In most families and traditions, food is a central part of any celebration. Throughout Ireland, birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Christmas, New Year, St. Patrick’s Day, Samhain Festival, Bealtaine, and the annual Six Nation’s Rugby Tournament are all great opportunities to plan a special gathering.
While a big meal may be involved on these special days, having party foods on hand as an appetiser or as something to nibble on after the meal is a wise decision. Choosing the best foods made in Ireland and featuring Irish ingredients should always be a priority when planning and shopping.
Meats typically take centre stage on any platter or board. Some of the most popular cured meats to pair with cheeses, fruit, chutney, and pickles include honey baked ham or smoked ham, spiced beef, and New York Style pastrami. Dry salami is another popular addition to any party platter.
While meat may have the starring role, Irish cheeses are the co-stars of any party foods. Combining traditional Irish cheddar and flavourful Wicklow Blue, Gubbeen, Cooleeney Irish Camembert, and St. Tola Ash goat’s cheese adds a nice selection for guests to enjoy.
Fruits, Vegetables, and Pickles
Fruits and vegetables are a nice addition to any party platter. Dates, grapes, and berries provide a nice pop of colour and something sweet to enjoy. Adding slices of carrot, peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower provides some texture and crunch. These vegetables go great with basic salad cream or honey mustard dressing.
Pickles and chutneys are always a welcome addition to party foods on a platter. Silverskin onions, relish, beetroot, mango chutney, and a selection of your favourite olives add to the options your guests can choose.
Be sure to set out a variety of breads and crackers. This makes it easy for guests to combine different foods and enjoy their own combination of antipasti.