Document Type



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


5.4 SOCIOLOGY, Anthropology, Social issues, Family studies

Publication Details

Folk Life Journal of Ethnological Studies Volume 59, 2021 - Issue 2: Special Issue on Irish Food Ways; Guest Editor: Máirtín Mac Con Iomaire


A study by the Irish Food Board, Bord Bia, in 2008 outlined some lost and forgotten food traditions in Ireland based on the evidence from a pre-selected expert group. This paper explores the inclusion of traditional Irish foods within seventy-nine Irish cookbooks, published between 1980 to 2015. Extant academic and grey literature on food traditions and cookbooks, together with the content of the cookbooks, identified a gradual decline in the presence of certain traditional Irish foods, to the point where they could be deemed lost or forgotten. The study, however, also finds a re-emergence in the most recent period. A notable omission in both the corpus of cookbooks, highlighting their aspirational function, and the Bord Bia report, was bacon and cabbage, a traditional dish closely associated with Ireland. This paper outlines the importance of documenting food traditions in order to pass on this knowledge to future generations.