We tend to think of Irish food as a lot of great stews and hearty dishes. Maybe you’re planning an Irish theme for your summer wedding and worried about finding menu options that are both Irish and good for a warmer day. Fear not. Although we’re famous for rain, we do get just enough sunshine here to have some traditional foods that hit the spot when the temperature hits a high. Here are a few ideas for Irish dishes to enjoy on a warm day, whether it is for your wedding reception or another occasion.
- Salmon: This particular fish is very popular in both Irish kitchens and mythology. It represents wisdom, and you will feel very wise when you see how popular it is with your guests. Salmon on brown soda bread is a delicious Irish appetizer. It’s also yummy in puff pastry. As a main dish, this fish is a classic you can prepare many ways. For a clearly Irish twist, prepare it with a marinade of whiskey, honey, lemon, thyme and vinegar. If casual and quirky is more your style, what about serving it fish and chips style, battered and deep fried?
- Turnip: Root vegetables are an Irish staple, but most of them are not in season over the summer. Turnip, however, appears in July, making it seasonal for late summer weddings. Of course it pairs well with potato. A turnip and potato gratin is a really a culinary marriage made in heaven, so it’s perfect for your wedding menu. Roasted turnip and baby potato is another delicious combination of these two Irish classics. Creamy turnip soup is a nice appetizer. Turnips are one of those old classic Irish ingredients that chefs are rediscovering today.
- Strawberries: They aren’t exclusively Irish, but if you’ve driven around Ireland in the summer, you’ve seen the countless roadside stands selling Wexford strawberries. While the season might be short, the list of ways you can enjoy strawberries at your wedding reception is almost endless. Strawberry shortcake. Pavlova with strawberries. Strawberry tarts. Strawberries with ice cream. Chocolate covered strawberries. Once those Wexford strawberry stands open, the Irish nation is hard at work trying every possible way to include strawberries in desserts.
- Potato: You didn’t think we’d leave out the humble spud, did you? Steamed or boiled, mashed or roasted, it’s an essential side dish. But don’t overlook its potential as an appetizer. Potato cakes or potato farls served as an appetizer make a statement that you are embracing an Irish theme for your wedding.
The ultimate Irish food for your wedding is a traditional Irish wedding cake. It might look the same as wedding cakes you see in North America, but the inside is dramatically different. Rich, dark and fruity, it is much heavier. An Irish wedding cake is a distinctive flavor to include in your big day. You can have a whole traditional Irish wedding cake or just have one layer of your cake. You can build your Irish wedding theme in so many ways, but food is one that people will really notice and remember.