The Irish may have flocked to the US in their millions over the centuries, but despite our love for America there are some things that Ireland does better.
Here’s a rundown....
There is no messing with hundreds of different types of tea leaves and flavors, as there are only two types of tea in Ireland: Barry’s and Lyon’s.
Tea is the solution to everything in Ireland, it cures all ailments. It's considered a sin for someone to call over to your house and not be offered a cup of scald.
After centuries of tea drinking, we know how to make a good cup.
2. Reusable plastic bags
In Ireland, it's not a paper or plastic option, it's paper or PAY! Ireland reduced its plastic bag consumption by 90 percent since 2002 when the government introduced a 15 cent levy on plastic bags in order to try and reduce the consumption of them. The levy now stands at 22 cent. As a result the majority of consumers use their own recyclable shopping bags. According to reusethisbag.com the US uses 380 billion plastic bags a year. Some states in the US have taken action by banning and taxing plastic bag usage, while other states have rejected the proposals.
Despite soaring sales of the black stuff in the US, a pint of Guinness tastes better in Ireland. All Guinness sold in Ireland is made in Ireland, so the travel miles are minimal in comparison. Meaning an Irish pint of Guinness is probably the freshest on offer.
What do they put in American bread that makes it so sweet and unnatural? If you were lucky enough to have an Irish mother or Granny in your life, there is a good chance she baked some soda bread. American tastes unnatural in comparison. There is nothing like a good sliced pan, a bit of butter and a few slices of ham.
5. Rock Legends
So America gave us Hendrix and Springsteen to name a few, but what about Donegal’s own Rory Gallagher, Phil Lynott, and of course U2! Van Morrison is still blaring on the airwaves. The Horslips pioneered the trend of mixing traditional Irish music with rock and roll for an unique sounds which remains popular today. Newcomers such as The Script and Snow Patrol are playing to sellout crowds around the US. Who would you rather share a pint with, Bono or Springsteen?
From Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw to James Joyce, Ireland has made a disproportionately large contribution to world literature relative to our population size.
7. Having the craic and banter
Put an Irish person in a room full of strangers and you can guarantee that by the end of the night they will have made a few friends. There is more than one reason there are Irish bars scattered around the world and it’s not because we are raging alcoholics. We like to talk and shoot the breeze and are excellent conversationalists.
8. Pale and pasty
Milk bottle legs, freckles, an allergic reaction to the sun, no race does pale and pasty like the Irish. A kin to this, no one does sunburn quite like the Irish too.
Perhaps the most unhealthy meal among the many Irish culinary delights. Traditionally it’s all fried on the pan, a good lean rasher, some sausages, black and white pudding, fried eggs and some baked beans. Served with lashings of Irish tea and toast smothered with Irish butter.
10. An Irish Mammy
Saving the best until last. There is nothing like a good dose of an Irish mammy. Of course American Moms are great too, but no-one compares to the wisdom and wit that an Irish mother offers.
What do you think America could learn from Ireland? Share your thoughts below.
*Originally published in March 2017.