Thursday, June 18, 2015

Ireland travels - the food

I have touched on a few meals and restaurants in my Ireland recaps, but this post is about normal, day-to-day, supermarket food. If you're like me, that is just as exciting as meals out (although I do appreciate the rest of the world may have a higher threshold for excitement).

In my naivety, I thought supermarkets in Ireland would be the same as in England. To be honest, I have a slightly skewed, inappropriate concept of the country. Until we visited, I saw the southern Republic of Ireland as still being affiliated with the UK. If I'm really honest, I thought I wouldn't even need my passport to visit (!). Suffice to say, the Republic of Ireland is not part of the UK, I did need my passport, and they have their own supermarkets.

Having said that, they do have Tesco, which we have, and Marks and Spencer food, which is quintessentially British. Even they stock slightly different foods though, and the mainstay of Irish supermarkets is SuperValu. We really liked SuperValu.

Surprisingly vegan

SuperValu had lots of unexpected vegan items. These included apricot jam tartlets and oaty flapjacks, above, and dark chocolate mint rice cakes, below.

Mr Bite picked up a packet of chocolate bourbon cream biscuits and in my standard scanning of ingredient lists, I noted with interest they were egg and dairy free. I tried one for novelty value and they were a flashback to the biscuits of my childhood. I have since discovered Tesco bourbon chocolate biscuits are vegan too, and there are vegan jam tarts under 'free from' brands in England.

Even more surprisingly vegan

Our food shopping wasn't limited to snacks. When self-catering in Killarney, we enjoyed a pasta meal, hummus salad wraps, and baked jacket potatoes, mine with a Mexican corn mix that was particularly delicious.

Eating hummus wraps for lunch in the Killarney national park was a highlight of our self-catering moments.

The observant of you may have spotted a date slice in an above photo. This came from the Quay Co-op in Cork. This was a delightful store, with an associated cafe and restaurant, stocking lots of whole foods and vegan products. It was basically a local Whole Foods and I liked it a lot.

As you would hope in a country renowned for bread, we did find Irish bread particularly enjoyable. Indeed, I found most of the food we had fresh and flavourful. It was never hard to find meals out, and extremely easy to find food in supermarkets. All in all, Ireland is a tasty place to visit, vegan or not!

What foods have you been glad to find when travelling?


  1. The food I remember being really excited by when in Dublin was a mulled wine (though I think it was non alcoholic) at Fallon and Byrne - I am not sure if drink counts as food but I love it. The other food I really loved on my travels was the amazing sausage rolls at cranks when it was in covent garden many years ago - I have lived in hope of finding the recipe but never managed to.

    1. They really must have been good sausage rolls to have stayed with you so long and through your own many sausage roll successes!

  2. I have to say that I wouldn't have thought about taking my passport to go from England to Southern Ireland either! I love the rundown of the supermarkets - always fun to see what they sell in other places.

  3. When I was in TURKEY - oh my goodness, the food. THE FOOD. So flipping amazing. Every single night, whole grilled seafood. So fresh, so clean, sooooo delicious! I wish I could go back - ha! It's just not quite the same here!

  4. I would have definitely been the same and thought that Ireland had the same supermarkets as us over here...I've never been would would love to visit some day.That date slice looks like a great find!

    1. It really was - I only wish I could have bought more but there are limits to what one can justify 'needing'!

  5. I do like the sound of those bourbon chocolate biscuits. And good to know the bread is good. It looks like you found differences from what you'd normally buy in England and a good introduction to new vegan groceries. Would love to visit Ireland xx


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