It is believed that coddle originated from the French word ‘caudle’, which means to boil gently. That comes as no surprise, because coddle is made by boiling leftovers from an Irish breakfast in a broth—it includes bacon and sausages, along with potatoes, onions and carrots. 

The dish was developed from the habit of one-pot cooking among the sailors of Ringsend. It was also mentioned in James Joyce’s published work, Dubliners. Coddle was invented as a way to use leftovers and became popular because of how easy it was to prepare. It is essentially an Irish stew for city dwellers or the working class and uses sausages and bacon instead of lamb.

Recently, cookbook author and TV show presenter Nigella Lawson shared a photo of a bowl of Dublin-style coddle that she prepared from Georgina Campbell’s book ‘Ireland for Food Lovers’. 

Lawson often posts about meals she cooks from books with the hashtag #CookbookCorner. Her posts usually get a lot of love and appreciation, but Irish Twitter users reacted differently to this one. Many people said that what Lawson made wasn’t really coddle, and posted photos of what actual coddle looks like. 

Dubliner Lynn Margiotta commented on Lawson’s post saying “Nigella darling, THIS is a coddle”, along with a photo of traditional coddle. Gaz Smith, owner of the restaurant Michael’s in Dublin, said: “Bold move entering coddle twitter @Nigella_Lawson I wish you safe passage in dark n dangerous waters 🤣”. Smith is known for his sarcastic humour on Twitter. 

Some of the other comments were:

We’re left wondering if Lawson took all the criticism from Irish people to heart. It’s evident that Dubliners take their coddle very seriously and like to see it made as it traditionally is. From what the photo shared by Lawson showed, we could tell that her coddle was less soupy, more chunky, and sprinkled with chopped parsley. It was a refined version of a stew that is otherwise meant to be rustic and improper. Perhaps that’s what irked Irish Twitter users and they were expecting to see something home-style rather than gourmet. If you’ve ever tried Dublin coddle, you’ll know that Lawson’s version was indeed different to look at when compared to bowls of the hearty stew that can be found in the Irish capital.