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After McDonald’s, Irish pubs are the largest export of food and drink in the world. It is not just the food and drink that they export, though. They sell the drinking culture entirely, although not as effectively as its home town, Dublin. The Irish are known internationally for their drinking habit. Every Irish pub in the world has almost the same aesthetic: dark wood panels running all over the floor, ceiling and walls, a string music soundtrack with bagpipes obviously, maybe a Gaelic sign here and there, a framed picture of James Joyce and Guinness running from a tap. The last bit of detail, the Guinness, was the actual reason why Irish pubs got sold so fast and so wide. However, it was not just because of the drink; it was because of the drinking habit.
The Irish Pub Concept was developed by an architect from Dublin who went by the name of Mel McNally. He founded the Irish Pub Company in 1990 to expand the Irish pub business worldwide. He reasoned, logically and correctly, that the tourism to Ireland that had increased considerably during that time would make people want the Irish pub experience elsewhere as well. Right around that time, Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, got wind of this massive idea, and struck an unofficial partnership with them. Together, the two were unstoppable. The Irish loved Guinness, and the Irish Pub Company sold the drinking habit on the drink. Ever since their first Irish pub at Moscow airport (Shannon’s) they went on to build 2000 odd culturally and commercially successful pubs all over the world.
It is, however, interesting to note that even though Guinness, which garnered so much attention because of the Irish Pub Company, was asked about it, they completely denied there was any formal relationship between the two companies. Bill Grantham, a visiting professor at Loughborough University, thinks otherwise. He went to explain that there were a lot of underlying clues that stated that Guinness and the Irish Pub Company are still working together, even though they openly deny it. The Irish Pub Concept belongs to the drinks conglomerate and parent company of Guinness, Diageo. The Irish Pub Concept even has an Overview section on its website where the market analysis of the Concept was being done by Guinness. The harp logo of Guinness is practically everywhere on the Irish Pub Concept website, and Grantham agrees that they have no intention of hiding this connection even though they deny it.
McNally’s success formula for a good Irish pub were authentic design, authentic Irish food and beverage, Irish music and entertainment, and employees and management trained in the ways of the Irish. There is nothing like it, and is definitely a unique experience to try out.
Ireland, on the 29th of March 2004, became the first country in the world to ban smoking in all workplaces, including bars and restaurants. People however, both local and international, were shocked to the fullest when the legislation included bars. The people who were opposing this move stated that it would be ludicrous to even assume that Irish bars, known globally for smoking and drinking, were the last places on the planet where smoking should be banned.
However, this was not met with massive uprising and revolt, but rather with acceptance. Within the next few months, seven states in the United States of America and 9 provinces in Canada went smoke free completely, which included bars and restaurants. Other countries that followed suit with the Irish model of smoke free legislation were New Zealand, Uganda, Norway, bhutan and Italy. All these countries banned smoking not just for the customers, but also the staff who worked at these workplaces too. Scotland and Sweden brought about a smoke free legislation in 2005, while it took Australia 2 more years, finally banning it in 2007. After Ireland’s bold decision, several countries have come up with legislation to prevent smoking and protect their citizens from the epidemic of passive smoke.
Even though the legislation was met with welcome arms in workplaces like public transport, the cinema and work offices, the hospitality sector, the bars and restaurants, raised their voices against the smoke free legislation. Most of those who were opposing the move were bar owners and their representatives, and the same resistance was felt in the United States and Canada where bars were a social focal point in everyone’s lives. There was a rhetoric of gloom and dread that washed over the place. The protestors argued that the legislation was unnecessary, unworkable and unjustified, and that it was not the job of the publicans and staff to enforce the law on the customers. However what really happened was a completely different story.
The people of Ireland, as it turns out, were extremely compliant. In fact, they were so compliant that six months after the legislation was passed a survey conducted by the Office of Tobacco Control, which included a total of twenty six thousand six hundred and twenty seven inspections, concluded that the compliance rate clocked in a whopping 94 percent. The government also set up a free phone compliance line to report any breaches in the legislation, which peaked at 1524 calls in the first month, and declined rapidly to 145 in the next month and so on. Only 11 out of the 700 odd bars faced legal action for failing to comply with the legislation.
When you think of the Irish, the first two things that come to mind are men in kilts playing bagpipes and drunk Irish men. The Irish pub is sort of like a watering hole for the Irish where everyone meets and shares a drink or two. The general idea of an Irish Pub is dark wood paneling, a string music soundtrack with bagpipes obviously, maybe a Gaelic sign here and there, a framed picture of James Joyce and Guinness running from a tap. However, the last item on the list, the Guiness, wasn’t really an Irish thing till 1990.
1990 was the year a Dublin architect who went by the name of Mel McNally made the Irish Pub Company. It was a first of a kind company in Ireland, created to build Irish style drinking establishments all over the world. Diageo, parent company of Guinness, saw this as a golden opportunity and decided to partner up with them. Since their first Irish pub in the Moscow airport called Shannon’s, Guinness has been associated with the Irish people since then.
However, it wasn’t just a mere coincidence that Guinness partnered with the Irish Pub Company. There were two other companies, Love Irish Pubs and Ol Irish Pubs Ltd. which were popular at the time as well. However, the people of Ireland fancied Guinness over other drinks which made the Irish Pub Company famous: the other companies barely stood a chance. They still operate within Ireland suite proficiently, with Love Irish Pubs website providing offers like sports memorabilia, musical instruments and whiskey jogs among other bar related stuff.
However, quite a lot of Irish people and people who have lived in Dublin argue that the Guinness gets worse outside of Ireland. In fact, according to them, the quality of Guinness gets worse the further away the pub is from Ireland. Bill Barich, author of A Pint of Plain, says that bottled Guinness is much thicker than the on tap Guinness that you are served at an Irish pub in the United States or the United Kingdom.
The main reason why these Irish pubs in other countries are not as good as the Irish pubs back home in Dublin is the same reason why people practically live in Irish pubs in Dublin: the social factor. Irish pubs are much more than just pubs for them, it is a place of social gathering where people get together to have a good time in the evening after a hard day’s work and celebrate life. However today, Irish pubs are more or less like any other sports bar, with 15 flat screen LED TVs and no longer a community center. All that remains today of an Irish bar is the wood panelling and the Guinness. If you want the true Irish pub experience, it is better to visit Ireland itself.
Ireland is famous for two things: bagpipes and drinking. Every major city has at least a few Irish pubs. They exist all over the United States of America and in most metropolitan cities in the world, almost like a McDonald’s or Coca Cola. There are Irish pubs all over the place from Seamus McCaffey’s at Phoenix, Arizona to The Grand Khan Irish Pub at Ulan Bator, Mongolia.
Some of the common features in Irish pubs are dark wood panels running around every inch of the place, a string music soundtrack with bagpipes obviously, maybe a Gaelic sign here and there, a framed picture of James Joyce and Guinness running from a tap. However, the Irish don’t exactly fancy Guinness they just want to drink. So this whole stereotyping of the Irish with Guiness is actually due to a partnership between the Irish Pub Company and Guiness. The Irish Pub company is a construction company that specializes in building Irish pubs all over the world. It was quite the clever partnership, because it provides the place with an Irish pub, with a lot of business to Guiness; establishing that the Irish in fact are one for Guiness. This ruled out competition like Ol Irish Pubs Ltd. and Love Irish Pubs; which is a shame because Love Irish Pubs offers sports memorabilia, musical instruments and whiskey jogs among other bar related stuff.
The mastermind behind the Irish Pub Company was a Dublin architect by the name of Mel McNally. He started the Irish Pub Company in 1990 after studying the basic structural elements of bars in his hometown, assuming that the spike in tourism at that time in Ireland would increase the popularity of Irish style drinking establishments in other places as well. Guinness parent company Diageo, seeing the opportunity as the golden egg laying goose as it is, decided to partner with them to sell what they referred to as “The Irish Pub Concept”. Building their first Irish Pub in Moscow under the name Shannon’s, they went on to build at least 2000 pubs in Europe alone between 1992 and 1999. They kept expanding, reaching 53 countries, everywhere from Canada to Mexico to even Iraq.
McNally listed the major ingredients of an Irish Pub as authentic design, authentic Irish food, authentic Irish beverages, Irish music and entertainment, and employees and management trained in the ways of the Irish. They are also compelled to employ Irish people as the staff to make the people feel like they are in Ireland. The Irish pubs that are open now are mostly just like McDonald’s, all the good stuff has just been siphoned off, leaving behind a skeleton of the experience.
If you’re planning to visit Ireland for your next vacation, then you ought not to leave the land without digging into these traditional Irish foods that are prepared in its most authentic styles. From fish in the summer to lambs in springs and soups and stews in winter, their food options changes every other season. Make sure your appetite is well maintained when you visit Ireland, to try out some of the most delicious cuisine and recipes in the world.
When you visit Ireland outside summer, the chances of witnessing the sun is very slim. However, on the plus side, you will be exposed to the opportunity of trying various delicacies from the west coasts’ native oysters. The best season to try them is in September when you visit the Galway Oyster Festival that takes place in that month. When compared to the other sea creatures, shellfish is the one that stands on top of the list. The Dublin Bay Prawns, cockles and mussels also have their own festival in Howth.
Colcannon and champ
Potatoes are the staple vegetables in the Irish cuisine that has transformed their food choices and recipes from the 16th century. It is one of the staple crops that is grown in the regions and also adds to the list of foods and vegetables that are cheaper in the region. However, the potato harvests hit the light only in the 19th century, which is now a part of the staple meal in Ireland. Colcannon is a famous Irish dish that is a classic form of comforting mash potatoes. It includes
- Cabbage or kale
- Cream or butter
- Spring onions
Colcannnon and champ follow similarly recopies but with a lot of milk and butter. It tastes the best when it is topped with scrambled or fried eggs.
Boxty is a short form of all the potato-based recipes that includes potato pancakes, potato bread and potato dumplings. It directly translates to ‘Poor house bread ‘in English. All these recipes make use of grated potato shavings or are mixed with mashed potato and fried to dumplings. This mixture is then added to pancake mix to convert it into a pancake or is also integrated into a bread mixture to baking a potato break. Boxty can be teamed with anything, and whatever you choose, it teams up well to form a great mixture. It is also a great combination with smoked salmon or eggs.
Boiled Bacon and Cabbage
Although boiled bacon, boiled potatoes and boiled cabbage might not sound appetizing on paper, it still is an excellent combination for the tastebuds. A mixture of these three is also a family favourite. Traditionally a back of the pork is cut into thin slices (sometimes even from the shoulders). The meat is soaked overnight depending on the amount of desalting require and is boiled along with cabbage for ten minutes. The best accompaniment for this recipe is silky parsley sauce that is also a homemade recipe in Irish households.
Irish pub or bar is not just a destination where people drink and have fun, but it’s a distinctive culture in itself. Although the number of pubs in the Irish land is decreasing dramatically, considering the ban of smoking and other lifestyle changes, the tradition in itself remains a vital part of the Irish tradition. In this article, you will enlighten yourself about the Irish Pub culture and the etiquettes of these pub cultures.
An introduction to the Irish pub culture
The social aspect is one of the major attractions of the country’s pub culture. The rural areas of the country comprised of three primary sources of recreation:
- The church
- Football club
- Irish pubs for drinking
Until recent years, people of the land rarely drank at home, as social culture and social life was a crucial part of their lifestyle. The pubs in Ireland are known for their welcoming ambience, atmosphere and the quality of alcohol they serve. The warmth and friendliness of these cultures have spread to the entire world. In today’s world, it is impossible to find a country that does not boast an Irish pub/bar.
Pint Drinking in Ireland
If you visit and Irish pub or bar and order for a pint, then the bartender is either going to serve you with their finest black beer called the Guinness or a pint of stout. Murphys or Beamish are the most common names for these Stouts, and they’re much more frequent than the Guinness. While in England and other regions, you ask for a glass of beer, which is half a pint in Ireland.
One of the essential tips served by professionals is that the drink can only be enjoyed after it settles till the end unless you want to look like a novice Guinness drinker if you did not allow for it to settle. If you wish to take the Guinness, then better to visit Ireland and taste it as they maintain their authenticity.
Ordering a pint
Unless you’re ordering food along with your drinks, the barmen generally expect you to pay after the drink is served and for him to be tipped after every drink or every round of drink, to stay on his right side. Also, Irish people are reluctant to people showing off, so probably keep it a little subtle.
Pub culture experience in Irish pubs
- People in Ireland are not reluctant to chat with a stranger, and hence you can begin talking to the barman or the person right next to you.
- Slagging is also a vital part of their pub culture. This, in layman terms, means, making fun of someone which can turn out to be too hilarious. If you’re a victim, then remember the intention is only to have fun and nothing personal.
If someone offers you a drink and you wish to decline, then say ‘Ah, no’, even if you’re dying to accept it. So, you may have to be offered the drink at least 3-4 times before buying. Strangely this is part of their drinking culture.
The essence of adding Irish seasonings to the authentic Irish Recipes imparts the exact authentic taste of the land. Whether it’s a festive event or a family dinner, authentic Irish food, over a couple of pints brings the extra addition of Irish land to the table. The top recipes mentioned in this article, along with their authentic spice mixture, is what you need to celebrate your next St. Patrick’s day – the Irish style. If you wish to know more about the recipes, follow the article till the end.
It is no brainer that bread making is one of the most crucial parts of any traditional Irish home. The people of Ireland also believe that it is also a meaningful part of any of the Irish households. In ancient times, a traditional Irish cottage kitchen baked this Irish bread on a daily basis. This recipe followed a conventional process of baking on large Girdles or on massive kettles that were generally baked directly on the fire.
One of the main ingredients for their seasoning was the caraway seed, which is still used in most parts of the world and majority in Ireland. It is a vegetal, spicy-green flavoured seed that is added to the bread. They’re added to provide a toothsome texture with the hint of savoury flavour.
Vegetarian Irish Potato Stew
According to the traditional Irish people, St. Patricks’ day is incomplete without serving the guests with a hot potato stew. In addition to the traditional stew, the potatoes are also one of the most significant additions to the traditional Irish foods. Potatoes were introduced to the land in the 1500s, and pretty soon, it became one of the main components of the country’s agricultural produce.
A traditional Irish potato stew is known for its rich, creamy flavour which blends well with the minimal seasonings like salt and pepper. But did you also know that there goes a ton of other seasonings that adds to its rich flavours. Some of the most important ones include:
- Fennel Seeds
The nuttiness from the dill seeds and the herbal flavour from the thyme add to the creaminess and starchiness from the potatoes. This is also another excellent option for all the non-meat eaters.
Any kind of meat in Irish is accompanied by good quality mustard, which is mostly in the homemade genre. The tangy flavoured spicy residue is the best combination with corned beef. The intensity of the flavours from mustard seeds, prepared from scratch elevates the density of the meant.
Mustard is also otherwise called a poor man’s pepper. Since they’re grown in Ireland, it is highly affordable for the natives of the region. It can be used in dry form to preserve liquids like wine, fine ale. It is one of the most Irish versions of storing drinks.
Ireland is famous for its pub and bar culture if not for their drinking addiction. While it is easy to order a drink and have a casual chat with your friends at the ambience, this simple task to comprise of some of the unspoken rules that nobody tells you about. If you wish to know what they are, then stick till the end of the article and find out for yourself!
Buying a round
This is one of the most important rules, but when not followed, can leave you with a wrong impression in the minds of the locals and the barmen. Since the entire crowd of Ireland is fun-loving and lovely, there is a good enough chance that you might sit with the locals for a drink or two. Whenever the group finishes their drink, each person goes up to the counter and orders for everyone. You should not miss your turn of ordering or buying everyone a drink, lest you should lose your new Irish friends that you just made. Also, another pro tip to add here is that the couples do not count as one. Since each one is having a drink, they ought to order.
Patience is the key for Guinness
The drink is poured in two different stages, and it needs to settle down ultimately, which takes about a minute or two. So, if you order a pint of this drink in the bar, then the barman will fill your glass until half full and move on to something else. Don’t gulp your drink but wait for him to return and complete the drink. Once finished filling your glass, please wait for a minute so that it amalgams with the first drink and then begin to savour it.
Getting a bartender’s attention
Irish pubs and bars are generally crowded considering the fun and alcohol friendly people that they are. Hence, you have to wait for a couple of minutes for the bartender to process your order. Get started from getting close to the barman as much as possible. If you still don’t get his attention, lift your pointing finger. Sticking money in the air to get his attention is the last thing you want to do, as it is considered disrespectful.
Drinking isn’t a race
In countries like North America, drinking and getting high is considered a race- especially among young teens. However, the opposite is followed in Irish pubs – it isn’t a race, and it is imperative to drink slowly. Social drinking is one of the critical skills that ought to be maintained in the place.
Irish pubs fall under the destination experience the most fun and excitement, but this can be experienced and enhanced if you follow the right etiquettes of the destination. These unspoken rules are the key to better your drinking experience. When in Ireland, be an Irish!
Daily beverages might differ from one country to another. However, one of the most common options is coffee. Since people have become more health-conscious in the past two decades, many consumers have shifted to healthier alternatives like soy milk and fresh juice. Coffee is no more considered a healthy drink because caffeine is said to have side effects. With such disadvantages being spread, not everyone will be enthusiastic about switching back to coffee. But it is only small communities that have avoided coffee, while many others still love the taste of the crushed beans.
Brewing a cup of coffee for the morning refreshment is still the idea millions of people stick to. Irish coffee is just another type of coffee that has alcohol mixed in it. People who think coffee and alcohol are unhealthy shouldn’t simply skip this article; you are likely to fall in love with coffee all over again. Irish coffee can be easily made using some coffee powder, whiskey, thick cream, and sugar. All these ingredients will contribute to better health. Let us look at some of the benefits of drinking Irish coffee.
1. Reduced Heart Diseases
The risk of heart diseases can be reduced significantly by consuming Irish coffee regularly. Alcohol can also lend you a safer path in life when consumed in healthy amounts. General blood circulation and flow to the heart improve with the consumption of alcohol. A daily dose of Irish coffee will make your heart stronger, but you don’t necessarily have to take it every day because it can turn out to be addictive. Two or three a week can help you fight all heart-related risks. When you are taking Irish coffee, make sure not to consume more alcohol than is recommended for your weight and age.
2. Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Type II diabetes can also be reduced by taking Irish coffee. This may come as a surprise to most readers because the drink primarily consists of sugar and cream. When you drink it in moderation, biological responses that can cause diabetes will be inhibited with an increase in the plasma levels. Diabetes can also arise from overeating, which can also be reduced by taking Irish coffee since it cuts your appetite. Taking Irish coffee on a semi-regular basis will surely help you stay away from the risks of type II diabetes.
3. Lesser Chances for a Stroke
Stroke is one of the biggest health risks that can even lead to paralysis. Many people fear it because it can become debilitating as soon as one encounters it. If you enjoy a cup of Irish coffee, this health risk can be reduced. The arteries will be unblocked due to the impact of caffeine and alcohol. Reduced blood flow is one of the major reasons for artery blockage, which can be brought down to negligible levels by drinking this potent beverage made of caffeine and alcohol. It can have great effects on the body to reduce the risks of a stroke.
In this guide, I will be talking about some Irish recipes that you should get in a pub or a bar. They are extremely delicious. The sweet island is a gorgeous country that has produced some of the most amazing cuisines in the world, and it is unquestionable. The delicacies have been unforgettable. Ireland is also famous for giving us a lot of delicious food. We have to forget the Americanised pub food, and we should try some Irish delicacies in some decent pubs in Ireland, as soon as possible. Well, since there are two vaccines in the works, we can expect life to get back to normal anytime soon. We should actually support the local pubs in Ireland, because they have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Anyway, in this guide, I will be listing out some delicious Irish food that you have to try in sound their most famous local pubs and bars.
- The Irish stew happens to be the stable of Irish cuisine, but it does not have a standard recipe. But, it definitely is a favourite of the Irish people. It dates back to the 1800s, and it was often made with meat of sheep, because of the economic importance of milk and wool. After wool and milk were harvested from the sheep, they would go to get slaughtered. The recipe of this stew makes use of root vegetables and some tender meat of mutton. You can consume this as an appetiser or a decent meal itself.
- I am sure you have heard of Shepard’s pie. I have had the vegetarian version of Shepard’s pie, but the real version has meat and vegetables in it. They make use of beef and some mashed potatoes with some seasoned vegetables. It is the ultimate comfort food. If you are going to stick to a traditional recipe, you should choose beef or lamb.
- Coddle is the next one that I would like to talk about. It is essentially a wonderfully comforting creamy broth-based concoction which is completely made of bacon, pork sausage, onion and potatoes. It can be consumed in a cup or a bowl. It is a great choice as a starter. It is an amazing choice if you are hungry on a Sunday afternoon in bed. You can just whip it up in a couple of minutes, or if you want to put more time into it, you can invest and concentrate and make a really delicious bowl in an hour. It is perfect to go with your favourite comedy.
I am sure you have heard of soda bread. It is a very popular side dish which is also a traditional Irish bread which is made without the help of yeast.