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Irish Dining Guide
Irish cuisine is the style of cooking that originated from Ireland, or was developed by the Irish people. It has evolved from centuries of social and political change, and the mixing of the different cultures in Ireland, predominantly the English and Irish (and, in Ulster, the Scottish). The cuisine is founded upon the crops and animals farmed in its temperate climate. The development of Irish cuisine was altered greatly by the English conquest of the early 17th century, which introduced a new agro-alimentary system of intensive grain based agriculture. Large areas of land were turned over to cereal and a large portion of the population were confined to more marginal agricultural areas. The rise of a commercial market in grain and meat altered the diet of the native population by redirecting these products abroad as cash crops used to feed the British Empire's armed forces and cities. Consequently, the potato, after its widespread adoption in the 18th century, became just about the only food the poor could afford (which was the vast majority of the population). As a result, the potato is often associated with Ireland and "Irish potato" has come to mean any dense, white potato with a low starch content. Many elements of Irish cuisine were lost or abandoned during that time, with the loss being particularly acute between the Great Famine of the mid 19th century and the mid 20th century. From Wikipedia