggs. Cut in wedges after baking.

Curd Cheese: cottage cheese.

Dublin Coddle: slowly baked stew of ham, sausages, onions and potatoes served with hot soda bread.

Oaten Biscuits: a mixture of lard, oats, flour, and milk (no leavening) that is rolled thinly, cut in rounds then baked. Thin, crisp, and nourishing, these may be eaten with morning tea or for a snack.

Scrooch: chunks of beef brisket, mutton, and vegetables boiled together with a little salt and pepper, served as a soup or a meal.

Singin’ Hinnies: hot griddle cakes scented with cinnamon and studded with currants. These are usually prepared after pig-killing – so extra lard is added. Sizzling of the lard accounts for their name.

Skirlie-Mirlie: a mixture of cooked potatoes and turnips whisked with boiling milk and butter until light and fluffy. Served with toast triangles or fried bread.

Skirts and Bodices: pork trimmings and pickled spare ribs cooked with water, salt, pepper, and onions. A traditional Cork dish.

Slainte: the one word meaning “good health” that is heard before the stout or whiskey disappear.

Sloke: also called Sea Spinach. Requires four to five hours’ cooking, then drained and served with butter and lemon.

Stirabout: what else would you be calling oatmeal porridge that is made by stirring the water about then adding the oatmeal (fine not flake) in a stream?

Tripe and Onions: English fare adopted by the Irish and served as a Sunday breakfast specialty. Boiled onions and tripe are drained, mixed in a white sauce, and served over toast.

White Puddings: a type of thick sausage made from well-seasoned oatmeal and lard boiled in sausage skins. Usually sliced, then breaded and fried before serving.

Willicks or Willocks: another name for winkles or periwinkles. They are boiled in seawater then eaten out of their shells with a pin. Sometimes vinegar and salt are sprinkled over them or they are dunked in fine oatmeal before popping in the mouth.

Yellowman: crisp brittle like the brittle in peanut brittle; sold in broken pieces. An Irish treat made from melting sugar till it browns then pouring quickly into a buttered pan or baking sheet to cool.

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