Heart Attack on a Plate

11 03 2013

Ulster Fry

I think I am missing home this week because I seem to be craving all my favourite comfort foods from good ole NORN IRON.

The title of todays post is an affectionate reference to the unbeatable Ulster Fry.

Until recently this was a meal that was denied to me when since my move to England 15 years ago. The fry-up is a well known breakfast meal loved throughot the UK but there are regional variations and of course none will ever compare to those prepared by my Dad.

This breakfast meal always features beef or pork sausages, rashers of bacon and eggs and a range of side dishes that differ in each region. Some of the side dishes I loved when I was growing up included vegetable roll, fried tomato, mushrooms, and fried onions. But my absolute favourite part of this meal was the fried bread that came with it: pancakes, soda farl and of course my favourite potato bread. It is also compulsory to have a strong cup of milky tea with an Ulster Fry and popular choices include: Nambarrie, Lyon’s and Barry’s.

When I first moved to England; potato and soda bread were not available anywhere.  It was a product I would usually buy in the airport and bring over in my hand luggage on my return trips to England. My husband used to look forward to our traditional breakfast when I got back and was feeling homesick each time I left my parents. But as security measures in airports and restrictions surrounding food and drink became increasingly restrictive this option was removed and I was no longer able to indulge in my favourite breakfast at home in England.

Imagine my delight the first time I happened upon potato bread in an English supermarket – it was akin to discovering the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

In some ways I suppose it is qute sad – I always look forward to one of my Dad’s Ulster frys when I visit my folks in NORN IRON but  its not quite the same somehow if the ingredients that I used to crave and look forward to are readily available here in England as well. As high streets across the globe are losing their individuality and we can now walk into the same stores and buy the same products almost anywhere; it nice when there is something that is unique to our own little corners of the world. Saying that – potato bread is one of the best things ever! It would be selfish to deny the rest of the world this NORN IRON treat to accompany their fried breakfast but not too often!

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12 03 2013

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