I never realised how many foods I used to eat on a regular basis are exclusive to Ireland. I suppose I never put much thought into the specific brands I used and whether they would be available in the UK. It turns out that many of my favourite foods are indeed only available in Ireland and specific food stores here in the UK. Im not just talking about Tayto crisps or Barrys Tea. One of the products that surprised me as difficult to get was proper brown bread. Here, it is known as Irish soda bread, a proper brown loaf that at home is pretty much available in any corner shop and is eaten in most households. I also must have forgotten that Ballymaloe Relish is indeed made in Cork and have lamented its lack of availability here. It has been shipped over to me by the gallon since!
I have spent many days since I have been here trawling the internet to try and source places to buy Irish foods here in London and have come up with mixed results. Ive decided to put them all together in one resource for anyone else that is interested!
There are of course many online options. One of the most complete selections comes in the form of O’Kane Irish Foods. They really have almost everything on their site and they deliver all over the UK. They do not have a store however so you do have to pay delivery fees. They are one of the only places I have found to have Ballymaloe Country Relish. Result! The Irish Shop is also a nice site. If you want to send hampers to family and friends in other parts of the UK, Irish Gourmet is the place to go.
If, like me, you dont have the patience to wait for products ordered online, there are several places you can visit. The Irish Food Market, located on the Goldhawk Road in Shephards Bush, stocks a fantastic selection of produce. Not only is all their meat sourced in Ireland and is very high quality, they have many other store-cupboard essentials. Flahavans porridge, Odlums flour, Dairygold spread and of course the Clonakilty Pudding!
Today I discovered a fab little shop in Willesden that has all of the above and more! Its called Mandys Irish Store and they even have proper Taytos, none of that northern stuff! Best of all….Ballymaloe Relish :) They also have white and brown soda bread mixes. I like to make my own bread pretty much every second day but these little mixes speed up the process! I stocked up on about 3 kgs of each mix which will make 6 loaves of bread. Best of all, per packet it was only £1.20 which makes it just 20p per loaf!!!
You can also get a fab selection of Irish cheeses in Neals Yard Dairy, Covent Garden and its nice to know they also stock Barrys tea, albeit at extortionate prices! There is a lovely butchers in Turnham Green, Macken Bros, which has a smaller selection of products but its still nice!
Inspired by my day of food shopping, I made a traditional ham salad plate for dinner. Honey and mustard home roasted ham, green salad, white soda bread, pickled cucumber and grated carrot….all served with…you guessed it, Ballymaloe Relish! Have a great week guys!