By Amanda Smith
Updated March 19, 2014

Irish food is as simple and quaint as the island itself, consisting mainly of pastured meats, local fish and vegetables. Its hearty aroma and homegrown appeal are just a few of the reasons Irish grub woos locals and tourists alike. Saint Patrick’s Day may have come and gone, but you can bring the taste of the Emerald Isle home to your table any day of the year, no green food coloring required!

(Ron Bambridge/OJO Images/Getty Images)

Ireland’s stunning landscape features rugged cliffs, expansive countryside and miles of coastline. Dotted with tiny farms and majestic castles, Ireland truly resembles a place you may have read about in a fairytale. Its two, separately governed territories are home to more than 6 million people and attract just as many visitors each year. Its culture and cuisine have evolved over centuries of social and political change. Historically, Irish food consisted of whatever its inhabitants could catch or cultivate. The introduction of the potato in the second half of the 16th century had a massive impact on the Irish diet, and is still closely associated with the country’s cuisine. Today, it is just as easy to find modern Western dishes, like pizza, as it is to stumble upon a traditional meal of bacon and cabbage.

Western ingredients and cooking techniques have been widely incorporated into Irish restaurants, pubs and kitchens, although the majority of its citizens still remain true to their humble roots. Other iconic Irish dishes include black pudding, boxty, coddle, colcannon, shepherd’s pie, Irish stew, and a variety of breads. And of course, Irish whiskey is considered a pantry staple. (Did you know that this amber liquid’s name actually comes from a Gaelic phrase meaning “water of life”? Maybe they’re on to something…)

Here we’ve provided a list of some Irish classics, from soda bread to Irish coffee. In Ireland, most meals are of the one-pot variety, simple and unassuming. Gather your family around the table for a warm, comforting Irish feast with these delicious recipes.