Monday, August 31, 2009

Looking for Jobs is Making Me Sick

I'm browsing through the job list and they totally uninspire me. It makes me want to cry. When I quit my job a year ago it was a blessing in disguise. I took this opportunity to travel abroad for a bit, test the strength of my relationship with Hop Along(my constant obsession with work was driving us apart). When I returned home, I decided to go back to school.

Now I'm here again looking for a part time job and sending in my resume and cover letters to various admin jobs. The thought of being chained to a desk is killing me. I really hate office work. My last office job was the last straw that almost broke me and I knew I had to change careers lest I will be an unhappy miserable sod like the rest of my coworkers. Working 12 hour days, being chained to my cubicle, office politics, abiding by inane rules, office calling home when sick or on vacation asking stupid questions, clients demanding impossible shit, surrounded by jaded people who always complain about work and are generally unhappy with their lives, people who don't know what they are doing and pretending they do, the paper pushing, the backstabbing, the stress over trivial shit like paperclips should be on the left side not the right side, didn't you get the memo? I have PTSD from it, I think.

I want to help people instead of help the bottom line or sell a product. I wouldn't mind 12 hour days or the politics, if I knew I was making a difference in someone's life. But I don't have enough education or training yet! :(

What's worse people are making me feel guilty for quitting my "stable" well paying job with amazing benefits to go back to school. Despite all this, it was a job that made me very depressed allowing my precious life to trickle away in puny little office, cry every morning before going to work and every afternoon in the bathroom, gave me back problems and high blood pressure, stress, panic attacks, and faint on subway platforms from exhaustion. They think with my ripe old age of 37 going back to school is futile. Does happiness not matter at all? Am I supposed to be doing something I hate with all my heart for the rest of my life?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Going to Spain

It's hot. I've got a shitload of fresh vegetables from the Farmer's Market and my garden. What to do? Make Spanish tapas of course...

For dinner, I will be having:

Gazpacho, a refreshing cold summer vegetable soup:

Photo from the

Escalibada, an assortment of roasted grilled veggies doused with garlic infused olive oil:

Gambas al Ajillo, a sizzling platter of garlic jumbo prawns:

Photo from recipezaar

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Earthquake Weather

It is freakin' hot today! It's around 97 degrees! Either Indian summer has started early or we are going to have an earthquake. Today was way too hot to spend all day outdoors so we didn't spend much time in the Farmer's Market. We got whatever we needed and booked it out of there. My dog, Maggie was in the back of the Landcruiser, we were worried about her also. Luckily, I packed some ice so it wouldn't be too hot for her.

«Another typical but roasting day at the Farmer's Market...»

It was so hot people were walking around wit parasols

Headless people playing chess!

New goodies in season from the Farmer's Market...

Bounty of peppers: red and green bell peppers, jalapenos, banana peppers! All this for only a dollar!

Succulent and sweet strawberries! $3 dollars for a huge basket!

Friday, August 28, 2009

California's Microclimates

I go into the city this morning dressed in 7 layers and a long leather jacket because it was freezing.

As I leave hours later to return home, I sweat like a racing snake!

Highlight for today...

Professor: So I suppose you heard the news about Ted Kennedy. Any questions or comments?

Student: Yeah, I heard he was a drunk.

Gotta love the intellectualism of today's youth.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Know This Health Care Reform Issue Has Been Talked to Death...

I can't help but feel ashamed of my own country and the attitudes of people opposed to the reform. Where is the compassion for our fellow human beings? It makes me disappointed and lose faith in this country. Everyone in the first world is disgusted by the U.S.'s attitude towards the less fortunate. I'm sure they think of us as cold hearted selfish evil jerks. It's embarrassing when I talk to my friends from Europe and Canada, they ask me why Americans have this attitude and all I can say is if it doesn't personally affect them (IE not being able to afford insurance for whatever reason) they don't care, #2 it's all about money.

It's always about money here. Profit before people. Sad.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fatso Manifesto: Eating With the Seasons

Today was a gorgeous day. The weather was just right, not too hot and not too cold. I went with my mom to the Farmer's Market. I can never get bored of the Farmer's Market. Every time I go, I encounter new and exciting fruits and veggies that peak my curiosity. I'm also starting to learn which fruits and veggies are in season. And believe me when I tell you this, you save a shitload of money when you shop for produce in season.Not only do you save money but you are buying produce at their peak, when they are at their highest in nutrients. August is the best month because there is so much variety to choose from! These days I hardly ever spend my money, and if I'm gonna spend it, I'd rather spend it on good food that's good for me! I spent a whopping $12 at farmer's market (plus $10 at the Asian supermarket)! Unbelievable price for the amount of stuff I got!

«Check out what's in season (and some not in season)...»

Fruits and Veggies in Season at the Farmer's Market:

Six ears of fresh, sweet corn for $3!They are cheap! Corn is at its peak in August so get them while you can! Are you jealous, Hop Along? I know you love fresh corn on the cob! :P

Organic Japanese Eggplant (or aubergine for you UKers) $2 per lb.

Zucchini (or as they say in UK "courgettes") $2 per lb.

Gorgeous red and green bell peppers. I got two for $1.50

Mini Yellow Heirloom Tomatoes for only $.75 per lb. These are so cute and they taste good too!

Such a work of art! I can stare at these all day! It's late rasberry season! I got a mix of three different berries for $3.00! Blackberries, Golden Yellow rasberries, and red rasberries

These beautiful babies are in season! You can tell they are at their peak because I bit into one and I swear it was so juicy I had to wear a bikini to eat it. It's really sweet too. White peaches and nectarines are going for $1.50 per lb!

Sold at the Farmer's Market but not in season:

Cauliflower is a winter vegetable. $2.00 a head

Broccoli, another winter veggie

Organic Parsley and Cilantro(UK translation: coriander), these Fall/Winter/Spring herbs

More stuff at the Asian supermarket:

Lime is only 10 cents here!

Spring onions are only 54 cents a bundle

Red leaf lettuce is only 54 cents a head

I crave for noodles lately. Buckwheat soba and Sweet Potato cellophane are my favorite. I like to have my noodles with sauteed veggies or the soba noodles in broth.

And for a little treat now and then, Mochi ice cream! If you never had Mochi ice cream, I suggest you try it, it is so good! Mochi ice cream is a Japanese confection made from mochi (pulverized sticky rice) with an ice cream filling in different kinds of flavors: strawberry, mango, chocolate, green tea, etc.

And on top of all the produce we bought at the farmer's market and the asian supermarket, our garden is going crazy. We are currently harvesting...

Can you guess it's tomato season? The pic doesn't do it justice. These tomatoes are as big as a newborn baby's head. They are the big bertha variety and that's not even half of it. There are roma tomatoes and cherry tomatoes still ripening on the vine. More to come!

We also have fuji apples and miniature pears!

Whew! I'm beat. Now THIS is a grocery haul! I'll be eating good this week! :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Soupy Norman: A Completely Mental Show on Irish TV

I was working with a guy today. We were talking about funny stuff on YouTube and he asked if I'd ever heard of Soupy Norman. I'd never heard of it before. He immediately burst out laughing and tried to explain to me what Soupy Norman was about while also describing some scenes of the show.

Soupy Norman is a program that was shown on RTE2 in the Irish Republic around 3 years ago. The good people at RTE took a Polish Soap Opera and over dubbed it with Southern Irish accents and a totally different and irrelevant story line that has absolutely nothing to do with what’ s going on in the soap. But it's a story that works with what’s happening on screen. The results are nothing short of hilarious.

The made up story is one of a country girl from Cork going to the big bad city of Dublin for college.

The rest you can watch for yourself…

Obama's Health Care Reform a Nazi Policy?

Listen to Barney Frank's response to a right-winger's lunatic analogy.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm at a loss for words...

This is for real people! You can go on amazon and order one "happy" or "determined" pose for $18.99.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Live on Skype

Hop Along and Seester are singing a duet of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" over the geetar! :-)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Universal Healthcare for Dummies

Obama and his health care bill. I think it's a good idea.

I think we should've implemented universal care a long time ago! I am very embarrassed that we are the last wealthy nation who doesn't have a universal healthcare system in place and a large majority of Americans would rather have their tax dollars fund a war or handed to crooks like AIG to squander than provide accessible health care to all its citizens. These are the same people who see everything wrong with Obama's health care reform but never present solutions, just endlessly blowing wind from their arse. And what's even more pathetic is they've NEVER read his policy! It's not like Obama's policy is locked up in a secret vault, you can read it online, you know. Instead, they'd rather get their info from FOX (Faux)news.

Maybe this graphic explanation will help these selfish, greedy dimwits see the light.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fatso Manifesto: Trader Joe's Haul #2

Yesterday was another grocery haul at Trader Joe's. I wanted to stock up on items so my trips would be less frequent during the month(the nearest TJ's is 30 minutes from my house, not exactly around the corner) which is why I bought more than I had intended. I ended up walking out with 3 full bags of groceries for $80! I was over my $50 per week limit, but still, $80 for 3 bags sounds like a good deal to me. I got my usual staple items and some new items I wanted to try.

«Check out the goodies...»

Grains and Nuts

Ak-mak crackers, corn tortillas, sprouted grain bread, and raw almonds

Sprouted grain bread I haven't tried before. I saw it on the shelf and decided to pick a loaf up and give it a go since I am trying to limit my gluten, carb, and sugar intake. I've also been reading about sprouted grains and how they are more nutritious than regular wheat bread:

[Sprouted grain bread] is a flourless bread made with grains and legumes that are sprouted before grinding into flour. Sprouted grains have increased vitamin and nutrient content because the seed is first sprouted, making it alive and active in its growth process.

Some of these sprouted grain breads take on a very sweet taste because sprouting changes some starches in grains to sugars. In addition, the bread is moist and is made without yeast. The bread can also be made with no or low salt, and it is sometimes flavored with raisin and cinnamon to make the bread almost dessert-like.

Sprouted grain breads are very healthy. For the most part, sprouted grain breads use organic ingredients and are grown without pesticides and herbicides. They have a low glycemic index of about 45 and are low in saturated fat. - Associated Content

Boxed Items

Almond milk, Corn and Red Pepper Soup, Organic Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Can I just say the organic tomato and red pepper soup is da bomb? I can never get enough of this soup which is why I was very happy that they have a low sodium version.

The Corn and Red Pepper Soup I have never tried before until today. It is REALLY good! It has the sweetness of corn and a slight kick of spice.

Almond milk I have never had before. I've been reading weight loss forums and people have been raving about Almond milk so I decided to give it a try. I'm also bored of soy milk and I've been reading mixed messages about soy milk (ie how it causes cancer because of the phytoestrogens). Not sure if this claim is scientifically proven but it's freaking me out. Anyways, I can't wait to have almond milk with my cereals and oatmeal, I'm sure the nutty flavor will enhance the yumminess!

Dairy and Other Fridge Items

Nonfat greek yogurts, mediterranean hummus, and tzatziki

I liked the nonfat greek yogurt so much, I bought a tub of the plain kind. I love thick and creamy yogurts.

Of course another tub of mediterranean hummus, the best hummus on the planet (next to Mark's and Sparks).

I was so happy when I saw tzatziki on the shelves, last time it was all sold out which sucked. Now I can make falafel burgers and top them off with the tzatziki! Yay!

Canned Goods

I plan to make turkey chili with the organic black beans and the diced tomatoes. Perfect accompaniment with the corn tortillas I bought as a substitute for corn bread.

Light coconut milk for my curry fixes. It's not as creamy and thick as regular coconut milk but whatever it's much less in calories and fat.

The peach salsa and spinach sauce I haven't tried before. On the youtube grocery hauls (I confess I'm addicted) they rave so much about it, I just had to get it. Not sure what I'm going to make with these, but I'm sure I'll think of something.


Grilled Balsamic and Rosemary Chicken, Sundried Tomato and Basil Chicken Sausage

TJ meats are hormone and antibiotic free. I've never tried these before but they sound good. The Grilled Balsamic Rosemary Chicken would be perfect for salads. Chicken sausages sauteed with bell peppers and onions served over quinoa pasta. Does this sound like a weight loss diet to you?

Freezer Items

Steelcut oatmeal, meatless meatballs, soycutash, frozen chopped cilantro and basil, garlic naan

The garlic naan handsdown is the closest you can get to Indian naan served in restaurants. I like to make pizza out of it or make philly cheese steak sandwiches(instead of steak I use grilled chicken).

Frozen steelcut oatmeal is a great invention. They come in packs of two cups. You just pop it in the microwave and eat. So convenient! If you have ever cooked steelcut oats over the stove top, you already know it takes forever to cook. This will be a great grab and go breakfast for me since I will be going back to school next week.

Meatless meatballs I've never had before. 100% vegan and all natural. I figure it would be great for pasta dinners.

I was floored to see the dorot frozen herbs. These are awesome! I always by a bundle of fresh herbs, snip some off for one dish, then the rest spoils by the end of the week.

Soycutash, I've never had but looked interesting. It's a mix of soy beans(genetically unmodified I hope), carrots, and greenbeans.


I ran out of my staple greens so I dropped by Costco to pick up mixed green salad and some mini cucumbers. I like to snack on mini cucumbers and dip them with hummus. For produce, I usually go to Costco because it is cheaper to buy in bulk (and yes, I do finish it off by the end of the week.), the Asian supermarket and, of course, local farmers markets, also sell very cheap and quality produce.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Anthony Bourdain in San Francisco

Bourdain finally makes his way to San Francisco after 6 seasons. This episode really fell short for me, maybe because I had really high expectations and I was hoping he would unveil gastronomic secrets even I, as a native, don't know about. He was smug and holier than thou as usual, spouting off predictable San Franciscan jokes and trafficking cheap stereotypes ("SF is a town full of hippies, vegans, and PCism, I'll show them. I'm going to get a slab of meat"), this episode was banal and uninteresting. A big yawn fest. At least he didn't visit the usual tourist spots but he managed to make San Francisco look like a shithole which is this episode's biggest accomplishment.

«Oh well, see for yourself...»

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hop Along Family Photos

My ma showed me old family photos last weekend. I learned that my great grandparents emigrated to Belfast in the early 1900's from Scotland. My great grandfather was a firefighter and my great grandmother worked in a mill. They lived in a house just at the end of my street! My family has practically lived on the Shankill all our lives! Crazy, isn't it?

«Introducing the Hop Along tribe...»
My great grandfather in his army uniform. He is standing on the front stoop of the house just down the street which still stands today

My granda as a little boy

Granny in her preteen years

Granda(standing, middle) worked as a fitter in a mill factory

Granny in her 20's

Granny in her 30's

My uncle and ma

Ma in early teens with uncles

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Pillow Fight in Belfast

There was a pillow fight at Custom House Square yesterday. I'm surprised Chavs didn't join in the festivities. Knowing them they would have filled their cases with billiard balls...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Northern Irish Cuisine

I compiled a (very long) list of popular Northern Irish food and drink. I never got a chance to try much of the indigenous food when I was there because I didn't know what to look for! Like brown lemonade and dulse? Oh well, now I know better! I can always make another trip. :)

«Curious about Northern Irish Cuisine? Read more...»


Photo courtesy of Andrew Huff on Flickr

Boxty (bacstaí or arán boct tí in Irish) is a traditional Irish potato pancake. The dish is mostly associated with the north midlands, north Connacht and southern Ulster, in particular the counties of Mayo, Sligo, Donegal (where it is know locally as Poundy or Poundies), Fermanagh, Leitrim and Cavan. There are many different recipes but all contain finely grated, raw potatoes and all are served fried. The most popular version of the dish consists of finely grated, raw potato and mashed potato with flour, baking soda, buttermilk and sometimes egg. [1] The grated potato may be strained to remove most of the starch and water but this is not necessary. The mixture is fried on a griddle pan for a few minutes on each side, similar to a normal pancake. Traditional alternatives include using only raw potatoes, boiling it as a dumpling or baking it as a loaf. The most noticeable difference between boxty and other fried potato dishes is its smooth, fine grained consistency.

Boxty was seen as so much a part of the local culture in the areas in which it was made, that the following poem was written-

Boxty on the griddle,

Boxty in the pan,

If you can't make boxty,

You'll never get a man.

As the interest in Irish cuisine has increased, so the popularity of boxty has risen. It is not unusual to see boxty on the menus of restaurants outside the areas with which it is traditionally associated. Boxty may be bought in shops and supermarkets either in the dumpling form or ready cooked as pancakes. Some modern recipes use garlic and other spices to flavour the mixture. -Wikipedia

Brown Lemonade

Brown lemonade is a lemonade sold in Northern Ireland alongside the more recognisable "white lemonade"

There is very little difference in taste between the two except that brown colouring is used to alter its appearance.

Legend has it that in the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast, employees were not allowed to drink alcohol on their lunch breaks. The shipbuilders were not keen on drinking soft drinks because they thought it to make them feminine and as a result brown lemonade was created as it could be drunk from a pint glass and look like a pint of ale.[citation needed]

The most common brands of Brown Lemonade in Northern Ireland are Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C) and Maine. - Wikipedia


Photo courtesy of Happy Lobster from Flickr

Champ (brúitín in Irish) is an Irish dish, made by combining mashed potatoes and chopped spring onions ("scallions") with butter and milk, and optionally, salt and pepper. It is simple and inexpensive to produce. In some areas the dish is also called "poundies."

Champ is similar to another Irish dish, colcannon, which uses kale or cabbage in place of scallions.

The word champ has also been adopted into a popular Irish phrase, to be "as thick as champ", meaning to be stupid.


Club Orange

Club Orange is a popular Irish carbonated soft drink produced in Ireland by Britvic Ireland and previously by Cantrell & Cochrane (C&C) and bottled at their plant in Dublin.

The ingredients are carbonated water, sugar, orange juice, citric acid, the preservative (sodium benzoate), the colours beta carotene and apocarotenal, and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). It is distinctive for the orange vesicles, or "bits," that remain in the glass after being consumed.

Britvic Ireland also produce Club Lemon, Pomegranate & Cranberry, Rock Shandy (a mixture of the orange and lemon flavours), Club Apple, Club Berry, Club Strawberry and Club Cherry soft drinks.

The previous advertising slogan of Club was "the bits inside make it come alive" although it was rarely seen on Club bottles and commercials. From 2009, the products slogan is, Some bits are crucial, making reference to its orange vesicles. The slogan can be found on all Club products. It is so popular a drink with Irish people that it is one of the most sought-after products by Irish expatriates. -Wikipedia

Coleraine Cheddar

Coleraine Cheddar is a cheese made in Coleraine, Northern Ireland and was distributed by Castlewood Farm Products Ltd until it ceased trading recently.[citation needed] The product range continues to be distributed by Dairy Produce Packers Ltd of Coleraine. The company makes Coleraine Cheddar, Coleraine Mature White Cheddar, Coleraine Medium Cheddar, Coleraine Mild White Cheddar and Royal Canadian Mature Cheddar.

Coleraine Cheese is the leading cheese brand in Northern Ireland. -Wikipedia

Comber Whiskey

Comber Whiskey was an Irish whiskey distilled in Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland. The whiskey was last distilled in 1956. However, some reserves were discovered and bottled in the 1980s as "Old Comber" and some of these bottles occasionally come up for sale.

Comber Distilleries was established in 1825. At the time of its closure it was the last pot still in Northern Ireland. The Cooperage Coffee Shop on Killinchy Street in the town occupies the last remaining Comber Distilleries building. The shop contains some of the company's casks. -Wikipedia


The red seaweed / macroalgae Dulse / Dillisk ( Palmaria palmata ) has been used for centuries in Ireland - particularly on the North and West coast of Ireland and in Northern Ireland.

This has been taken from a poem from the 12th Century

Seal ag buain duilisg do charraig,
seal ag aclaidh,
seal ag tabhairt bhídh do bhoctaibh,
seal i gcaracair.

A while gathering dulse / dillisk from the rock,
a while fishing,
a while giving food to the poor,
a while in a cell.

This red Irish seaweed is hand harvested from all around Ireland's shores. It is gathered at low water / tide and was traditionally air dried along the shore.

One of the main fairs / occasions of the summer in Northern Ireland is the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, Co Antrim. This traditional fair, held the last Monday and Tuesday in August dates back 1612 and is also a horse fair and attracts thousands of people to Ballycastle.

Dulse and yellowman - a hard sticky yellow toffee are the "traditions" of the Auld Lammas Fair.

There is an old song / poem and it goes

Did you treat your Mary Ann to some dulse and yellowman,
At the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle?

Dulse can be eaten raw - it is traditionally eaten as a snack food in Northern Ireland and along the North and West Coasts of Ireland.

With the recent interest in macroalgae / seaweeds and their health benefits - seaweeds are more easily digested and contain more vitamins, nutrients and minerals weight for weight that land plants, many seaweeds have been introduced into recipes & food and Dulse / Dillisk be used in salads and throughout cooking.

Dulse has many uses including :-

* Food - as an additive, ground whole and consumed whole.
* Health and Cosmetics - as a mineral supplement - it contains ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
* Animal Feed



Photo courtesy of Dilona on Flickr

A farl (reduced form of the Scots fardel) is a term used in Northern Ireland and Scotland for some roughly triangular flat breads and cakes, traditionally made by cutting a round into four pieces.

In Northern Ireland it generally refers to soda bread and potato bread or cakes (potato farls). While soda bread can be made like normal breads, it is made into farls for use in the Ulster fry. A farl is a flat piece of bread about 3/4 inch thick with a rough quarter circle shape.

A farl is made by spreading the dough on a griddle or skillet in a rough circular shape. The circle is then cut into four equal pieces and cooked. Once one side is done the dough is flipped to cook the other side.

In Scotland today the word is used less than in Northern Ireland, but a farl can be a quarter piece of a large flat scone, bannock or oatcake. It may also be used for shortbread when baked in this particular shape.[1]

The word may be related to fallaid in some way. However, the Dictionary of the (Lowland) Scots Language says that farl is a shorter form of fardel, the word once used in some parts of Lowland Scotland for "a three-cornered cake, usually oatcake, generally the fourth part of a round". In Old Lowland Scots fardell meant a fourth or quarter.[1] -Wikipedia

Fried Bread

Fried bread, or fried slice, is bread which, after being sliced and fried, is served as part of a meal. Typically it is fried in the same pan as other ingredients in a meal, to absorb their flavour.

A British fry-up may include fried bread, as may the traditional full English breakfast. In the UK, the term "fried bread" may also refer to French Toast or "eggy bread", in which bread is coated in a mixture of whole egg and milk, and then fried, as an accompaniment to an English breakfast or as a snack.

Over the last couple of decades, concerns over health issues have led to the increasingly common substitution of toast for fried bread in these meals, although if the bread is fried on one side only with a minimal film of oil or fat in the pan it does not, in fact, contain any more fat than a slice of buttered toast.[citation needed]

A traditional Irish breakfast doesn't usually contain any fried bread[citation needed] but is usually accompanied by soda bread. In Northern Ireland this type of soda bread is more commonly referred to as Wheaten Farls. An Ulster fry contains fried soda farls, fried potato farls, and sometimes fried pancakes too. -Wikipedia

Maine Soft Drinks

Maine Soft Drinks Ltd. is a company based in Ballymoney, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, which sells soft drinks, cordials and aerated waters.

As well as having a presence in retail outlets, Maine is also known for its fleet of distinctive green lorries which deliver soft drinks door to door in Counties Antrim, Londonderry and Down. The person driving the lorries is often known colloquially as "The Lemonade Man" or The Maine Man or more commonly The Mineral Man.

Many of the products sold by Maine are specific to them in Northern Ireland such as American Kola, Scottish Cola, and Limeade; and some are specific to Northern Ireland but not to Maine such as Brown Lemonade. -Wikipedia


Nambarrie is the brand name of a tea company based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, owned by Twinings. It was announced on 10 April 2008 that the Belfast factory is to close.

Founded in 1860,[1] the company began trading in York Street, originally as 'Pratt and Montgomery'. However, during wartime bombing in 1941, the company's premises in Tomb Street were completely destroyed, reportedly leaving only a horse drawn delivery van intact.

Nambarrie Tea Co. Ltd. now operates delivery depots in Mallusk, Co. Antrim and Glasgow, being the third biggest brand in Scotland.[1]

In 1998, Nambarrie teamed up with author Geoff Hill to sponsor "The Nambarrie Run: Delhi to Belfast on a Royal Enfield", and repeated the stunt in 2006 with "The Nambarrie Run II: Chile to Alaska on a Triumph". Richard McQuillan, Marketing Executive for Nambarrie said "We are delighted to be involved with Geoff in his latest journey, as the number one tea in Northern Ireland it is great that we can be supportive of our local writing talent." -Wikipedia

Old Bushmills Distillery

The Old Bushmills Distillery was founded in 1608 and is now owned by the major drinks company Diageo. Bushmills whiskey is produced, matured, and bottled on-site at the Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The distillery is a tourist attraction, with around 110,000 visitors per year. -Wikipedia


A pastie is a large, round battered pie common to Northern Ireland. It is a peculiarity of Northern Irish cuisine and is rarely if ever seen outside the area[citation needed]. Generally served with chips to form a pastie supper (supper in Northern Ireland meaning something with chips), or in a bread roll as a pastie bap, it is a common staple in most chip shops in the country.

Recipes vary, but the most common ingredients are minced pork, onion, potato and seasoning formed into a 'round' (just like a hamburger) which is then covered in a batter mix and deep fried. -Wikipedia

Potato Bread

Potato bread is a form of bread in which potato replaces a portion of the regular wheat flour. It is cooked in a variety of methods, including by baking it on a hot griddle or pan, or in an oven. It may be leavened or unleavened, and may have a variety of other ingredients baked into it. The ratio of potato to wheat flour varies significantly from recipe to recipe, with some recipes having a majority of potato, and others having a majority of wheat flour. Some recipes call for mashed potatoes, with others calling for dehydrated potato flakes. It is available as a commercial product in many countries, with similar variations in ingredients, cooking method, and other variables. -Wikipedia


Punjana is a brand of tea produced by the Belfast based tea company Punjana Limited. Punjana Limited is the only major privately owned business in Northern Ireland involved in the importation, blending and packaging of branded and own label teas[1]. Punjana was founded in 1896 by the Thompson family. It has since become one of the most popular brands in Ireland and Scotland. It buys its teas from tea gardens in Assam, North India and on the slopes of Mount Kenya.-Wikipedia

Soda Bread

Soda bread is a type of quick bread in which bread soda (otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate or baking soda) is used for leavening rather than the more common yeast. The ingredients of traditional soda bread are flour, bread soda, salt, and buttermilk. Other ingredients can be added such as raisins, egg or various forms of nuts.

The buttermilk in the dough contains lactic acid, which reacts with the baking soda to form tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. Soda bread can dry out quickly and is typically good for two to three days; it is best served warm or toasted. In Ireland, typically the flour is made from soft wheat; so soda bread is best made with a cake or pastry flour (made from soft wheat), which has lower levels of gluten than a bread flour.

Various forms of soda bread are popular throughout Ireland. Soda breads are made using either wholemeal or white flour. In Northern Ireland the wholemeal variety is known as "wheaten bread" and normally sweetened, while the term "soda bread" is restricted to the white savoury form normally served fried. The two major shapes are the loaf and the "griddle cake", or farl in Northern Ireland. The loaf form takes a more rounded shape and has a cross cut in the top to allow the bread to expand. The griddle cake or farl, is a more flattened type of bread. It is cooked on a griddle allowing it to take a more flat shape and split into four sections. -Wikipedia


Tanora is a tangerine flavoured carbonated drink sold in Ireland (predominantly Munster - though traditionally it achieved high sales only in Cork). It was bought out by Coca Cola.

Tanora is packaged in 2-litre plastic bottles, 500ml plastic bottle and 330ml cans. It is also available in 200ml glass bottles reserved for the licensed trade.


Tayto (Northern Ireland) Limited is a manufacturer of crisps and corn snacks based in Tandragee, County Armagh. They employ 300 people at their plant in Tandragee Castle and remain the largest selling brand of crisps in Northern Ireland. -Wikipedia

Ulster Fry

A popular combo-dish in Northern Ireland, the Ulster Fry consists of bacon, egg, sausage, soda bread, potato bread and fried tomato. It may also include black pudding or mushrooms. -Wikipedia


Veda bread is a malted bread sold in Ireland. It is a small, caramel-coloured loaf with a very soft consistency when fresh.

It is still impossible to find a recipe for a Veda loaf, over a hundred years after it was invented. However, devotees have had good results by following the instructions for a malted fruit loaf but without the fruit or alcohol.

Although a sweet bread, Veda is often eaten toasted with butter and cheese, although many prefer to add jam or marmalade. It is usually eaten as a snack.

Veda Bakeries hold all the original recipies for Veda bread. Veda Bakeries is a company registered by law. The company is based East Lothian, and is owned by Jim Kerr of forthestuary cereals.

The formula for Veda was allegedly stumbled upon by luck when a Dundee farmer’s house-keeper accidentally used damp wheat which had sprouted to produce malted wheat. When she used the malted wheat for the farmer’s bread it produced a sweet-malted flavoured bread – and Veda bread was born. -Wikipedia


Yellowman is a chewy toffee-textured honeycomb produced in Northern Ireland.

Yellowman is sold in non-standard blocks and chips and is associated with the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle, County Antrim, where it is sold along with other confectionery and often dulse. It is similar to honeycomb, except that the more solid 'rind' usually consists of at least half the quantity. The rind is hard, having a similar consistency to rock.

Yellowman honeycomb is currently manufactured by the McCarthy Family Farms which runs the local bee farm in Newcastle. The bees' diet includes cider which is sprayed on flowers during pollenation which gives the honeycomb it's rich texture and flavour.-Wikipedia

I guess that's about it. If I'm missing anything please feel free to add to this list.