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Spicy Irish Cooking: An Oxymoron? Nope (I Hope)

Ginger and Garlic

Ireland isn’t renowned for its chiles. Some folks might even say Irish food is bland, like traditional English food but without the flavor. I certainly hope that’s not the case when I get over there, though!

But how can they make food with a bit of zing if they don’t use chiles? Well, there are at least three ingredients I’m finding in Irish cooking that add spice and heat to a dish: Ginger, garlic and pepper. Additionally, mace, allspice and anise are used, occasionally. All of these are distinctive taste and aroma enhancers.

There’s another trend I’ve seen as well: The introduction of Asian and Indian dishes to the Irish table. Some of the best Chinese food I’ve eaten (outside of China, of course) was at The Golden Dragon in Adare, on the road to Killarney. And curry is making its way into many otherwise traditional recipes in Ireland.

I’m sure looking forward to getting back over there and tasting some of the “new Irish cuisine” dishes to see for myself. And I’m willing to be there will be chiles in evidence too, in spite of the need to import them for most uses. I can’t see Asian and Indian influences growing in the food scene without chiles…

Enjoy the (Irish Spicy) Heat!

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