It’s another big match coming up this weekend as Ireland take on Italy on Sunday in the Rugby World Cup. The boys in green are doing us proud so far, fingers crossed for that to continue! To get you in the mood, we compare Ireland to Italy in the food stakes to whet your appetite for match nibbles, while adding another level of competition in gourmet terms. Let’s see who comes out on top!


Some dishes we can compare to their Italian cousins. Who wins?

Milleens with Pasta – a heavenly creamy mix of Tagliatelle with a rich Milleens cheese sauce infused with fresh sage. Does this beat a simple pasta with Italian Parmesan cheese? It’s close – but we think the Cork farmhouse made Milleens just edges it for creamy texture and taste!

Penne Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper and Knockdrinna – a bright and colourful mix in this quick supper. A stand alone winner as Ireland meets Italy in the culinary match of pasta toppings.

Potato Pizza – an Italian favourite made with Irish ingredients – grated potato forms the pizza base, and the topping has the delicious flavours of Burren Smoked Salmon. As far as Irish culinary genius goes blended with Italian cooking style – this dish is an equal partnership and we declare the competition a draw!

Gleann Oir Cheese and Walnut Risotto with Fig &Chilli Jam and Lemon Rapeseed Oil –sounds and looks absolutely amazing. The Italians love their risottos, and we reckon the creamy texture and unusual tastes of this dish would be an outright winner with them – though they may not like to admit that!


We have a few ingredients from our producers that well match up to their Italian counterparts – and even balance in the front row!

Toonsbridge Dairy  – Toonsbridge Mozzarella is made here in Ireland from Italian buffalo milk, a real equal to any Italian bufflo mozzarella. Some Italians even think it is better! Use it for salads, sandwiches, pizzas and risottos. Also try the other Italian cheeses made from Irish cow’s milk in this range. 

Harnett’s Rapeseed Oil and Donegal Rapeseed Oil – more than a match for Italian Olive oil and with just as many healthy giving properties, not to mention rich full taste. Use Irish rapeseed oil for anything from cooking, to roasting and dressing veggies and making vinaigrette for salad.

Cured meat and salamis – Ballinwillin Farmhouse and McCarthy’s of Kanturk both make a range of salamis , pancetta and cured meats to rival any Italian charcuterie. Use them for topping pizzas or serving as part of a charcuterie platter. Even the Italians would have to agree they are just as good as their own versions!