Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scenes From A Gourmet Supermarket in Ireland

We're back from our European vacation and it was awesome! We went to visit my sister in a town called Drogheda which is about 35 miles outside of Dublin, and we also went to Portugal for a few days. I have a gazillion photos so I'll try to cover the trip as thoroughly as possible without boring you all!

Drogheda is a small town, but has all of the conveniences of a city- you can read more about life in Drogheda on my sister's blog, An American in Ireland. It's a really cute place and the people are all so friendly- we met many of Clare's Irish friends and they were warm, kind and welcoming- one of them even baked an apple pie from scratch at the last minute when she heard we were stopping by! Who does that anymore?! It was nice to be taken care of like that...but I'll definitely be posting more on her friends and our other experiences in the days to come so you can get the full stories.

On our first day, the three of us strolled around and of course, had to make a stop at the local supermarket. One of my favorite things to do in any foreign country is to peruse the aisles of a grocery store and see what fun items they offer. Clare took us to the supermarket section of a popular department store called Marks & Spencer, and it did not disappoint. I only wish I would have bought more stuff to bring home.

An array of desserts, ready-to-eat, reminded me of the puddings common in Japanese grocery stores:



Honey roast ham flavored potato chips! You don't even need a sandwich to accompany them since you'd get the meat flavor right in the chips:). Love how it is "reduced fat" too!


Canned oxtail soup- a cut above your Campbell's beef broth, no doubt:


A huge selection of beautifully boxed juices:


Marks & Spencer is known for their "ready-meals," and they have a "Gastropub" line of foods that go well with beer and wine. I'm pretty sure I'd be happy to sit down to this King Prawns, Cod, Salmon & Smoked Haddock Pie after a long day at the office!

Jaffa Cakes are uber-popular in Ireland (and England, I believe) but I can't say I'm a big fan of jellied-fruit, so I wouldn't really like these too much.


In the mood for lamb? You can get the New Zealand variety....



Or local, Irish lamb (I think I'd go for this one!



Eccles cakes look like scones, but are actually made from puff pastry (helllllo butter!) and are dotted with currants:



Is this breakfast or dessert? Sure, we have chocolate flavored cereal here in the US (CoCo Puffs!) but this one is ultra-fancy, featuring white/dark chocolate curls right in the mix!



I loved all of the cheese we ate in Ireland (actually, ALL of the dairy was fresh and delicious) and there certainly is no shortage of variety- check out these fruit-filled cheeses, perfect for a dinner party:


I'm sure potted meats fall under the category of processed foods, but I don't care- few things go better with a glass of wine than salmon or beef rillet smeared on a slice of crusty French bread.


I might be outing myself as a total geek, but I'd prefer to spend hours strolling through grocery stores, gourmet shops and farmers markets than walking through clothing stores. What can I say, the local foods of different cities and countries are endlessly fascinating!


More to come.....


4 comments:

allison said...

Interesting! My grandpa was from Ireland and I was always curious about what Irish food is like.

P said...

What a pleasant surprise one can get when time permits following the highlighted links!!
P

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