I used to make soda bread occasionally when I was kid, and it always tasted a bit…soda-y. It was like some of those shop scones that make your teeth squeak.
However I couldn’t come to Northern Ireland and NOT eat soda bread. Luckily on the food walk I had lovingly organised for my friend and I, one of the first stops was St George’s Market.
As well as a lot of interesting hot food and craft stalls, there were a few bakers. One simple stall had quite a few traditional breads, and I stupidly did not note the name of it. However I did purchase the above pictured treacle soda farl and a potato cake (covered in another post).
I proceeded to gnaw on this at points in the day, plainly unbuttered. I was pleasantly surprised at how non-soda-y it was. The treacle added a hint of sweetness, and it reminded me a lot of an abstemious scone.
I became quite a fan, and on returning home ordered some Irwin’s Together Brown Soda Bread from Ocado (a bit dry but pleasant toasted). It seems ironic that I dragged my friend into every Belfast mini mart going in pursuit of Irwin’s breads (specifically the Veda) but came up empty handed, only to obtain a loaf in England…
I am definitely going to try baking some myself again.
I checked up what a farl was, by the way, and it is in reference to the shape. If you make a circle of dough and cut it into quarters, each quarter is a farl. Soda farls are then usually cooked on a hot griddle.
Thanks to my friend A for the photo!