Boxty is a traditional Irish
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...
potato pancake. The dish is mostly associated with the north midlands, north Connacht
Connacht , formerly anglicised as Connaught, is one of the Provinces of Ireland situated in the west of Ireland. In Ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for...
and southern Ulster
Ulster is one of the four provinces of Ireland, located in the north of the island. In ancient Ireland, it was one of the fifths ruled by a "king of over-kings" . Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the ancient kingdoms were shired into a number of counties for administrative and judicial...
, in particular the counties of Mayo
County Mayo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Mayo, which is now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 130,552...
, Sligo, Donegal
County Donegal is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Donegal. Donegal County Council is the local authority for the county...
(where it is known locally as poundy or poundies; also known as potato bread in Ulster), Fermanagh
Fermanagh District Council is the only one of the 26 district councils in Northern Ireland that contains all of the county it is named after. The district council also contains a small section of County Tyrone in the Dromore and Kilskeery road areas....
County Longford is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Longford.Longford County Council is the local authority for the county...
County Leitrim is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Leitrim. Leitrim County Council is the local authority for the county...
County Cavan is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Border Region and is also located in the province of Ulster. It is named after the town of Cavan. Cavan County Council is the local authority for the county...
. There are many different recipes but all contain finely grated, raw potatoes and all are served fried.
The most popular version of the dish consists of finely grated, raw potato and mashed potato with flour, baking soda, buttermilk
Buttermilk refers to a number of dairy drinks. Originally, buttermilk was the liquid left behind after churning butter out of cream. It also refers to a range of fermented milk drinks, common in warm climates where unrefrigerated fresh milk otherwise sours quickly...
and sometimes egg
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...
. The grated potato may be strained to remove most of the starch
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined together by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by all green plants as an energy store...
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...
but this is not necessary. The mixture is fried on a griddle
A griddle is a cooking device consisting of a broad flat surface that can be heated using a variety of means, and is used in both residential and commercial applications for a variety of cooking operations. Most commonly, the griddle consists of a flat metal plate, but in the non-industrialized...
pan for a few minutes on each side, similar to a normal pancake
A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter, and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side...
. Traditional alternatives include using only raw potatoes, boiling it as a dumpling
Dumplings are cooked balls of dough. They are based on flour, potatoes or bread, and may include meat, fish, vegetables, or sweets. They may be cooked by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking. They may have a filling, or there may be other ingredients mixed into the dough. Dumplings may...
or baking it as a loaf
A loaf is a shape, usually rounded or oblong, mass of food. It may refer to a bread, or meatloaf.The term "loaf" sometimes refers to "head" from the rhyming slang "loaf of bread" ....
. The most noticeable difference between boxty and other fried potato dishes is its smooth, fine grained consistency.
Boxty is seen as so much a part of the local culture in the areas in which it is made, that it has inspired folk rhymes, such as:
Boxty on the griddle,
And Boxty on the pan;
The wee one in the middle
Is for Mary Ann.
Boxty on the griddle,
boxty on the pan,
If you can't bake boxty
sure you'll never get a man.
Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty on the pan,
If you don't eat boxty,
You'll never get a man.
As the interest in Irish cuisine
Irish cuisine is a style of cooking originating from Ireland or developed by Irish people. It evolved from centuries of social and political change. The cuisine takes its influence from the crops grown and animals farmed in its temperate climate. The introduction of the potato in the second half of...
has increased, so the popularity of boxty has risen. It is not unusual to see boxty on the menus of restaurants outside the areas with which it is traditionally associated. Boxty may be bought in shops and supermarkets either in the dumpling form or ready cooked as pancakes. Some modern recipes use garlic
Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion genus, Allium. Its close relatives include the onion, shallot, leek, chive, and rakkyo. Dating back over 6,000 years, garlic is native to central Asia, and has long been a staple in the Mediterranean region, as well as a frequent...
and other spices to flavour the mixture. It is occasionally served as wrap, similar to kebabs for fajitas. For hygiene
Hygiene refers to the set of practices perceived by a community to be associated with the preservation of health and healthy living. While in modern medical sciences there is a set of standards of hygiene recommended for different situations, what is considered hygienic or not can vary between...
and convenience, the raw potato may be blended in a food processor
A food processor is a kitchen appliance used to facilitate various repetitive tasks in the process of preparation of food. Today, the term almost always refers to an electric-motor-driven appliance, although there are some manual devices also referred to as "food processors".Food processors are...
instead of grating it by hand.