Keep up to date with everything IIB, sign up to our mailing list

Thank you for signing up to our mailing list.

Please fill out all required fields

First Name

Last Name


Food and cooking

Food and cooking 

Smelling, tasting or talking about food triggers many memories. Diet was simple, seasonal and local but for many, food was often scarce. Bread was usually baked at home and for many of the oldest generation an open fire was the only facility for cooking. 

There were many local dishes or different ways of preparing food such as Coddle in Dublin, Drisheen in Cork, Soda Farls in Northern Ireland. Being seasonal there were periods when particular foods such as eggs, milk, potatoes were scarce.


  • What was your favourite meal as a child?

  • Did you have any food/meals that were special to your locality such as Dublin Coddle?

  • How were potatoes cooked and eaten?

  • What did you drink with your meal?

  • Did you ever eat Colcannon or Champ, Potato Cakes or Boxty?

  • Did you ever eat Crúibíns (pronounced crew–beans)? What were they served with?

  • What happened to the leftovers, if there were any?

  • Did your mother make soda bread? What were the ingredients ?

  • What are the ingredients for Irish Stew?

  • Do you remember what food babies were given?

  • Did you have any different foods on special occasions?

  • What did you have to eat on Fridays?

  • Did your family preserve any foods to cover when they were out of season?

  • What was the centrepiece of the Christmas meal?

Recipes and interesting background information

Click on any title below for full details.

Colcannon – the story and recipe

Soda bread recipe

Boiled fruit cake recipe

Barm Brack recipe

Irish stew recipe

Carrageen jelly

If you would like this information in PDF format to download or print please click HERE.