Traveling is always an excellent opportunity to gain new experiences and language immersions, such as a study holiday in Ireland, are no exception. They allow you to learn more about the culture, local history and even new foods.
Food is one of the most distinctive cultural and historical representations of a country, and trying local dishes is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the local way of life. Not only does it expose you to new flavors and ingredients, but it also gives you the chance to interact with the people, learn more about their traditions and practice your English. Sitting down at the table with others is one of the oldest social rituals used to create connections, get to know people, share one's experiences and, in general, spend excellent free time together. All aspects that should not be missing in a stay in English, which by definition is a sort of holiday and should therefore be stress-free and full of pleasant and interesting moments.
An English holiday is therefore an opportunity to explore the local culinary scene and, at the same time, improve the language. While ordering a meal in a foreign language can be difficult, it's a fantastic way to improve your language skills. When you converse with the locals, you can practice your listening skills, speaking skills and learn new vocabulary at the same time.
If you are a real food lover then you can also ask your host family to accompany you to try some traditional delicacies. Or you can participate in the regional markets or food festivals, where you can try a wide range of local products.
In addition to the warm welcome, the high level of language courses and the beautiful urban and natural landscape, Ireland has an enviable gastronomic tradition. This has been greatly influenced by local conditions and crops, but has managed to integrate other ingredients and flavors that make it a unique cuisine to try. The most suitable dishes to taste the original Irish culture are the traditional ones and small restaurants, or pubs, are the best places to go. Exploring for new flavors can be a fun and highly enjoyable way to diversify the daily activities of an English holiday. You can take some time to look for the right place and try the dishes we list below, among the most representative of traditional Irish cuisine.
Usually prepared with beef, potatoes, carrots, celery and onions, Irish Stew is the most famous stew in Irish cuisine. The classic recipe requires only mutton and a few other ingredients, but lamb is also used in the more modern versions. It's a hearty dish, renowned for its flavourful, thick broth, and a great one to try if your stay in England is during cold weather. On the subject of stews, try the Guinness Stew, cooked with the famous stout beer.
Boxty is a traditional pancake made with mashed and cut potatoes, which give it a unique texture. It can be fried, cooked in a pan or in the oven. Whatever the cooking method, it is served crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. It is often offered for breakfast, brunch or lunch, combined with eggs and bacon, or with a salad. A great quick meal for a lunch break during a summer English course.
Colcannon is a traditional dish made with shredded cabbage and mashed potatoes. The name comes from the Gaelic phrase "cal ceannann", describing the white head cabbage that is often used. It's a delicious and filling dish that blends the sweet flavors of mashed potatoes with the hearty texture of vegetables. It has a long tradition in Irish cuisine, and is often made on St. Patrick's Day.
With a crunchy texture and slightly tart flavor, soda bread can be a versatile addition to any meal. It is a type of quick bread prepared with baking soda as a leavening agent, to which wholemeal flour, salt and buttermilk are added. The reaction between the baking soda and the buttermilk causes the dough to rise, giving it a distinctive texture and flavor.
Soda bread goes well with Coddle, a traditional dish originating in Dublin, prepared with a few simple ingredients. It is a slow-cooked potato stew, to which other ingredients such as meat, sausages, onions and other vegetables are added. The name comes from the French term caudle , meaning to boil gently, and refers to the cooking method used.
If you need energy to get through a long session of summer English courses, then you might want to try the Irish Breakfast. This is the typical Irish breakfast, a combination of eggs, bacon, sausages, beans and soda bread. More than just a dish, it's a calorie replenishment that should be enjoyed with enthusiasm and a big appetite before starting the day.
Bacon is one of the essential ingredients of Irish dishes. Tried alone, you won't regret your favorite cured meats such as Italian Bologna or ham. In this dish it is cut into thick slices, placed in a large pot and cooked until crisp, accompanied by onions, garlic and large pieces of green cabbage. Some recipes also call for the addition of chicken stock and mustard seeds for flavor. Once the cabbage is cooked, the dish is ready to be served, usually accompanied by potatoes and soda bread.
To round off the day, there's nothing better than treating yourself to an Irish apple pie. After all, a stay in English is still a holiday and some exceptions to the rule can be made. This traditional dessert is made with a filling of sugared apples, while the pastry crust is made with wholemeal flour, white sugar, salt, butter and lemon juice. Another popular version is the Irish Apple Tart, with sweet and tart tasting apples inside a shortbread crust, which is made with plain flour and chilled butter.