Top 10 International Cuisines in Ireland According to Google
Being a wind and rain swept island in the North Atlantic, typical Irish food is designed to warm the soul – thick warming stews, hearty and filling soups, and, being surrounded by water, plenty of seafood. It is a cuisine untouched by foreign influence.
Traditionally, people have left Ireland rather than immigrate to the isle, but things begin to change in the 1990s, since when there has been a steady rise in the non-Irish living there – with many Brits queuing for Irish citizenship since the vote to leave the European Union.
Apart from Brazilian, the top 10 non-Irish nationalities are all European, and as the population has become more diverse, so have the country’s culinary tastes.
Chef’s Pencil has analyzed data from Google Trends to find out how the food of the world ranks on Ireland’s palate.
Google provides data on a whole range of topics, including national cuisines, and allocates a score that indicates the level of interest in the topic.
Google uses AI to categorize search terms for national cuisines. For example, Japanese cuisine will comprise hundreds or thousands of searches related to the topic such as Japanese restaurants, Japanese rice, sushi, sushi recipes, Japanese food, and even names of well-known Japanese restaurants.
Google then counts how often they are used in countries, towns, and cities relative to all local searches and allocates an interest score.
For example, if Galway scores 100 for Indian cuisine and Dublin scores 80, it doesn’t mean more searches were done in Galway than in Dublin; it means a higher percentage of people in Galway than in Dublin searched for Indian cuisine.
5. Mexican (Popularity Score 12)
Over the last 20 years, one woman in particular has helped spread the word about Mexican food in Ireland. From her small shop selling authentic ingredients and offering cooking courses, Lily Ramirez-Foran, homesick for her native cuisine, has been showing the people of Ireland what real- Mexican food looks and tastes like.
The only city to get a significant score in the Google data for Mexican food was Dublin. That’s not to say nowhere else likes the cuisine. According to Deliveroo, people in Galway are crazy about Mexican. And while Mexican comes fifth in the Google data, Deliveroo says Mexican tops the charts for office workers at lunchtime.
4. Indian (Popularity Score 20)
The first Indian restaurant opened in Dublin in 1908 and their number has been growing ever since.
In some places, while Indian immigrants set up restaurants, the restaurants themselves encouraged others to make the move – they needed proper chefs, of course. The Taj Mahal, for example, set up in 1966, brought chefs over to produce the delicious food it is known for.
The restaurant was made even more famous when a contestant on a radio quiz show was asked “Where is the Taj Mahal?”, and he answered “Opposite the dental hospital”.
The capital city for Indian food in Ireland is Lucan, an old spa town, which scored 100. Dublin came second with 92 and Cork third with 71.
3. Thai (Popularity Score 28)
Recent research from Heinz shows the people of Ireland are taking their eating health very seriously indeed. That may be why Thai food has become so popular. Using lots of green vegetables, seafood, and white meat flavored with herbs and spices, Thai food is really healthy and, of course, incredibly tasty.
It’s not just Google data recording the preference for this harmonious and pungent cuisine. A leading survey a couple of years back by the Taste of Dublin website found Thai was the second most popular ethnic food in the country.
With suburban Swords, just north of Dublin, scoring 100, it is clearly the capital of Thai food in Ireland. Dublin came a distant second with 58 and Galway third with 48.
2. Italian (Popularity Score 35)
The Italians and Irish may have been serious rivals in the past, often battling it out on the streets of the US despite their common Catholic roots. But today, it is a very different story, and there’s a thriving Italian community in Ireland.
In fact, the Taste of Dublin survey declared Italian food the nation’s favorite. But they didn’t have the benefit of Google data. Here, it comes a very respectable second place, with Dublin, scoring 100, the centre for this healthy Mediterranean diet. Cork came second with 80 and Lucan third with 64.
1. Chinese (Popularity Score 62)
Less than 20,000 Chinese live in Ireland and it wasn’t always easy for them to settle in. But settle they have and what can be more satisfying than knowing that your native cuisine now tops the charts in your adopted country.
And it’s not only Google data that says so. According to Deliveroo, last year’s Chinese New Year saw a rise of 208% in Chinese food orders on the same time the previous year. With the 2020 Chinese New Year fast approaching, expect a similar interest in the cuisine.
Now those figures were for Dublin. Interesting, then, that Dublin, the city, doesn’t figure in the top 3 cities in the Google data. The area with clearly the greatest interest in Chinese food is the small town of Lucan in County Dublin, which scored 100, with the town of Swords in the same county, coming a very close second with 96 followed by Waterford, down south, with 84.
How does Irish’ food taste compare to the rest of the world? Check out our research for the UK, Canada, and Australia or some of our media coverage on the topic in the Sydney Morning Herald, Vancouver Sun, or the Chronicle Herald.