• Irish Food

    6 Authentic Irish Meals

    <p>Quick: if someone asked you to name an Irish food, what’s the first dish that comes to mind? If you’re like most Americans, you’re going to say “corned beef and cabbage”. And technically speaking, you’d be wrong. Among food historians, it’s widely agreed that while corned beef has its roots in Ireland, the Irish themselves rarely ate it... and still don’t. These days it’s one of the cheaper cuts of meat, yet Irish corned beef producers in the 18th and 19th centuries exported nearly all of it since most people back then couldn&#39;t afford it. So, if you’re <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland/" target="_blank">traveling to Ireland</a> for the first time, don’t bother asking for corned beef and cabbage, unless you want to get a good laugh from your Irish hosts. <br><br>With that said, there’s some terrific food to be found in Ireland. One does involve boiled meat and cabbage, and this is the one that I like to make on St. Patrick’s Day! It&#39;s both a tip of my hat to my Irish grandmother and a sign of respect for authentic Irish cooking.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/161679/irish-boxty/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cfx" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/161679/irish-boxty/" target="_blank">Boxty</a>:</b> It won’t surprise you to know that potatoes are a big part of traditional Irish cooking. Boxty is Ireland’s signature potato pancake; made with both mashed and shredded potatoes, boxty patties are typically fried in a skillet and served with butter.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-colcannon-irish-potatoes-and-cabbage-242195" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cg2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-colcannon-irish-potatoes-and-cabbage-242195" target="_blank">Colcannon</a>: </b>Colcannon is one of two popular varieties of kicked-up mashed potatoes. Chopped green onions and either shredded cabbage or kale are stirred into the spuds, with plenty of milk and butter. In a good colcannon, the potatoes are smooth, with no chunks.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-salmon" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CgH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-salmon" target="_blank">Smoked salmon</a>: </b>Salmon is hugely popular in the island nation. Irish smoked salmon is cured and then smoked at a low temperature; it has the texture of lox, but with a slightly smokier flavor. <a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-salmon" target="_blank">Click here</a> for 10 great Irish salmon recipes.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012ChA" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank">Irish</a></b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank"> </a><b><a href="https://www.yummly.com/recipes/irish-stews-and-soups" target="_blank">Stew</a>: </b>“Irish stew” is a generic term covering all sorts of one-pot meals. There are a few rules of thumb: it has to have some sort of meat (usually lamb, sometimes beef, and occasionally mutton), it has to have potatoes and onions, you can add some Guinness if you like (I do), and the presence of carrots is the cause of many a heated discussion.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dublin-coddle-51224810" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012ChP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dublin-coddle-51224810" target="_blank">Dublin Coddle</a>: </b>It’s a bold statement, calling a dish “the ultimate Irish comfort food”, but Dublin coddle might just claim that title. Sausage, bacon, onions, and potatoes go into a pot with beef, chicken or ham broth; the pot is then covered and goes into the oven for a few hours.</p> <p><b><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/irish-bacon-and-cabbage-107859" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUe&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cht" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/irish-bacon-and-cabbage-107859" target="_blank">“Bacon” and Cabbage</a>: </b>The classic Irish Boiled Dinner probably has its origins with this meal. Bacon and cabbage is traditionally a large cut of lean slab bacon, boiled on the stove top, with cabbage added during the last ten minutes. The version I make is easy, and delicious. Simply brine a pork shoulder or butt roast (I’ve also used a pork loin roast) in salt water overnight, put the pot on the stovetop and boil it for a few minutes, drain that water and replace with fresh water, and boil again for a few hours.  Add cabbage and carrots (yes, I stand by the carrots in this case), and you’ve got a great, authentic Irish meal. Here’s the complete <a href="https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/irish-bacon-and-cabbage" target="_blank">Irish “Bacon” and Cabbage recipe, via Bon Appétit</a>. Like just about everything in Ireland, it pairs well with a Guinness. Sláinte!<br><br><br><br><br><b>DRINKS ANYONE?</b><br><i>You already know that <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank">Ireland </a>is one of the most iconic places in the world to tip a pint with a local. There’s nothing quite like sipping a Guinness in a traditional Irish pub in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/ireland-tours/" target="_blank">Killarney, Kenmare or Dingle</a>, surrounded by friendly residents and listening to a local band. But what about those places in the world you don’t expect to sit and sip the traditional spirits with natives? You never know what stories you’ll hear over a shared drink with local friends. So, pull up a seat, fill your glass, and enjoy… we’ve rounded up <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/best-cities-to-drink-with-locals" target="_blank">seven of our favorite cities</a> in the world to drink with a local.</i></p>

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  • Rekjavik

    Best Places to Eat & Drink in Reykjavik, Iceland

    <p>While many visitors to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland</a> use <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Reykjavik </a>as a jumping-off point for their adventures out in the Arctic wilderness, it is no mere base camp. It’s a vibrant, thoroughly modern city, with fantastic restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Although <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Reykjavik</a> has experienced some incredible transformation over the past decade, those looking for a uniquely Icelandic dining experience needn’t worry—smoked reindeer is still on the menus of even the fanciest restaurants. We asked Classic Journeys&#39; Iceland Guides <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/blog/iceland-multisport-adventure/" target="_blank">Atli and Kommi</a> (both native Icelanders who’ve spent plenty of time in Reykjavik) to give us some recommendations.<br><br><b>ICELANDIC STREET FOOD:</b><br>It’s no surprise that Icelanders face some culinary challenges, thanks to the country’s climate and isolated location. But Icelandic food is surprisingly diverse and very, very tasty. And seasoned travelers know that the best place to start when you want to understand a country’s cuisine is right in the streets. Food trucks and wagons are becoming more popular in Reykjavik, and a trip to the city isn’t complete without sampling their wares.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"><b><i>Best things to order: </i></b><br>- Plokkfiskur, a simple stew with three basic main ingredients—cod, potatoes, and onions—is a popular staple. Versions of it can be found everywhere, from small street carts to the city’s most exclusive restaurants.<br>- Feeling extra adventurous? Head to the <a href="https://www.bsi.is/" target="_blank">BSÍ Bus Terminal </a>downtown; the charred sheep’s head is a local favorite.<br>- Grab a hot dog. And don’t feel bad about doing so: one of Reykjavik’s best-kept secrets is that they serve one of the best hot dogs you’ll ever eat. Called the pylsur, the Icelandic hot dog is made with three different varieties of meat—lamb, pork, and beef—and served with a variety of great condiments. Stop by the <a href="http://www.bbp.is/" target="_blank">Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur</a> (<span>English </span>translation: the best hot dog in town) but be prepared to wait with the locals. They’ll tell you to order one “with everything.” Trust them, apple-sweetened ketchup on a hot dog really is delicious.</p> <p><a href="http://www.bbp.is/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012D6A" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br> </p> <p><b>FINE DINING IN REYKJAVIK:</b><br>There are a number of world-class restaurants in Reykjavik. Here are a few of our guides’ favorites:<br><br><a href="http://www.fiskmarkadurinn.is" target="_blank"><b>Fiskmarkadurinn (Fish Market)</b></a><br>Atli recommends going straight to the tasting menu. “A great variety of the best in Icelandic cuisine, with paired wine. A two-hour food adventure.”<a href="http://www.fiskmarkadurinn.is" target="_blank"><img alt="Fiskmarkadurinn (Fish Market)" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cnc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="http://maturogdrykkur.is/en/menu/" target="_blank"><b>Matur </b><b>og</b><b> Drykkur</b></a><br>Both of our guides recommend Matur og Drykkur if you’re looking for expertly prepared authentic Icelandic food. The menu may change, but if it’s available, Atli says to try the cured puffin.<a href="http://maturogdrykkur.is/en/menu/" target="_blank"><img alt="Matur og Drykkur (Photo Cred: Buffalotrip.com)" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cnh" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br> </p> <a href="http://matarkjallarinn.is/en/" target="_blank"><b>Matarkjallarinn (Food Cellar)</b></a><br>“BIG yes,” says Atli. “More ‘local’ than most, the main clientele is Icelanders. Great lamb and beef!”<br><a href="http://matarkjallarinn.is/en/" target="_blank"><img alt="Matarkjallarinn (Food Cellar)" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cnm" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="http://kolrestaurant.is/en/" target="_blank">Kol</a></b><br>This local favorite is touted for its ever-changing menu, fusing local Icelandic tastes with international dishes. Atli says to “go for the pasta and the fish!<a href="http://kolrestaurant.is/en/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kol" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012D2D" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br>  <p><b>REYKJAVIK NIGHT LIFE? THINK ARCTIC-CASUAL.</b><br>If you’re looking for an after-dinner drink, Reykjavik’s bars range from low-key pubs to thumping dancehalls. The common thread—thanks in no small part to the weather—is “come as you are”. You’ll be fine walking into most places wearing your snow boots and wool sweater.  Here are three Reykjavik bars you should check out:</p> <a href="http://www.kaffibarinn.is" target="_blank"><b>Kaffibarinn</b></a><br>Say it aloud, and you’ll get a hint as to the nature of what’s arguably Reykjavik’s most famous bar. Kaffibarinn is a coffee shop during the day, but at night it converts to a full-service bar. It’s popular among locals and travelers alike, so get there early.<br><a href="http://www.kaffibarinn.is" target="_blank"><img alt="Kaffibarinn" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cou" style="height: 356px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.slippbarinn.is/en" target="_blank"><b>Slippbarinn</b></a><br>Often referred to as Reykjavik’s first true cocktail bar, Slippabarinn offers a Happy Hour from 3:00 to 6:00 every day of the week.<br><a href="https://www.slippbarinn.is/en" target="_blank"><img alt="Slippbarinn" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Coz" style="height: 354px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="http://www.kaldibar.com" target="_blank"><b>Kaldi Bar</b></a><br>Iceland has a burgeoning craft beer scene; Kaldi was the country’s first microbrewery, and their bar offers up a few of their creations. Raise a glass of Kaldi’s unfiltered ale (the original) and say “skál!” (That’s Icelandic for “cheers”!)<br><a href="http://www.kaldibar.com" target="_blank"><img alt="Kaldi Bar" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SUt&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012Cp4" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </p>

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  • Pasta Strangozzi al Tartufo

    Top 5 Foodie Experiences in Tuscany

    Nothing quite captures an ideal foodie destination like a trip to the Tuscan countryside. Sample some of the region&#39;s most famous Italian cuisine as you admire the rolling Tuscan hills and stroll through the cobbled streets in search of the best panini&#39;s and gelato in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Firenze, Siena, and Tuscany&#39;s gorgeous hillside tow</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">ns</a>. Between strolling through vineyards, seeing premium olives pressed into olive oil and testing the mouthwatering famous dishes in friendly cucinas—an unforgettable culinary experience awaits you in Tuscany. And in that spirit, we&#39;ve rounded up our favorite Tuscan culinary experiences (besides simply dining at the local <i>trattoria</i>) to navigate your mouthwatering food tour in one of our favorite Italian regions. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATpQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fCFC" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>#1 Explore Florence&#39;s Food Markets and Sample Local Wares and Fares </b><br>Wander through <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">San Lorenzo</a> the Florentines&#39; main market and embrace sensory overload as you navigate pyramids of fresh produce, butcher stands full of cured meats and cheesemakers offering tastes of goat cheese and pecorino. Sample fragrant olives, warm breads, <i>cabrino</i> goat cheeses, and <i><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">prosciutto toscano</a> </i>to create the ultimate picnic in the square. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATpQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fCF2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>#2 Visit a Local Shepard&#39;s Farm in the Tuscan Countryside </b><br>In the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Mugello Valley</a> north of Firenze, local shepherds and butchers prepare the region&#39;s renowned cheeses and cured meats. Join a local shepherd for a tour of their farm to see a private look at where the creamy sheep&#39;s milk cheeses are made—it would be an insult not to have a taste! Wander through the farmland and bask in the Tuscan sun with a belly full of fresh warm bread, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">pecorino cheeses, and <i>fettunta</i>.</a> <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATpQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fCFH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>#3 Tour a Vineyard in Chianti or Multepulciano</b>  <br>let the silvery green Chianti hills envelop you at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Villa Le Barone</a> as you look to the horizon, enjoying a fresh glass of the region&#39;s famous wine. Then, explore the beautiful <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Montepulciano </a>where you can enjoy a landscape of villas, castles and, of course—more vineyards. Venture out into the countryside and explore the area&#39;s oldest winery where you can learn about the creation of the famous <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Nobile di Montepulciano</a> wines and be treated to a tasting.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATpQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fCEx" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>#4 Explore an Olive Oil Mill</b><br>Visit a local olive oil mill in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">Tuscan countryside</a> to experience the creation of one of the main building blocks of quintessential Italian cooking. Many of these ancient mills have been pressing olive oil for generations and what a sight it is to see plump olives harvested into the silky and delicious golden oil we all know and love. Enjoy a scenic walk through the olive groves, learn about the technique of olive collection and preparation, and sip on a glass of the &quot;green gold&quot; or <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">taste the freshly milled olive oil drizzled over a slice of warm bread.</a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATpQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fCEs" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b>#5 Take a Cooking Class in a Local Cucina</b><br>Enjoy a  cooking class to learn the secrets to the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">widely-desired Tuscan cuisine</a>. As you help prepare a local specialty—such as ricotta and spinach stuffed ravioli or a perfectly prepared gnocchi in butter with a confetti of fresh sage—you&#39;ll discover something critical: most Tuscan recipes have only a few ingredients, but careful techniques keep the flavors pure and &quot;big.&quot; Appetites whetted, dine on the results in the local <i>cucina</i> and chat with the chefs about their secrets to a flawless<i> <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">tagliatelle al tartufo</a></i><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">.<br><br><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATpQ&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fCEn" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Is your mouth watering yet? Visit Italy for yourself to have a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscanyculinary/" target="_blank">taste of Tuscany</a> and experience firsthand how the Italians cook and eat at home. (And just think how much more your friends will enjoy your return once you serve them that crostata di ricotta you whipped up for dessert over tales of your adventure under the Tuscan sun).

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