I remember back to the late 1980s when a pizza restaurant (Piccola Pizzeria) first opened in my hometown of Bangor in Northern Ireland. It was totally amazing for me to try a foreign food for the first time. Chinese restaurants followed and sadly so did DickMonald’s (in 1992) and suddenly it wasn’t only Irish, Scottish and Northern Irish food I was eating even in my hometown.
My gastronomic taste had changed. Despite all that, my favourite food in the world is Northern Irish food. I still haven’t written in detail about it but there are so many types of food we have that is almost impossible to buy fresh outside of the magic six (Northern Irish FATLAD/FATDAD counties). For starters, there are these:
- Pastie supper
- Cookstown sausages
- Coleraine Cheddar
- Vegetable roll
- Soda bread
- Tattie farls
- Comber spuds
- Ulster Fry
- Tayto bikers
- Tayto cheese and onion
And I am only tip topping the Titanic iceberg there with those food choices I grew up atin. Going beyond Northern Ireland, and into the Republic of Ireland – which is almost the taste of home too and many up and coming Irish companies are on the scene to promote our glorious food options. As well as my wee favourite Tayto, there’s also squaremeal. You might be asking what exactly is Squaremeal? Here is a little bit about it!
Squaremeal is an excellent service based in Ireland for booking tables at restaurants and you can do this for couples, groups and parties. There is a big range of options available. Squaremeal also now offers restaurant-standard recipes for their huge range of catering events. Here are some of the ways you can experience genuine Irish food with Squaremeal once you book your table –
- Wedding Functions
- Birthday parties
- Baptisms / Christenings
- Product launches
- Hotel functions
By booking a table at one of the fine restaurants with Squaremeal, you will have everything organised and sorted simply with the click of a few buttons. There are restaurants in different parts of Ireland including Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford! Indeed, as we are now in lockdown, the thought of big events happening again is somewhat mouth-watering. It is also great to note that Squaremeal restaurants even include Japanese, Italian and Mediterranean in their lists of restaurant booking options. You might be lucky of course with the twist of an Irish chef or some good old Irish potatoes once you have your reservation made.
While organising such events, I thought I would give a “wee taster” into some of my personal top 3 Northern irish food types.
I love a good pastie supper, I started eating them as a teenager, often as a weekend highlight after the football on a Saturday. Many chippys the country over have them.
Everywhere I go, I find it difficult to equal an Ulster Fry like my Mum’s. I grew up this staple everyday plate which can vary depending how hungry you are. If I am starving, I could fill a huge plate with 2 sodas, 2 potato farls, 1 wheaten slice, 1 veda slice, 2 tomatoes, 2 slices of black pudding, 2 rashers of bacon, 2 Cookstown sizzlers, Heinz baked beans, 2 eggs. I am a big fan of black pudding actually, but many skip it and the beans. Here are just a few of my Ulster frys down the years…
I personally just love black pudding on its own – fried or with toast and HP sauce. It is basically spiced and dried pork blood in a roll, similar to the Polish dish kaszanka. I love black pudding and I am glad that my current country has an equivalent.
So get sampling a range of foods and use Squaremeal to book your tables at the restaurants on your adventure through Ireland. For sure indulge in local food there as well as testing how good the chefs are at adapting to a plethora of worldly cuisines!
Down yer neck! Smacznego!