Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!
The Emerald Isle is one of the most popular international travel destinations for US travelers. As a result, Ireland is easy to navigate and has adventures waiting around every bend. An added bonus: Ireland is great with food allergies!
The thing we look for most when trying to eat soy-free in a foreign place is consistency. Consistency allows us to know what to expect without needing to ask a bunch of questions every time we eat. Instead of asking about ingredients at every single meal, we do some scoping work right away to understand typical ingredients in the culture and then spot check now and then (typically using allergen menus). For example, in Ireland we went to the grocery store and checked the ingredients of a variety of breads. We found that the pre-packaged breads all contained soy, but that fresh bread was almost entirely soy-free. As a result, we then felt confident ordering bakery bread throughout Ireland, even if we couldn’t ask the baker about ingredients. Food in Ireland was extremely consistent, and we had no trouble avoiding soy.
The two places we found soy in Ireland were bread (including breading) and chocolate. Neither were deal breakers and it was quite easy to eat without fear.
Bread was the most common place we found soy, most often in toast at breakfast or in the breading on fish and chips. This was never an issue because there were always plenty of soy-free options available and we even were able to find soy-free fish and chips after some searching.
Chocolate typically contains soy lecithin, so we weren’t surprised by this. Typically we look for specialty chocolate and (just like usual) we were able to find a few soy-free options after hunting for them.
Allergen menus are everywhere across Ireland, and they make it so easy to avoid soy. We were able to use allergen menus to check restaurants before choosing to eat there, and also to limit our questions to the server. In fact, we almost never asked the server about food ingredients because the menus were so clear and easy to follow.
If you are thinking about heading to Ireland, we cannot encourage you enough to do so. The people are lovely, the scenery is beautiful, and the food is often soy-free. Enjoy!
PS— Pro tip: Guinness is also soy-free!