There’s no doubt that Ireland was once pretty readily associated with potatoes.
In fact, plenty of our parents would have sat down to meat-and-two-veg (aka meat-and-spuds-two-ways) meals most days of the week.
These days we reckon – phew! – our own taste buds come along somewhat. Still, there’s no denying (nor is there any shame in) our nation’s great love for one particular category of potato: namely, the humble chip.
Skinny or chunky; crispy or supple; heavily salted or just plain – chips are king.
Our personal favourite is a fresh bag from the chipper, eaten on the walk home.
Your mouth is sensitive from the first few hot slivers of potato; warm vinegar trickles down your arm while your fingers accumulate ever more delicious residue. Perfection.
But it’s come to our attention that other nationalities don’t seem to have quite the same affection for the food.
Indeed, in Ireland chips accompany meals they never ordinarily would anywhere else.
Here, SHEmazing! rounds up the five best – and most bizarre – feasts you’ll find with a side a fries…
Already a deliciously carb-heavy concoction of pasta, meat and creamy sauce – it regularly comes accompanied by chips.
Admittedly, alternatives for health-conscious types includes rice or, if you’re really sticking to the diet, a salad – but those are, thankfully, but rare choices for the average Irishman and woman.
Sure, from the outset it seems strange – but there is something so deliciously right about chips with your curry.
The rice side is still requisite (half-and-half for the win)… but so is all that crispy potato goodness to soak up some of the spicy sauce.
Technically speaking, they probably don’t feature too often in traditional Chinese cuisine, but no Chinese take-away would dare set up shop on these shores without offering a chips stable.
And, of course, the three-in-one concoction of fried rice, curry sauce and chips is practically a national dish at this stage.
4) Garlic bread:
Scrumptious garlic goodness on heavily-buttered toast – all straight from the oven. So simple; so good.
It’s hardly like you need a carb side with your carb-heavy snack, but garlic bread is somehow rarely complete without chips. All of the stodge? Yes please.
In Ireland, pizza comes two ways: fancy-pants, gourmet style – and the version we all grew up on: heavy dough topped with lashings upon lashings of cheese. Pepperoni optional. And it is the latter category which needs a side of fries to make it complete.
At the core of countless children’s birthday parties during our youth, our taste-buds evidently still have a weakness for this glorious pairing today.