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pass the tin

9 basic foods essential to any Irish Christmas

Forget the turkey – we’re talking about the real fundamentals.

1. USA biscuits

Image: empac.lxit.be

As Irish as rain in July, but they’re called USA Biscuits because it sounds sophisticated. They could be from foreign.

There may be a physical fight over the ones with the jelly star.

2. Snowballs

An unholy combination of chocolate, coconut and… that foamy not-quite-marshmallow stuff that’s inside snowballs.

Rumour has it that every single one is crafted by the hand of this man, who appears in probably the greatest photo of a snack-maker ever:

3. Roses

Flickr/loopingstar

From the soaring high of the moment when you first open the tin, to the grim, squabble-ridden comedown when only the strawberry and coffee cremes are left – a tin of Roses is an epic journey. If it was a film, it would be a nine-hour epic directed by Peter Jackson.

4. Box of Tayto

Flickr/EmerandSam

Not for Christmastime the petty parade of individual packets. Only a box will do. Kids, you can tell when Mr Tayto’s paid a visit because the whole house smells of cheese and onion.

5. Tunnock’s Tea Cakes

Image: worldmarket.com

Not only an excellent snack, but also probably the year’s best opportunity to give yourself a marshmallow moustache.

6. After Eights

Flickr/thebarrowboy

Nothing says ‘height of 1980s sophistication’ like this little green packet. Plus they’re so small you can always have another one, no matter how much you’ve eaten.

7. Emerald Caramels

Many have tried to imitate them. Many have failed.

8. Black Magic

Almost certainly your auntie’s favourite. The thinking woman’s Milk Tray.

9. Lemon’s Seasons Greetings

Chocolates, toffees AND jellies, in a box with Santa on it? You really need no other Christmas treat.

That is, until the fighting begins.

Happy Christmas!

More: 23 unbearably cute letters to Santa from children>

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