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"Irish food and ingredients is world class / world leading / best in the word". According to who?

  • 12-05-2023 11:32pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭

    I see this repeated around Irish internet very often. "We have the best quality ingredients and food in the world bai."

    When I ask them for more details they usually just spam the words "beef. butter. beef. butter" over and over.

    Some of them panic and delete their original comment as I guess nobody has ever challenged their statement.

    It seems like some unchallenged North Korea style propaganda people repeat without thinking.

    So is our food world leading? And if so, which food exactly?



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    I agree that our butter is pretty delicious.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,268 ✭✭✭MrMusician18

    Every country in the world thinks that their produce is the best in the world. Obviously it all can't be.

    To a certain extent we've been taken in by our own marketing - Ireland isn't the greenist, most scenic country nor does it have the best produce.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,621 ✭✭✭LambshankRedemption

    We have the best oysters in the world. Thats hard to deny. It's something that can't be reproduced. Sea food in general is excellent.

    Our climate is very supportive for sheep and beef. So I would agree that Irish lamb is among the best in the world.

    Also, as a first world country with first world levels of hygiene, it is certainly a tick in our box for quality.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    Best oysters according to who? This is what I want to know. I googled best oysters in the world and there are many different countries in the results and nobody said Ireland was the best. Except for you, an Irish person of course!

    I also googled "best beef in the world" and Ireland isn't even mentioned. Again it looks like the North Korea style propaganda has been drilled into your head.

    I haven't been to every country in the world but I definitely had nicer beef outside of Ireland. South America to be specific. Couldn't get enough of it. And the only bit of flavour they used was salt. That's subjective though I agree. But I'm not afraid to say that I don't think Irish beef is best beef, all hail lord King Jong.

    It does seem we are up there with other lamb producers, we got a few mentions on google.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Ireland does produce some nice produce, sometimes cooked well, sometimes not.

    I was in Japan recently, had quite a lot of beef there, really unbeatable in quality and cooked to absolute perfection. Greenland produces the best lamb I’ve ever tasted, but I’ve had great experiences in Wales, Scotland & Iceland. I’ve had really great organic produce in Albania & Serbia.

    Ireland does produce great bacon, no doubt in the world it’s about the best. Spain has some excellent other pork products, think of Jamón Belota. If you can care to think of it, there’s the amazingly tender suckling pig. I was in the mountains of Asturias in September, amazing natural conditions where the sure footed cattle graze off local vegetation.

    The Isle of Man produces best kippers of all, available in a fish shop in Rathmines.

    One thing that’s all too ubiquitous here, burger and chips. Some years ago I spent a weekend in Cobh, and a young American guy sitting next to me commented that he didn’t seem to be able to get anything really decent or imaginative to eat in town and I had to agree with him. Burger & chips, haddock & chips seemed to be the offerings everywhere, and very mediocre in presentation.

    I think we have some good ingredients but we could make some better use of them tbh.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Ah we’re just good at giving ourselves backslaps over a few things, otherwise we have always had more of a sense of inferiority as a nation, at least I sensed that very much back in the day. Our produce is mainly fine, but like I said our way of cooking it not always so.

    I don’t get eating out very much in Ireland, can’t afford to if I’m to save for travel & other things, but I can recall specifically when I’ve had really good food, and it isn’t that very often. The Derg Inn, Terryglass, Casey’s of Baltimore, Kirwans of Galway, Cullens at the Cottage at Ashford Castle, Burgerstory of Galway for burgers & simple food; these are a few that come to mind. They showcase how to best prepare the ingredients.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    I agree with 99% of what you said.

    But! You said your bacon is about the best in the world. However there's no mention of Ireland when you google best bacon in the world.

    It's these North Korea style claims that I'm asking about. "Irish bacon is best bacon! 만세 위대한 영주 히긴스!!!!" Who said it's the best bacon in the world? You or an official bacon expert worldwide consortium?

    Our pigs are hardcore factory farmed Auschwitz style just like everybody else. What makes our mass produced bacon the best in the world?

    Post edited by Paul on

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Comparing our (sometimes aspirational) claims to North Korea is ott imo. -My Korean is a little rusty, only know how to say thank you- I like the style of our bacon, not the most commonplace method of production. I have stayed on an organic farm in Carlow/Laois where the pigs live in fields with tons of space, the farmer does his own slaughtering & butchering in very humane conditions. His products are the best example of what our produce can amount to in terms of quality and humanity of production.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Above is Serbian produce, big focus on organic farms and specifying provenance of produce.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,927 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk

    This has bothered me too. A farmer in Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Brittany, Bavaria etc. etc. will all say they have the best beef/butter/cream etc. in the world. We produce some nice stuff but so do most countries really, that's about the reality of it.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,927 ✭✭✭✭Thelonious Monk

    On the other hand, 99.9999% of our pork products are created in horrific conditions and fed imported grains from south america and beyond

    Post edited by Paul on

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,323 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

    I live in a tourist town in the nw, voted a foodie destination a few years ago, plenty of cafes and restaurants but very little variety (esp. If your veggie) no veg shop or off license outside of supermarkets.

    I know there is good quality local veg, cheese, meat and honey but it's hard to get hold of although the two butchers have there own herds and slaughter houses so I'm guessing that's good !

    I go to places in Europe and eastern Europe and there's markets everywhere selling local produce.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,400 ✭✭✭StevenToast

    Beef and butter

    "Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining." - Fletcher

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Galicia will lay claim to some of the best & most special seafood in the world, eg the Goose Barnacles harvested from the Costa da Morte, so named because harvesters have died in the ferocious storm conditions that prevail.

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭put_the_kettle_on

    I moved here from the uk about 8 months ago and I've been blown away by the quality of the fruit and veg and meat.

    The local veg shop stock is amazingly fresh and it tastes great too. Although if I shop in lidl the stuff there is really hit and miss. In fact sometimes it's clearly mouldy sat on the shelf. I've wondered why that is, where do lidl source their stuff from ?

    The local butcher slaughters his own beasts in an abattoir behind his shop. They have minimal journey time to their end and will obviously suffer less stress than the animals in the uk.

    His meat is all grass fed and you can see that in the yellow ish fat. The meat has nice marbling and good depth of flavour.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,435 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    How are our exports of beef, dairy, butter, lamb, fish, seafood - seems like that would be a good sign they are world class or at least appreciated globally.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    That bit of Korean above was "All hail great Higgins". From google translate.

    I don't think it's OTT to compare to North Korea. "Irish XYZ is best in the world, and other countries are inferior." And this propaganda has spread all over the country without anyone ever questioning it. Tis North Korean, nationalistic, cult like.

    I think I'm the first person on the island to ever question this propaganda. If I go silent here, that means the Great Leader Higgins has gotten to me.

    I do hope it's true. Imagine being able to say "We have literally the best beef in the world according to the United Nations Consortium of Beef Experts" or whatever. That's why I'm asking if there's any evidence behind the statement I see so often online.

    Visiting an artisan farm where they kill their own pigs does not make Irish bacon the best in the world. Unless some international Pork authority (not a single boards member) came to an agreement that it is in fact the best in the world. Anyway, that's also one of the common replies when I ask people about this. They have a story about how they had a delicious organic steak from a single restaurant or farm, therefore, best in the world.

    Post edited by Paul on

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    If you go to Lidl or Aldi, 95% of the veg and fruit is imported. Just check the country of origin on the pack. Even the apples are from Spain or whatever. I think maybe spuds are Irish, and carrots. Maybe your local veggie shop is selling Irish produce? Although I kind of doubt it. Maybe they just use a better supplier of foreign fruit and veg. My local butcher, which has a traditional Irish name, sells chicken from Netherlands. Still yummy though.

    What fruit exactly blew you away?

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,323 ✭✭✭✭ednwireland

    I have my own potatoes, grow a couple of heritage apples, victoria plum blackcurrant. Now that blows me away. My wild strawberry patch will give me couple of weeks of amazing fruit but so short lived.

    No local produce available in the town, barely anything Irish outside of potatoes cabbage and mushrooms and meat.

    Was in West cork several years ago was very disappointed with the quality of restaurants.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,671 ✭✭✭✭Furze99

    "Ireland does produce great bacon, no doubt in the world it’s about the best."

    Seriously, have you been near a pig farm in Ireland? Was a time when many a house kept a pig or two to feed on scraps etc. These days, it's an industrial enterprise with all the attendant issues.

    I'm all for rural Ireland and animals having a bit of space, grass and fresh air to graze. That is not the life of an Irish pig. If you saw things as they are, you'd never touch it.

    Post edited by Paul on

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    Any time I dig into this claim there's really nothing to show that we are world class / world leading in any of the food products. 

    We do decent food yes, same as a million other countries. But we've somehow been indoctrinated that we are the best. A close cousin to the phenomenon that everything "only happens in Ireland bai". For example, a photo of a cow on the road. For a well travelled bunch, we seem to be very close minded.

    Any time I've asked somebody about it, the conversation goes like this:

    Irish food produce is the best in the world

    What food exactly?

    Oh... Well not all food. We have the best beef in the word though. They eat grass.

    I can't find anything on google about our beef being the best. Who said it was the best beef?

    Oh I mean my local butcher does good beef, really delicious.

    Have you ever left the country?

    I went to the UK for a weekend and their sausages were shite. Also I was in Santa Ponsa for a week and ate at the hotel. Spain has terrible food quality.

    Some people actually double down. One person said our cheese rivals that of France.

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭put_the_kettle_on

    The apples and pears were gorgeous. To be honest though I'm not a great fruit eater ( I do try though ! ) I much prefer my veggies.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭nachouser

    Guinness, butter, soda bread, black pudding. That's about it:-)

  • Registered Users Posts: 221 ✭✭put_the_kettle_on

    @JackieChang Now cheese, I definitely have issues with here. So much so, I've decided to make my own.

    I honestly thought that grass fed cows would automatically produce superior cheese but every piece of irish cheddar, right up to vintage, has been bendy and bland compared to the uk offerings. These have been sourced from various supermarkets.

    I know there are artisan producers here but the prices were too eye watering to consider 😬

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,249 ✭✭✭✭endacl


    I was in a restaurant in Leuven some years ago and ordered a beef stew. It was amazing, and I jokingly said to the waiter that the beef was so good it must have been Irish. Turns out it was, and when they can’t get it, beef is off the menu. Too many regulars complain.

    When you know, you know.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    Bendy exactly. I prefer the drier crumbly sort of cheddar. The stuff I buy is from the UK. The Charleville and Dubliner yellow rubber that 98% of people consume here isn't great at all.

    The best cheddar I ever ate was the recession cheddar everybody got back in the 2000s. If you're old enough you'd remember the massive brick of EU poverty cheese we got for free to keep us alive. Since then i couldn't go back to Irish rubber cheese.

    Same with our bread. Sure there are some artisan breads but 98% of Ireland absolutely loves raw squishy stodgy white Brennan's. You can literally take a slice and start kneading it on the counter and bake another bit of bread from it.

    Somebody told me our wheat and wheat products are the best in the world. Yes even better than Italy or France.

    The common denominator in all of these wild claims is the person is Irish.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,494 ✭✭✭JackieChang

    Interesting. A non Irish person of authority (a chef.. that's good enough authority for me) will only cook with Irish beef. That's the sort of evidence I'm looking for. If we had a lot more of these anecdotes or maybe even did a survey (no Irish people allowed) I'd be on my way to believing our beef is the best.

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,757 ✭✭✭✭The Hill Billy

    ^^This is sensationalist BS.^^

    I have never seen any claim by an Irish producer that their product was the best in the world, and that all similar products produced outside of Ireland were sh1te.

    Other than the occasional anecdotal claim by members of the public that "Irish [insert product] is the best in the world", there's no evidence that there's a propaganda campaign to the level that you suggest.

    Any claim of product superiority by a producer or trade organisation is commonly known as "marketing".

    OP - You appear to be the sole source of sensationalist BS like the supposed misinformation that you came here to complain about.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,157 ✭✭✭Packrat

    It seems we have some of the best Steak anyway..

    In all honesty when you raved about South American beef you showed your ignorance. That Steak whilst delicious is produced using growth hormones and a muscle building drug called Clembuterol. Same stuff as Arnie and the like would have been using back in the day. Also - there's this little thing that they burn the rainforest to release soil which is then only useful for about 3 years then a wasteland.

    I could do similar to your butter or sheep meat arguments.

    We are very good at producing a few products but not everything and anyone who suggests otherwise is blinkered.

    Wine produced here is crap. Many fruits don't ripen properly although our strawberries are great.

    Our barley is excellent.

    TLDR "Some" of our food is the best in the world.

    “The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command”

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,646 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    The Irish climate is very good for growing grass. Hence our focus on beef and dairy etc.

    And with such a focus, comes the marketing.