It’s the plight of all Norn Irish abroad…
Whether we’re permanently relocated, living away from home for uni, or just on a short-lived holiday it seems we permanently hanker after our long-established local comforts.
It seems as soon as the Northern Irish go global we can humour foreign food for just so long before succumbing to craving some of these Irish classics…
Luckily, gone are the days when the only resort was to rely on loved ones who took pity on you and posted over box-loads of your favourite home-delights. We can now buy most of these abroad – albeit at a staggering price, or shop online.
No matter what though, some things just don’t taste the same as back home…
1. Tayto Crisps
The most obvious – Tayto crisps – preferably Cheese & Onion if possible.
Yes, these are now available throughout the UK due to Tayto’s recent expansion, but when we step foot even slightly further afar we suddenly seem to suffer withdrawal symptoms.
In fact, we’re such big fans we practically invented the crisp sandwich.
2. A Proper Pint Of Guinness
You seem to be able to buy Guinness all over the world these days, with Americans in particular (with their passion for Irish culture) adopting the black stuff like one of their own.
But this wasn’t always the case, as your parents will tell you.
In fact this isn’t just limited to Guinness. Along with a decent Guinness, you’ll likely struggle to find a pint of Harp or Murphys, and an ice-cold bottle of Magners…
But nothing in the world can beat a Proper Guinness in a Proper Irish Pub. Sorry. This is the holy grail of pints and needs to be done properly.
If you were born or raised in Ireland, you might be surprised to know you cannot get 15’s elsewhere.
So whilst everyone here seems to know how to make fifteens don’t be shocked to discover people will have no idea what the heck you are even talking about if you mention these delicious, easy-to-make delights.
They are a proper Irish staple always to be found in bakeries, baptisms, birthday parties, coffee mornings – and even funerals.
4. Veda Bread
Nowadays, Veda bread is only baked is Northern Ireland. It is certainly one of the products that Northern Irish expats miss the most.
Toasted, with some cheese or buttered Veda bread is a delicious treat that just tastes like home for so many Irish.
Lyons Tea is one of Ireland’s biggest and best-loved brands.
When abroad people often pine after their beloved home-brands, which is almost guaranteed to be Lyons, Barry’s, or Thompson’s.
People are quite passionate about this debate – but there’s no question about it. All three of them make a Superb cuppa.
Luckily Lyons is now quite widely available throughout England. So no more need to bulk-buy 600 at a time…
The other ‘Number One’ Irish blended tea, it has such an active cult following that it ships across the world.
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!!), a cup of Barry’s Tea has many magical attributes and is the perfect start, middle and end to every day.
A good cuppa tea is often the first thing the first thing us Irish reach for when faced with a dilemma or after a tough day (other than a ‘real’ drink of course).
6. Soda Bread
Perfect with a fry or home-made bacon sarnie, soda bread is the one of the main things we crave when away from home.
It definitely seems to be one of the most craved Irish home comforts, along with a good slice of wheaten bread which is an equal contender.
7. Cadbury’s chocolate
No matter what country, no matter what continent, no place does a chocolate bar like us.
Be it a Dairy Milk, a box of Hero’s or a tin of Roses at Christmas, nothing beats Cadbury’s chocolate.
8. Kerrygold Butter
One of the less obvious answers, this is one people say they don’t realise how much they enjoyed this delicious spread until they no longer have it at their disposal.
When asked what food and drink people miss when away from home, Kerrygold Butter got an overwhelming majority of the vote.
Perhaps it’s because it tastes so delicious on a baked potato – or crusty slice of toasted Brennan’s bread…
9. Irish Potato Farls
Delicious with a fry it seems a crime Potato bread is widely unavailable elsewhere.
Visitors to our wee country always fall in love with it though, as online is awash with make-it-yourself recipes and tips – many of which are far removed from the simple potato bread readily available in every supermarket that we love with our Sunday fry.
Yep – we definitely seem bread-obsessed. And we haven’t even mentioned the cult classic ‘Belfast Bap’ yet… But that’s a whole other story…