Irish Abroad: Top 10 Irish Foods We Miss

Lately I have really been craving various Irish foodstuffs that I simply cannot get here. I decided to ask my wide range of expat friends (who now live in Canada, Dubai, Australia, South Korea, New Zealand, Poland, Japan and Myanmar/Burma and many more exotic locations) what Irish food they missed the most while living abroad and the following were the Top 10 answers! Feel free to leave a comment if you have any more good suggestions. :)

Number 10: A decent pint of Guinness

In fact this isn’t limited to Guinness, more Irish drinks in general which you often can’t get abroad. A decent Guinness, a pint of Beamish or Murphys, and an ice-cold bottle of Bulmers Light (for those watching the calories!) are the top contenders on the list of most missed alcoholic beverages. Along with Buckfast Abbey, that is.

While Korea does have a good choice of local alcohol ranging from low quality beer to a cheap distilled beverage known as Soju ( top selling alcohol brand in the world!!) and delicious rice wine called Makeoili, none of these will ever live up to a good Irish pint.

A good pint

A good pint

Number 9: Clonakilty Black Pudding

Clonakilty Black Pudding is a staple food item in houses all over Cork, and Ireland. Black Pudding , and the sausages, bacon, eggs, beans and toast which go with it, can cure any hangover no matter how bad and are not only eaten for Breakfast but can be easily transformed into a Gourmet Lunch or Dinner should the need arise!

There is NOTHING that comes even close to replacing Clonakilty Black Pudding here in Korea. Eating rice and spicy cabbage (Kimchi) to cure my hangover just doesn’t quite do the trick!

Mmm Black Pudding

Mmm Black Pudding

Number 8: Chicken Fillet Roll from Spar 

One of the biggest things I crave from back home is the humble ‘chicken fillet roll’ made up for you in a matter of seconds and found in every deli in the country. The fact that nearly every shop has a Deli, and that there is a shop on nearly every corner in every town, makes the lunch time experience back home a blissful experience!

When it comes to lunch time choices in South Korea, the choices are pretty limited and far from appealing! Most food is deep friend and if on a rare occasion it is not, my lunch time choice are limited to a variety of dishes made with rice, spicy cabbage and spam. No thank you!

The infamous Chicken Fillet Roll

The infamous Chicken Fillet Roll

Number 7: McCambridge Brown Bread

I think most Irish people will agree with me when I say that there is no better brown bread that McCambridge Brown Bread. Be it for toast in the morning, or sandwiches at lunch time or with soup in the evening, nothing beats a few slices of McCamdridge!

Here is Korea they seriously lack good bread, which is a bit of a mystery given the fact that there is a bakery to be found on almost every corner. In Ireland, bread is pretty much part of our staple diet where-as in Korea it is more of a treat or a luxury thus all the bread, and bread products are sickly sweet and could never be used the way they should be….to make a decent sandwich!

Best bread in the world!

Best bread in the world!

Number 6: Ballymaloe Relish

The relish SO famous, they sent it to space. Enough said.

Ballymaloe Relish

Ballymaloe Relish

Number 5: Cadburys Chocolate

No matter what country, no matter what continent, no place does a chocolate bar like Ireland. Ireland has the biggest selection of delicious milk chocolate, available in every shop, on every street corner, in every town (similar to the infamous deli counter!) and no amount of Hersheys, Peanut Butter cups or whatever other bizarre chocolate is on offer around the world will ever compete with this! Be it a Dairy Milk, a box of Heo’s or a tin of Roses at Christmas, nothing beats Cadburys chocolate.

Pure chocolatey goodness

Pure chocolatey goodness

Number 4 : Tayto Crisps

By sure Ireland’s favorite crisp. You just can’t beat a salt and vinegar crisp sandwich or opening up a packet of Cheese and Onions Taytos in the pub and sharing them with all around you. Soon enough, some other kind soul will return to the table with a new round of pints and another packer of delicious Tatyo crisps. And so it goes on…

In Korea we are given magical choice such as Wasabi flavour, Seaweed flavour and worst of all….Cuttlefish flavour. YUCK.

Tayto Crisps - Best crisps in the world

Tayto Crisps – Best crisps in the world

Number 3: Garlic Cheese Chips (and other Chipper Food!)

While many Irish expats will admit to always having a wide range of foods available to them late at night, ranging from 24 Hour McDonalds, late night pizza joints and Turkish Kebab stands lining the streets, we will also cry out for Garlic Cheese Chips at 3 O’ clock in the morning, yearning for those late night chippers back home! (KC’s chipper in Cork is so popular they have a Queue Camera on their website!)

Garlic Cheese Chips

Garlic Cheese Chips

Number 2: A Jumbo Breakfast Roll

A brilliant mixture between number 8 and number 9 on this list is the Jumbo Breakfast Roll, whereby us Irish have perfected the method of putting an entire Irish Breakfast into a  Cuisine de France bread roll. A favourite amoung early morning workers, Builders and college students, nothing beats a Jumo Breakfast Roll after a night on the town.

The Jumbo Breakfast Rolll

The Jumbo Breakfast Rolll

Number 1: Barry’s Tea

Stop an Irish person in the airport and ask them what’s in their suitcase and about 90% of them will admit to having packed a box of Barry’s Tea bags. Us Irish just can’t seem to survive without them. Ideally served with Irish milk (real dairy!!) and a spoonful of sugar, a cup of Barry’s Tea has many magical attributes and is the perfect start, middle and end to every day. Be it relaxing at home, gossiping with friends, skyping home to family or reading a good book, a cup of real Irish Tea is always the perfect companion.

Barry's Tea

Barry’s Tea

  • nasen75
    October 30, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Is it odd that I like stouts that are NOT Guiness? I suspect the Guiness we have here in the States isn’t the same as it is in Ireland.

  • ksbeth
    October 30, 2013 at 5:21 pm

    i’d go for it all except the black pudding )

  • magreenlee
    October 31, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Ten years ago I would have agreed with you on all of these, but I have to say O’Donnell’s crisps blow Tayto right out of the water for sheer yumminess.
    Funny how Barry’s Tea is what we all miss the most!!

  • Kristin Francis
    November 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I wrote a post recently about Irish supermarket finds– looks like I missed a few good ones!

  • Cormac Hudson
    March 31, 2014 at 1:24 am

    Mac Donald’s curry is another big one. Oh & white pudding instead of black and of course no where in the world can make pork sausage like our homeland of Ireland.

  • PaidiMc
    April 10, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Can of Lilt/Rockshandy to go with the roll/chipper. Standard. Excellent list though. Why Korea (or anywhere out of Ireland) doesn’t have chicken fillet rolls is beyond me. I see a niche!

  • Brian and Noelle
    April 10, 2014 at 2:27 am

    On the ball! We always have a decent stash of Barry’s. Ballymaloe is another one we miss!

  • Ronan Kelly
    April 10, 2014 at 5:11 am

    Don’t forget the bottle of lucozade. Magic for the hangovers.

  • sheila
    April 12, 2014 at 4:09 am

    Just back from holidays home in Ireland. We had 3 weeks of Chinese and chipper food, proper fanta, cream cakes and good ole Lyons tea.

  • Geoffrey
    April 13, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    A can of Club Orange. A packet of Bacon Fries in the pub with a proper pint of Heineken. And a chocolate Kimberly with the mug of Barry’s Tea.

  • Sara
    April 16, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Terrys Chocolate orange and Aromat is my main ones but now i’m missing all of them!!!!! oh and Meanies!!!!

  • Cara Levasseur
    September 16, 2014 at 10:13 pm

    You must not be from Dublin.. I’ve never heard of a salt & vinegar crisp sandwich??? Cheese & onion ONLY on bread. Lyons tea (Barry’s is for culchie’s..) . Sausage rolls. Black & white pudding. Fish & chips, red lemonade. Brennan’s batch bread. 99 cone. Every kind of chocolate. I could go on forever…

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