daily meal

Friday, August 27, 2010

Irish Breakfast

Since it is officially the weekend and there is more time to relax and go out to eat, I am going to divulge into one of my most favorite meals - the Irish breakfast! Aside from my love of Parisian crêpes, I am extremely guilty of splurging on Irish food, especially when it comes to their breakfast.  The dish is comprised of eggs, sausages (or bangers as the Irish like to say), bacon, a tomato, beans (usually), mushrooms (sometimes), and black and white pudding! If you do not know what black and white pudding is, I suggest eating it before googling :).  I promise, absolutely promise, it is not as bad as it sounds.  Maybe I should tell you anyway... Are you ready? It is congealed pigs blood! Yum! Sometimes other animals blood such as cows and sheep is used, but pig's blood is the most common.  Okay, so maybe that does sound a little grosser than I let on, but I cannot even begin to emphasize how delicious it really tastes! Not to worry though, the white pudding is not as bad as the black pudding.  White pudding is usually a mixture of pork meat and fat, oatmeal, and bread.  Earlier versions also included sheep brains.  But fear not, it is no longer included - unless of course you want it to be...

Even though you know the ingredients, and cooking them is extremely easy (just cook in a pan with a little oil), it is finding the ingredients that poses the challenge.  Eggs, tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, and even the Irish breakfast sausage are usually easy to get a hold of; however, the black and white pudding is not so easy.  If you are living abroad where the dish is more common than you could go to your local market to find the puddings.  In the states though, you will most likely have to call your local market or butcher shop and special order them.  It will be worth it though!

However, if you do not feel like waiting and are antsy to eat, then I suggest taking a drive down to Cambridge, MA on any given Sunday.  There, on Massachusetts Avenue between MIT and Central Square, you will find an Irish Pub and Restaurant - The Asgard.  The Asgard offers a Sunday brunch where they serve one of the best local Irish breakfasts I have ever had! It is a large restaurant, but still comfortable.  The restaurant even has couches around some of its tables.  Although it can get a little noisy if a sports game is on the TV, the food makes up for it all! The Irish breakfast dish is an extremely large portion and on top of the ingredients I listed above, they also add home fries and toast to the plate.  Trust me, you will be full for the rest of the day!

Although the Asgard is a personal favorite of mine, there are other local Irish restaurants that are closer by that  serve the famous dish. They include but are not limited to:

The Irish Cottage - Methuen, MA
Ri Ra - Portsmouth, NH
*J.P McBride's - Haverhill, MA
*The Peddler's Daughter - Haverhill, MA & Nashua, NH

*Please note: The last two restaurants named do not always serve the Irish breakfast.  Usually around St. Patrick's Day they will open for breakfast, but call ahead to be sure.

Lastly, just for fun (because I am absolutely in love with Ireland and have been a couple of times), I figured I would share some of my photos with you.  Hopefully it will inspire you to take a trip over, stay at a B&B, and have a fresh, homemade, Irish breakfast!

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  1. uhm.. made the mistake of googling black and white pudding first! lol.. love the pictures!

  2. Beautiful photos! Just seen the film Leap Year (filmed in Ireland) and am so amazed at the ruggedness of the land. Barren but beautifully so. Yummy breakfast.

  3. My kind of breakfast. Love the pictures, especially the castle.

  4. Wow that breakfast sounds absolutely amazing!

    And look at that beauty! Great photos!

  5. Lovely pictures.. and the breakfast looks Yummy too ^_^

  6. I miss Ireland... if you guys are ever curious, CIE tours does "go-as-you-please" vacation packages that start at $350. You can get at least 6 nights stay in B&B's, a rental car, and vouchers to things like the guinness factory. I love going through them because I like to travel independently and not with a tour group, but you can save money this way and buy flights, car, and b&b's for one price. Definitely check them out! http://www.cietours.com/us/go-as-you-please.aspx

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your breakfast places I was JUST driving through Haverhill and Methuen on Saturday for a Wild Cheff (www.wildcheff.com) event otherwise I would have no idea where they were (despite grow up and living in Massachusetts)!
    I think I need to take my Irish hertiaged BF up there for a good Irish breakfast. Me? I'm not Irish in the least but that dosen't keep me from wanting to go there on my honeymoon! haha

  8. Definitely go to Ireland! lol And I hope you enjoy the breakfast! :)

  9. Where in Ireland were these pictures taken. Haven't been there for quite a while and a couple places look very familiar. Sorry, made to eat black pudding one day and it came up faster than it went down. But love the bangers and the cabbage dishes.