Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Food and beverages, 5.4 SOCIOLOGY, Social sciences, History, Folklore studies

Publication Details

Folk Life, 56:2, 93-115, DOI:



Drawing on evidence from across a range of disciplines (literature, folklore, history, sociology, etc.), this paper explores the lack of an iconic link between Ireland and food, explaining the reasons why Ireland and food are not immediately linked in the popular imagination. It argues for recognition of foodways as a significant element in Ireland’s intangible cultural heritage. It highlights and interrogates constructs, such as ‘national’ and ‘regional’ cuisines, charting the growing scholarship around Irish food history from the ground breaking work of A.T. Lucas and Louis Cullen to a recent emerging cluster of doctoral researchers. The paper identifies the potential in ideas of the Annales School for the study of Irish food history. Finally, it argues for a serious engagement with Irish language sources claiming that this Gaelic heritage can provide a competitive advantage in a new age of innovation and creativity.


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