Irish Postal Service Introduces Stamps Inspired By Irish Breakfast
Image Credit: Instagram/ailbhephelan. An Post, Ireland's postal service, has collaborated with illustrator Ailbhe Phelan to produce stamps inspired by Irish breakfast.

Ireland may be known for its scenic beauty more than its cuisine, but the allure of the Irish breakfast is undeniable. A full Irish breakfast includes eggs, bacon, pork sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans and black or white pudding. The spread was created for farm workers to keep them satiated and prepare them for a long working day ahead. Local produce and homemade items made it into the meal, all of which were cooked in a frying pan with a blob of Irish butter.

A full Irish breakfast is different from an English breakfast in its use of black or white pudding. Also, the bread served alongside is often soda bread instead of regular bread. As popular as a full Irish is in the morning, it can also sometimes replace lunch. 

Recently, An Post, Ireland’s postal service, paid a tribute to Irish breakfast in the form of stamps. Four breakfast-themed stamps designed by Irish illustrator Ailbhe Phelan have been released. Phelan took to her Instagram account to share the news about the project and also wrote about it on her website:

“I’m both nervous - of how they’ll be received by all and sundry - and very excited. I suspect it’s every graphic designer’s dream to create a postal stamp and I am lucky enough to have created a set of four stamps, a First Day Cover envelope and a unique cancellation mark. Plus I did all the illustrations and, of course, the artwork. The whole shebang!

But above all I feel so proud, really, I feel it such an honour to have been commissioned by An Post. The theme was a perfect one for me, Irish Breakfasts. It was such a good fit that as soon as I had the brief in my little hands I was easily inspired. There had to be The Irish Fry (no baked beans, puhleese), porridge was a no brainer (even though I’m not a huge fan of the texture of cooked porridge), the range of Irish breads - soda farls, brown soda loaf - are items that I make and grace my breakfast table regularly and yes, I do enjoy a fruity smoothie particularly during the summer! My favourite breakfast* treat, a simple boiled egg and soldiers, was chosen for the First Day Cover envelope. Hurray!”

The stamps are meant to celebrate the tourism and hospitality sector and are the ideal ode to Ireland’s reputation for giving tourists a warm Irish welcome and serving tasty food. Aileen Mooney of An Post Irish Stamps has said that the “colourful and uplifting stamp illustrations” will be much appreciated by stamp collectors and people involved in the food industry across the world. “With these stamps we also celebrate Ireland’s great reputation at home and abroad for offering delicious food and a warm welcome that puts a smile on everyone’s face,” she said, as per the An Post website.

The national stamps can be bought at €1.25 each and the worldwide stamps at €2.20 each. Both are available at post offices around the country.