County Mayo has the longest coastline of any county in Ireland and the clear waters of the Atlantic Ocean are very well stocked with fish and shellfish and it boasts a large numbers of lakes and rivers full of fish too.
As in the whole of Connaught, Mayo has a long tradition of fishing and a good variety of seafood dishes are served; often fish is called with the Irish names.
Cod, known as Trosc, is very versatile and can be baked, grilled, poached or steamed.
Flounder, called in Irish Fluke, is very common in the West.
Haddock, in Irish Cadog and salmon called Bradan can be found on menus either grilled, fried, baked or steamed.
Salmon trout, sea trout and brown trout, commonly called in Irish breac geal, are the main ingredients of a large varieties of traditional dishes.
These traditional dishes can be tasted at the Ballina Salmon Festival in July every year.
Smoked salmon is a particular speciality in Irish cuisine.
In Ballina several salmon smokehouses can be found where wild or farmed salmon is smoked with traditional peat or oak smoking methods.
Seafood chowder is a very common dish usually served in pubs and restaurants. It is a thick and creamy soup made with vegetables, fish and shellfish.
The wild coasts of the West provide a large variety of shellfish such as mussels, oysters, prawns, clams and lobsters.
Oysters are traditionally served raw with drops of lemon juice and a buttered slice of soda bread, all washed down with a good Irish stout.