Thoughts on Irish Food

Sam Astorga
March 21, 2017

If you have read any of my blog posts, you know that I am a food snob. And I have been fairly surprised that Dublin has sated many of my cravings and created new ones. First of all, Dublin, obviously, cannot compete with L.A. Asian or Mexican cuisine, but thankfully I came to this city with no such expectations in that regard. But what they lack in these two critical areas, they make up for with other cuisines such as café-fare, Irish food, Mediterranean food, and Candy (now a food group after two months here).

Café-fare seems like a weird category because it incorporates so much. I consider this category to encompass baked goods, hot chocolates, teas, salads, and sandwiches. Most cafés I frequent such as Manning’s Bakery and Café and Café Noto excel in this regard distinguishing Irish cafes from their American counterparts. Often times with American cafes they will offer a few pastries often baking them somewhere else; however, Irish cafes have a thorough commitment to genuinely good food fit for a “real” breakfast or lunch. And even for munchies I believe they are better, such as the case for Café Noto’s exquisite gluten-free cheesecake yesterday.

Again, I hate these broad categorizations for cuisine; however, I will generalize Irish food to some breakfast dishes such as crepes, omelets, the Irish breakfast as well as dishes such as fish and chips, boxty, and (rashers and bang?). These dishes often feature a large meat component and a creative use of potatoes. By creative use of potatoes, I don’t mean mashed potatoes, typical hash browns, or fries, but I mean the epitome of potato sophistication, the Irish potato pancake (or boxty as it is known here). Boxty comes in two varieties: the more latka style where the potatoes is run through a grader, stuck together, and fried,  or the mashed potatoe variant (the first step is just mashed potato for this one).

In terms of Mediterranean food, Ireland offers a variety of Italian and Greek restaurants. But I mainly do Greek, since L.A. severely lacks in this department. I often frequent the Mynokos Taverna to get my fill of Tsatsiki and Gyros.

As for the candy, I came to Ireland thinking I would be addicted to Kinder Bueno, but now I cannot get enough of the Cadbury Oreo edition. The story behind me finding this begins in Prague where Milka produces the same candy bar, but it is called Milka Oreo. I was so impressed with this bar that I had to find how to get it in Ireland. As it turns out, Milka is a Swiss company that manufactures chocolate, and Cadbury is its British Isles subsidiary. Thankfully the candy tastes the same, and I can get just as happy and fat eating both.

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Sam Astorga

<p>Greetings, welcome to my blog! My name is Sam, and I grew up in South Pasadena as well as books. I am majoring in history and minoring in Russian language at Occidental College, but I always dreamed of studying Irish history and literature. This semester I am going to attend the Trinity College Direct Transfer program.</p>

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