Hearty and homely, Irish cuisine is built around the staples of potatoes, grains and dairy products. Potatoes were introduced in the 1500s and quickly became a diet mainstay. Ireland's reliance on the tuber triggered a nation-wide famine in the 1840s, when disease destroyed one-third of the crops. Classic Irish dishes include the cabbage-laden colcannon, soda bread, pudding and, of course, a wintery stout stew.