Inexperienced oranges, liver sausage, guavas: The meals Irish folks overseas eat

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To mark the start of The Irish Times’ Food Month 2021 we requested some readers around the globe to inform us in regards to the meals they eat, how they store and the meals tradition the place they reside. Here, they present us 10 issues which can be at all times of their procuring basket


Sarah Clayton-Lea (28) from Ashbourne, Co Meath, has been primarily based between Vietnam and Thailand for the final three years. She is the founding father of Big 7 Travel and at the moment lives in Ho Chi Minh City together with her two foster canines.

Sarah Clayton-Lea’s procuring in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

1. Cam sành (Vietnamese inexperienced oranges) (1kg, €1.14/30,000 VND) The woman at my native launderette not too long ago began promoting Cam sành from her provincial hometown, so I purchase a number of every time I cease by.
2. Red dragon fruit (€0.95/25,000 VND for 1kg) The number of fruit is certainly one of my favorite issues about residing right here, and dragon fruit is at all times in my fridge.
3. Fresh coriander (€0.38/10,000 VND for 50g) 
4. Fresh chillies (€0.30/8,000 VND for 50g) Fresh herbs and chillies are a vital a part of Vietnamese delicacies, so I throw them in most dishes for additional flavour.
5. King prawns (€3.03/80,000 VND for 500g) I prepare dinner a variety of fish (my housemate is pescatarian), so I don’t normally purchase meat to prepare dinner at dwelling, until as a deal with for our canines.
6. Salmon (€8.25/218,000 VND for 865g) I like native king prawns however purchase imported Norwegian salmon as I discover it’s higher high quality. It’s greater than double the value of native Vietnamese salmon nevertheless it’s price it.
7. Eggs (€1.06/28,000 VND for six)
8. Avonmore salted butter (€4.13/ 109,000 VND for 200g) I can’t reside with out butter and am satisfied Ireland has the very best dairy merchandise on the earth.
9. Reed avocado (€1.14/30,000 VND for 1kg) I just like the Reed avocado, which is bigger and rounder than the everyday Hass avocado present in Ireland, and has a a lot creamier and smoother texture.
10. Pizza 4Ps scamorza cheese (€2.65/ 70,000 VND for 115g) This speciality cheese is made by an area model. I wish to eat it sprinkled on prime of scrambled eggs.

Sarah Clayton-Lea
Sarah Clayton-Lea

The major distinction between grocery procuring in Ireland and Vietnam is there isn’t a such factor as a “big shop” right here. I purchase objects as and after I want them, going a number of occasions per week to varied shops and avenue stalls.

You by no means know what you’ll discover if you’re out and about so I usually find yourself getting some fairly random fruits or greens. On my avenue alone, neighbours promote contemporary seafood, star fruit (from their very own tree), eggs and avocados, which they purchase early within the morning from a wholesale market after which resell. People right here are inclined to go meals procuring day by day, pulling up beside the stalls on their motorbikes to purchase what they want for every meal.

I really like Ton That Dam Market, the oldest moist market in Ho Chi Minh’s metropolis centre, for fish, fruit and veggies. Anan Restaurant, named amongst Asia’s 50 greatest eating places, is true in the midst of it and it’s the place chef Peter Cuong Franklin sources his elements. The market is on prime actual property and is a stark distinction to the fashionable Bitexco Tower that looms over it, however this conventional buying and selling received’t final eternally, as town administration has plans to demolish it.

For extra objects akin to cheese, butter and imported fish, I store at Annam Gourmet, a French-Vietnamese delicatessen chain. In basic, cheese and butter are costlier right here than in Ireland, as they’re not so generally utilized in Vietnamese cooking. The flavour of fruit like mangoes, guava, mangosteens and dragon fruit doesn’t evaluate to any I’ve tried again in Ireland. Vietnam produces a number of types of avocado too. Avocados are low-cost right here, about €1 per kg, in order a millennial I suppose I’ve no excuse for not having the ability to afford a home.

I used to both eat out or order supply for nearly each meal, however since eating places are closed for dine-in right here with lockdown, I’ve been cooking nearly daily. Street meals is so low-cost and quick right here that it by no means made a lot sense to prepare dinner at dwelling earlier than however I’ve been having fun with cooking extra with Vietnamese elements. Local eating places right here additionally add sugar (and generally MSG, or bot ngot in Vietnamese which interprets to “sweet powder”) to the whole lot, so it’s more healthy to prepare dinner at dwelling. The solely meals objects I miss are Irish pork merchandise akin to rashers, sausages and black pudding, so I’ll be consuming my physique weight in these after I go to Ireland in December.


Aoife Richardson (40) from Tramore has been residing in Australia for 12 years, the place she is operations supervisor for an organization specialising in coaching for psychological well being professionals. She lives in Byron Bay together with her daughters Grace (9) and Georgia (7).

The food shop in Australia
Aoife Richardson’s meals store in Byron Bay, Australia

1. Bread Social Sourdough (€5.18/8 AUD)from an area bakery. It’s the very best sourdough on the town and we adore it. Sourdough is de facto standard right here, so it’s straightforward to search out. I’d like to make my very own, and have tried, however I don’t have the persistence or the time for it.
2. The Bay Smokehouse Smoked Fish Rillettes (€9.70/14.99 AUD) Admittedly this isn’t a weekly purchase, it’s a deal with from the farmers’ market or a particular grocery retailer. It’s scrumptious on contemporary bread or crackers. 
3. Avocado (€3.24/5 AUD for eight) It’s avocado season in order that they’re actually low-cost. We purchased a bag from a avenue stall with an honesty field on our approach dwelling from college.
4. Mango (€1.29/1.99 AUD) I purchased this on the grocery store, however quickly they’ll be in season. Our associates have mango bushes at their place and every year a gaggle of us will decide as many as we will. What we don’t eat, we’ll freeze for later within the 12 months. 
5. Lettuce (€1.20/2 AUD) from the native farmers’ market. There’s a market on this space seven days per week. Nothing beats contemporary fruit and veggies grown domestically. I’ve simply planted lettuce, rocket and spinach in our backyard. We’ll have greens with each meal then via summer time.
6. Strawberries (€1.62/2.50 AUD) from the grocery store. These have gone up in worth because the seasons change. A couple of weeks in the past you could possibly get a punnet for $1 (€0.65). I’ve such fond recollections of Irish summers when strawberries and new potatoes had been bought at stalls on the facet of the street. 
7. Potatoes (€3.24/5 AUD per kg) These are persistently low-cost and at all times style higher from the farmers’ market, however by no means nearly as good as again dwelling. As an Irish lady I really like potatoes and am usually teased for it right here. My potato salad has turn into legendary at our associates’ barbecues. I can’t take any credit score although, my father is a superb prepare dinner and the recipe I’ve is handwritten by me observing him make it. I exploit potatoes so much. In winter I make potato and leek soup usually, once more from my father’s recipe. I’ll usually message him to ask recommendation about an ingredient or a dish I’m planning. 
8. Cheeses Loves You Queen of the Squeek (€7.77/12 AUD) An area lady runs a dairy right here and makes essentially the most wonderful cheeses, cultured butter and milk kefir. This one is halloumi, lip-smackingly salty and completely beautiful. The children adore it, and we’ll fry it and serve with a giant salad.
9. Tomatoes (€2.26/3.50 AUD) from the farmers’ market. A staple within the children’ lunch bins together with strawberries, blueberries and carrot sticks. 
10. Scrubby Gully Free Range Eggs (€5.17/7.99 AUD) I purchase free-range and natural eggs every time potential. There are a lot of roadside stalls that promote eggs, however some weeks I’ll purchase on the native Spar. We eat eggs so much; certainly one of my favorite sandwiches is egg, mayo and lettuce. We had our personal chickens, however we’ve since moved. One day I hope to have a much bigger property right here the place I’ll develop as a lot of our personal veggies and fruit as I can and have a menagerie of animals to take care of.

Aoife Richardson
Aoife Richardson

We eat a variety of fruit and greens, I’ve made certain the children eat most issues and not less than attempt the whole lot they’re given, although they hate pumpkin and love Brussels sprouts. We reside in an space that’s ample with contemporary produce. It’s straightforward to develop most issues on this local weather, sizzling however usually moist via summer time too. Byron Bay is a city that’s extraordinarily standard, much more so because the pandemic. There are so many cafes on the town and low is massively standard, with a collection of milks – cow, soy, almond, oat, macadamia, hemp and I even noticed camel milk provided as soon as!

We usually pop into the native bakery for a espresso and croissant on the weekends however don’t usually eat out. On the uncommon event I get out with associates we’ll attempt a brand new place, there’s at all times someplace new opening right here. I grew up watching my father develop his personal veggies and cooking unusual and weird issues. He was vegetarian and we ate a lot of curries, dahls, stir-frys with wonderful flavours, by no means bland. I’ve undoubtedly taken that on board and have an incredible love for cooking. I’m usually discovered within the kitchen, significantly on a Sunday afternoon, with a number of pots effervescent and the oven going.


Gavin Pollock (48), initially from Coleraine, Co Derry, has spent the final 30 years residing in England, India and South Africa. He now works in arts training in Durban, South Africa.

Gavin Pollock's shopping in Durban, South Africa
Gavin Pollock’s procuring in Durban, South Africa

1. Mustard Oil (€1.45/25 ZAR) Having lived in Kolkata, that is the flavour of West Bengal, the best way coconut is utilized in south India. Strong and pungent, it takes some getting used to however then turns into unusually addictive.
2. Onions (€0.70/12 ZAR per kg) After civil unrest and looting within the metropolis in July, weirdly onions grew to become essentially the most sought-after commodity. I vowed by no means to expire once more.
3. Can of guavas (€1.75/30 ZAR) Trish Deseine’s tropical fruit crumble recipe is a staple for entertaining right here – the canned guavas are my secret weapon.
4. Bag of bagels (€2.90/50 ZAR) Because life is simply too quick to boil a bagel – and I did attempt throughout lockdown. These are produced in Cape Town and are glorious.
5. Vegan butter (€3.60/62 ZAR) Relatively new available on the market right here and offers a greater end result over margarine.
6. Macadamia Nuts (€3/52 ZAR per 500g) Locally grown right here in KwaZulu-Natal province, and a much less extravagant choice than pine nuts.
7. Lentils (€1.15/20 ZAR per 500g) Available from any nook store in Durban and a vital retailer cabinet ingredient.
8. Avocados (€2.33/40 ZAR per kg) Some of the very best avocados develop domestically and when in season can be found at rock-bottom costs. Many assume Nigella invented avocado on toast nevertheless it’s been a staple right here for many years.
9. Curry Leaves (Free) Delightful herb, including freshness to Indian meals. It even grows within the backyard.
10. Marmite (€3.15/54 ZAR) Essential to a vegan family for including umami, it’s usually related to scare tales right here that inventory is working out. I even have an additional jar within the cabinet.

Gavin Pollock
Gavin Pollock

My accomplice, Duncan, has been vegan since we went into lockdown and since I do many of the cooking, it made sense for me to observe swimsuit. I resisted the changeover to veganism for a while. As a eager baker, I used to be involved about having to make use of difficult, costly substitutes, nevertheless it’s been surprisingly easy. My mom’s previous Women’s Institute cookbooks are a fount of information on vegan baking with out the authors even realising – frugality was necessary then and never each recipe was stuffed with eggs, butter and cream.

Tropical Durban has the biggest Indian inhabitants in South Africa and elements from the sub-continent are straightforward to return by, with regional Indian eating places widespread and nice worth for cash. We even have quite a few sushi bars with vegan choices. Eating out is such an inexpensive choice right here that we eat out quite a bit. 

Food procuring may be as numerous as you need it to be, from conventional African markets to the swankiest of delis. Anything imported is usually very costly however South Africans have turn into adept in producing their very own variations of worldwide elements. South Africa has many climates which implies we’ve a variety of alternative every season, and what doesn’t get imported is bought at very cheap costs. When in season, produce akin to native avocados or bananas are at give-away costs – it’s one purpose that jam and protect making is such a convention right here. 

With such a various mixture of nationalities you’ll be able to just about discover something that you simply want. With lockdown, the drive behind web procuring took off and it has turn into quite simple to supply beforehand difficult-to-find objects.

The one factor I nonetheless wrestle with residing within the southern hemisphere is our Christmas occasions are sizzling and it may be a bit incongruous making an attempt to whip up conventional festive treats, however I nonetheless stick with it. Over the years a bowl of champ has turn into essentially the most requested merchandise from associates right here.

I miss a correct yellow turnip/swede as you’ll be able to’t get them. Nor these beautiful little dwelling bakeries stuffed with potato bread and soda farls. I’ve a candy tooth so I additionally lengthy for tray bakes and the daffodil yellow, iced pineapple tart. On event the decision of a wee curried chip is an excessive amount of . . . making your individual isn’t the identical.


Mary Kelly (44) is an actress and playwright who has lived in Berlin since 2011. She can be a Dubs (GAA) fan.

Mary Kelly's groceries in Berlin, Germany
Mary Kelly’s groceries in Berlin, Germany

To feed your self repeatedly in Berlin, it is advisable to know that each one supermarkets shut on Sundays, and to carry money when consuming out as a result of most eating places and cafes don’t take playing cards. Remembering helps, I’m right here 10 years, so that you’d assume I might.

I reside in Kreuzberg with my accomplice. He does the principle grocery store each week and I decide up a number of different issues alongside my approach. 

1. Leberwurst (liver sausage) (€1.50) Leberwurst (which I eat on bread) seems like white pudding however is extra like a softer, salty pate. Real Berliners say my leberwurst behavior and my time spent listed here are what carry me closest to receiving the Berliner title.
2. Ayran (0.25 per pot) This is a salty, bitter yogurt drink that sounds terrible however is extremely refreshing. I purchase it in Turkish retailers. We undergo about 5 per week.
3. Haribo (0.89 per bag in Lidl) Haribo is a German firm, and I grazed on them lengthy earlier than I received right here, however the benefit of inhaling Haribo in its homeland is there’s extra of it to select from. I don’t bear in mind any these pico-balla sweets again in Ireland.
4. Chestnuts (Esskastanien) (0.80 per 100g) Chestnuts begin exhibiting up in supermarkets in October every year and may also be bought sizzling on the Christmas markets. I roast them within the oven and so they’re simply as smooth and engaging because the Christmas market ones, which value about ¤4 for 100g. They make the condominium odor Christmassy too.

Mary Kelly
Mary Kelly

5. Yfood yoghurt drink (3.95) During the summer time I used to be rehearsing by day and educating at night time, after which acting at night time and educating by day, and repeatedly tearing the heads off these round me when my blood sugar plummeted. Yfood obtained funding from the German model of The Apprentice, and claims their Yop-like drinks are a meal. They’re 500 energy so not a meal by my requirements, but in addition not a Yop. they assist thoughts my manners after I’m too busy to eat a meal.
6. Chilli and lemon feta cheese unfold (1) The Turkish group right here is the biggest outdoors Turkey. Some of my German associates who solely eat typical German meals consult with meals containing garlic as “scharf” (sharp/sizzling/spicy) so to search out one thing that’s truly sizzling or spicy, I’m going to the Turkish market or to one of many many Turkish supermarkets shut by. This cheese unfold finally ends up on my bread most weeks. 
7. Quark (0.59 per carton) This is a contemporary acid-set cheese. Germans adore it and so do I. It tastes like a less-sour pure yogurt and is beautiful with muesli and fruit or with soup in winter. It’s apparently good in your intestine however I’ve additionally witnessed Berliners unfold it on mosquito bites and sunburn to cut back irritation. We get two cartons per week.
8, 9. Gluten-free granola and bread (9.30) I’m gluten illiberal and Berlin didn’t care till this 12 months when Aera, a gluten-free bakery, opened up in two areas. Every week I decide up a freshly baked, gluten-free spelt loaf and a packet of granola. They value 9.30 in complete however I’d pay 90. 
10. Susucaru (2019) pure wine (15 for 750ml) Markthalle Neun, a historic Kreuzberg indoor market, constructed on the finish of the nineteenth century is dwelling to wine store and bar, Drunk by Nature. They promote scrumptious pure wines but to provide me a hangover.

Eating out and consuming in is so much cheaper in Berlin than Dublin, and but there are days I’d not solely ditch its bizarre dairy merchandise however Berlin itself for a single vinegar-soaked bag of correct chipper chips, ideally from the Roma takeaway in Rathfarnham. Remembering helps.


Stephen Cass (47) has lived within the US since 1998. He is a science and expertise journalist, co-author of the Hollyweird Science books, and occasional science fiction editor. He lives in Queens along with his spouse and their cat.

Stephen Cass's food shopping in New York
Stephen Cass’s meals procuring in New York

1. Purina Pro Plan dry cat meals (€11.19/$13) We feed our personal kitten plus a number of cats from a feline colony behind our block. We know a number of different neighbours additionally feed them, so we attempt to stability their vitamin as greatest we will.
2. Barilla Protein+ Angel Hair spaghetti (€3.01/$3.50) My spouse, Annie, likes pasta so much, so we at all times have some readily available.
3. Quest protein bar (€3.01/$3.50) We’re on a food plan plan, which implies a lot of high-protein meals and lean meats, akin to a protein bar or turkey slices.
4. Hillshire Farm turkey slices (€3/61/$4.19) The turkey is for us and our adopted kitten, Nugget.
5. Fresh, toasted and buttered bagel (€1.08-¤2.58/$1.25-$3) I’ve this for breakfast daily, from an area cafe.
6, 7, 8, 9. Freshly microwavable meals (about €8.61/$10 per meal) These are a part of a subscription service that delivers wholesome meals to your door.
10. Barry’s decaffeinated tea (about €7.75/$9 a field) Fortunately, lately Barry’s has turn into a typical sight in metropolis supermarkets, saving me from particular on-line ordering.

Stephen Cass
Stephen Cass

“What weekly grocery shopping trip?” I assumed, as I learn the invitation to contribute to this text. Like many New Yorkers, our kitchen is considerably underused – it’s a working joke right here that many condominium ovens are used for useful additional storage as an alternative of baking. Why prepare dinner in a metropolis the place you will get each kind of delicacies delivered to your door, or not often must stroll greater than 5 or 10 minutes to discover a restaurant, cafe and even only a 24-hour bodega deli counter?

That’s definitely the case at breakfast time, the place my day begins with a bagel and low, almost at all times from the Cypress Cafe across the nook from our condominium. During the darkest days of the pandemic lockdown, when refrigerated vehicles needed to be parked outdoors close by Wyckoff hospital to behave as non permanent morgues, strolling to get my bagel was a uncommon and welcome style of regular life – albeit one served by way of one of many cafe’s home windows.

When we do eat at dwelling, meals are typically fast and simple to prepare dinner. Microwaveable meals are, in fact, the final word in comfort, however we needed one thing more healthy than common frozen tv dinners. So we joined the Freshly subscription service, which prepares contemporary microwavable meals and delivers them to our door as soon as per week. We normally select lower-calorie meals, because the sedentary lifetime of the pandemic meant placing on additional kilos, which we’re taking off with the assistance of a coach and a food plan programme. This entails a lot of protein bars and turkey slices.

The turkey can be a favorite deal with of our kitten, Nugget, whom we adopted from the feline colony that lives within the backyards of our block. We grew to become conscious of the colony after we began spending much more time at dwelling through the pandemic. Soon we seen the furry shapes strolling alongside fences and flitting behind the fig bushes out again. At first we simply put out some water, however now we feed from three to eight cats, twice a day. Even extra necessary than the meals, as soon as the cats had been used to us, we had been capable of TNR (lure, neuter and launch) most of them, which is the method beneficial for managing cat colonies humanely.

I drink Irish tea, made utilizing an artefact not often seen in US kitchens – an electrical kettle. This is partially for the sentiment, however largely as a result of many US tea manufacturers appear to be composed primarily of ground sweepings, an issue compounded by most eating places brewing tea with merely sizzling, reasonably than boiling, water. The worth is excessive in comparison with Ireland, however excessive meals costs are an indicator of New York life – after we go to different states and get a restaurant or grocery invoice, we have a tendency to search out ourselves robotically checking for the factor or issues that will need to have been left off to give you such a low complete!


Sarah Williams (41), from Cork, is a PR guide who lives in Dublin together with her husband, Mark, and their two youngsters, Amelie (two) and Cian (5 months).

Sarah Williams' shopping basket in Dublin
Sarah Williams’s procuring basket in Dublin

1. Bunalun natural crushed tomato passata (€2.15 for 680g) We use this about 4 days per week, for home-made pizza, pasta sauces or one-pot dinners akin to chilli con carne, meatballs or bolognese. I really like the vary from this model and that this passata has no added sugar and it’s GMO- free.
2. Organic seeded sourdough (€3.50) There’s nothing tastier than this bread, contemporary or toasted, with butter or with avocado and eggs at weekends. We began shopping for sourdough weekly in an area bakery throughout lockdown after which found this one in Dunnes. We now purchase it as a part of our weekly store, however get a second loaf from the bakery through the week.
3. Flahavan’s natural porridge oats (€2.79 for 1kg) A morning staple for everybody on this home for a wholesome begin to the day. But we additionally use it for making brown bread, porridge bread, Bircher muesli, pancakes and flapjacks. Oats are actually good for breastfeeding mums too.
4. Greek yoghurt (€1.69 for 450g) We all love this at any time of the day or night time, by itself or with berries and Quinoa Crunch sprinkled on prime as a snack. It’s an incredible supply of protein and probiotics.
5. Italian olive combine (€2.99 for 150g) I really like snacking on these or having them with wine, particularly pre-dinner, at weekends.
6. Skin-on salmon darnes (€9.99 for 5, 600g) We are spoiled with contemporary fish on this island and I attempt to eat fish not less than twice per week. Myself and my daughter are the one salmon-eaters in the home however we eat sufficient for the entire household. I additionally love smoked salmon on brown bread – this was a staple for the previous couple of months for the Omega 3 whereas I used to be breastfeeding.
7. Irish Angus beef steak mince (€4 for 550g) A go-to merchandise in our weekly store or generally from the native butcher. This is crucial for a number of meals each week for us and nice for batch cooking.
8. Golden Irish corn-fed, free-range eggs (€2.59 for six) We actually ought to have chickens with the quantity of eggs we devour. Hard-boiled eggs in salads, scrambled eggs or boiled eggs for the toddler, poached eggs or omelettes for the adults and baking with eggs.
9. Clarke’s Farm strawberries (€5 for 600g) We at all times have a collection of berries within the fridge, and freezer too. We use them on porridge, in smoothies, in pancakes, in desserts or on their very own as snacks.
10. Laurent Miquel Bardou Saint Chinian Grande Cuvée (€20 for 750ml) A well-earned deal with on a Friday or Saturday night time after per week with two younger youngsters. Usually loved with a pleasant steak. I take pleasure in many of the wines from Laurent Miquel’s winery and I like that his spouse, Neasa, is Irish too.

Sarah Williams
Sarah Williams

As a household of 4, with a 2½ 12 months previous and a five-month previous, our consuming habits have modified so much over the previous couple of years. We now are inclined to do a weekly store on-line at Dunnes after which restock issues like contemporary bread, fruit and fish through the week from the native bakery, fruit and veg store and fishmongers.

During the varied lockdowns final 12 months the weekly meals store grew to become a spotlight of every week, and good foods and drinks at dwelling actually grew to become a easy pleasure. We use the barbecue at dwelling 12 months of the 12 months and attempt to prepare dinner from scratch and batch-cook when the time permits. But Baxter and Greene dinners, Drop Chef and meals from household and associates have additionally come to the rescue in current months, after our second child was born.

Pre-children, we used to dine out so much however now if we get out for dinner as soon as a month as a pair we’re delighted. We normally take pleasure in a takeaway as soon as per week and actually loved the wonderful “dine at home” choices from eating places through the lockdowns, particularly from Locks on the canal, 777 on George’s Street, Ananda in Dundrum and Circa in Terenure. Going for brunch with the kids or takeaway coffees and pastries in an area park or espresso store is our new “going out”.

I consider that consuming effectively and actually having fun with meals is the cornerstone of a wholesome and completely satisfied life.

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