One of the best times of year to visit North West Ireland is in November/ December. The Christmas festivities are in full swing and there are bright colourful lights everywhere. It is also the season where tourists can get to enjoy one of the country’s tastiest dishes: Irish Christmas cake.
When it comes to making this kind of cake there are very few rules. In fact the number of different recipes vary in the hundreds. They are all similar, however in that the cake is always moist, spiced and covered in raisins and/ or sultanas. Because of this great variety you can be sure that the cake you are eating is unique to the specific restaurant or family who baked it.
There is a growing trend in tourists who flock to Ireland. They want their food to be unique and regional. Often this can be difficult because many dishes follow the same recipe. Consequently they can taste the same whichever part of Ireland you choose to go. However, Irish Christmas cake is different. No matter where you try it the taste will be at least subtly different.
The majority of tourists come to this country during the summer months. That is the busy season. However to experience food that you will not find anywhere else (even in the next town over) it is well worth going to Ireland during November and December.
Another reason to try it is because of the great amount of work that goes into it. It can take a year for the cake to be ready to eat. It requires a huge level of preparation and storage time. The cake also needs to be constantly “fed” with whiskey in order to keep it moist. When the cake is ready to eat it is usually ceremonially lit with the alcohol serving as an igniting element.