We are the one stop shop for caterers in Northern Ireland. Companies Catering was established after we found a gap in the online market for a central hub for catering companies throughout the UK. We were trying to find suitable caterers in Northern Ireland and there were so many catering companies to choose from that narrowing the search was a nightmare. That’s when we knew we could create a solution. Now, when you are looking for caterers in Northern Ireland, you no longer have to trawl the internet seeking specific companies in each region. We have a growing list of caterers in Northern Ireland listed with us, allowing you to easily compare and contrast them in order to find the perfect caterer for your event. Each caterer has been peer-reviewed so you can rest assured that you aren’t taking a shot in the dark when you find the caterer you like.
The history of Northern Ireland’s cuisine is not wholly distinct from that of traditional Irish cuisine. It has evolved over centuries of social and political unrest and upheaval with its roots firmly engrained in what the common man could get his hands on. Much of this food is still available in some form, and caterers in Northern Ireland will be able to help you find traditional Northern Irish cuisine. Owing to Ireland’s temperate climate what crops could be grown and what animals farmed played a large factor in what the people ate. Until the arrival of the potato in the 16th century the majority of the Irish diet was based on grains such as oats (for making porridge) and wheat (for making flat bread). The English conquest of the 17th century threw this traditional cuisine into chaos as the land was repossessed and Ireland had to provide food for England and her armies. As a result the only food the poor could afford was the humble potato and that is now synonymous with Ireland and its cuisine! Many of the traditional foods and recipes were lost during this time and are only now finding a revival, gaining popularity and being included by caterers in Northern Ireland.
Northern Ireland’s local food producers are growing in notoriety and esteem, for they are bringing back long abandoned traditional food crafts. One such revival is Northern Ireland’s baking tradition. In mainland Britain where the majority of local bakeries have disappeared or are now replaced with artisanal bakeries or supermarket own brands, in the towns and villages of Northern Ireland they have a brisk trade and have been found to be second or third generation bakers.
The eating of this traditional food is also gaining in popularity too in Northern Ireland and most dishes have their roots in potatoes and bread - the staples of a previous life. Below is a snapshot of Northern Ireland’s specialities, all of which you can find when looking for caterers in Northern Ireland:
The Ulster Fry. This gut buster used to be consumed every day, but now it is reserved for a weekend treat. The Ulster Fry is easily distinguishable from other types of fry ups owing to its inclusion of griddle breads. Griddle breads, namely soda and potato farls (see below), are fried until they're a lovely golden colour and crisp on the outside. Sometimes the fry will include a vegetable roll (also see below). It will always have bacon, sausages, an egg, tomato, if you want mushrooms you can and it has to have plenty of toast to soak up the grease and tea to wash it down with.
Porridge. Oats form a traditional part of the Irish cuisine and in Northern Ireland they are no exception. How you make your porridge is still up for debate though - milk or water, salt or sugar. (For added luxury why not indulge in a drop of cream and a dash of whiskey?).
Champ (also known as Poundies). Potatoes make up the majority of dishes in Northern Ireland and champ is no different. It is simply mashed potatoes stirred through with shredded spring onions. It is a go to comfort dish; caterers in Northern Ireland are experts at cooking potatoes in their various forms.
Irish Stew. Originally cooked in a large pot over an open fire, Irish Stew is a delicious combination of meat, typically mutton but now more likely lamb, potatoes, carrots, onions and pearl barley. The Northern Irish version is made with steak pieces instead of lamb and cooked until falling apart. It is often served with thick slices of buttered bread. You can tell if it’s a good stew or not because it should be thick and creamy, not meat swimming in a thin juice.
Lough Neagh Eel. This fish dish is traditionally eaten at Hallowe’en and is fried in chunks with a white onion sauce. You can also smoke the eel and serve it as a starter.
Potato Farl. As mentioned above in the Ulster Fry, a potato farl is a thick flat bread, made from potatoes, flour, and buttermilk. The ingredients are then cooked on a griddle, hence the griddle bread name.
Soda Bread Farl. Again another staple of the Ulster Fry, it was first noted in 19th century Ireland because local peasants added baking soda to help their dough rise. It differs from a potato farl as it is fluffy rather than dense.
Yellow Man Candy. This Northern Irish crunchy golden confectionery is often confused with honeycomb (like the inside of a Crunchie chocolate bar). It isn’t honeycomb, but it has a similar texture. It is a sticky delicacy that is a real Northern Irish treat.
Vegetable Roll. Not actually a vegetable roll at all as it is made with slices of thick, fatty meat! The roll usually contains celery, leek, carrot and onion and again it is a key component of the Ulster Fry. It can also be served at lunch or dinner with champ, mashed swede or turnip.
With the resurgence of traditional foods, Northern Ireland is also going from strength to strength at the Great Taste Awards, a prestigious food award that annually taste tests over 10,000 products. Ten years ago Northern Ireland had no three gold star winners, in 2014 they had 18 of them (out of 153 awarded). This goes to show how far caterers in Northern Ireland have come in the last decade and that there are so many food options, you will be spoiled for choice. Have fun exploring our site - simply e the search bar to look for caterers in Northern Ireland. Who you choose and what type of catering you have is your call, just know that whom ever you decide to use, they come highly recommended.