My love affair with Irish food can be encapsulated in two words: the chipper. The chipper, or the chippie or the chips shop (or any other such nickname) is short for the local fish and chips place. This is common to the UK, as well, though I'm not sure where else in the world (New England, maybe?) the chipper exists.
Chips here are what we yanks might commonly refer to as "french fries," but this in itself is misleading, as chips here are thick and hearty and taste great sprinkled with vinegar. I'm serious. Vinegar.
Now here's when you may say to yourself "Chips I can get behind, but I hate fish." To which I reply, "Good on you!" for I, too, hate fish. But the chipper is so much more than fish. There's goujons (chicken strips), chicken baskets (like what you'd get at KFC in a "family bucket"), battered sausage, burgers, pizza, kebobs, chips with curry, chips with garlic mayo, chips with cheese and garlic mayo... the magical equations of fried goodness are endless.
Due to my own personal weight restrictions, we don't patronize the chipper too much. We've got a great one here in our village (several, actually), but I love being out in Dublin or visiting other towns throughout Ireland and just popping in to whatever chipper we come across. The Irish are connoisseurs of "the spud" (potato) and I heartily believe the chip to be their best delicacy.
Tomorrow I'll share more about my foodie preferences in Ireland. This will not include black pudding, of which Ella once exclaimed to me was "chocolate pudding made from pig's blood!"
This may or may not be true. I refuse to test that theory.