How hard is it really to get canned pumpkin in Ireland?
October 17, 2011 10:13 AM   Subscribe

How hard is it really to get canned pumpkin in Ireland?

In a previous question several people mentioned that canned pumpkin was a much coveted item for Americans in Ireland. A friend of mine will be in Dublin around Halloween staying with her sister. I'm going to send a variety of Trader Joe's things, but I want to know if including canned pumpkin in the package would just seem strange/silly or make me a great hero.
posted by mathtime! to Travel & Transportation around Dublin, Ireland (16 answers total)
Great hero. Especially if it's Libby's. Go for just the pumpkin puree, as the premix stuff for pie (the big Libby's can) is unnecessarily heavy to ship.

I'm in the UK (not Ireland), but have found that the pumpkin puree I did find was not at all the same as Libby's. Also, butternut squashes are weak substitutes. Even so, I'm still a pie makin' fool...

Go make some Americans in Ireland stupid happy!
posted by iamkimiam at 10:31 AM on October 17, 2011

Yeah, big hero. I used to live in the UK (again, not Ireland) and just couldn't find it.
posted by Specklet at 10:42 AM on October 17, 2011

When I lived there 10 years ago I couldn't find it, and had a hell of a time even finding REAL pumpkins, even in October.
posted by egeanin at 11:10 AM on October 17, 2011

Probably moderately heroic. I mean, it's not actually that hard to peel, cube and cook pumpkin in order to make a puree. But it does add quite a bit of extra effort to the already big effort (for fairly small reward IMO) that is the making of a pumpkin pie.
posted by rhymer at 11:54 AM on October 17, 2011

Couldn't find it when I traveled to the UK (or in Australia for what that's worth). Just used fresh pumpkin instead though to make pumpkin pie so no biggy for me.

But if there is a particular tinned pumpkin mix they used traditionally at home over the holidays and liked it would be really nice to send it. Or maybe you can just send a pie spice mix or something so it won't be so heavy to post. Tastes of things from home can make a holiday away not seem so bad. Just remember Halloween isn't such a big deal in countries other than the US, so maybe send some decorations too as they can be hard to find.
posted by wwax at 12:13 PM on October 17, 2011

I'm spending my first autumn in the east midlands (UK), and there are pie pumpkins for sale for a reasonable price at the greengrocer's in the market village nearby. Seconding the pie spice mix.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 12:48 PM on October 17, 2011

Uh, regular ole pumpkins are not for making pumpkin pie. You have to get the special pumpkin pie making kind (which is a problem in not-America), and THEN you slice, cook, peel and mash. Which is why butternut or acorn squash is your best bet. But there's still a difference. And that could make you a hero. ♪ ♫ But just for a day...
posted by iamkimiam at 1:51 PM on October 17, 2011

Here's a nice summary of the difference between decorative pumpkins and culinary pumpkins:
The truth about pumpkins
posted by iamkimiam at 1:53 PM on October 17, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm in London and wound up having to sieve butternut squash to make a pumpkin cheesecake - I'm thinking you'd be a big hero.
posted by SoftRain at 3:25 PM on October 17, 2011

Send some cranberry jelly as well.
posted by theora55 at 3:57 PM on October 17, 2011

You can't get canned pumpkin in Ireland, full stop. Bring some.

You *can* get it in London; Selfridges' food hall at Marble Arch and Fortnum's basement usually have Libby's shipped in for expats. Selfridges is less than half a mile from the embassy and doubtless gets lots of local traffic from that.
posted by genghis at 4:38 PM on October 17, 2011

I used to keep myself in pumpkin by regularly ordering it online, so it is possible to get it there relatively easily, but it wasn't cheap and I would have been very excited had someone brought some over for me.
posted by triggerfinger at 5:13 PM on October 17, 2011

I live in England and I can think of five places off the top of my head that sell canned pumpkin -- Waitrose sells it for something like £1.00 which is pretty good. They sell Libby's brand too.

Ireland is another story...
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 12:12 AM on October 18, 2011

The only thing my American relatives in Ireland constantly ask me to send is pumpkin pie filling and Fritos. So yeah, send it.
posted by OolooKitty at 1:30 AM on October 18, 2011

I'm in Dublin, and I do not know for a fact that you can get canned pumpkin here. But I do know that finding odd foods has become easier in recent years and continues to get easier as time goes by.

I am torn, if any American does find themselves in Dublin without canned pumpkin, between recommending upmarket markets (hah) like Fallon & Byrne on Exchequer St (which has an assortment of oddities I never knew existed [what is this "garlic"?]) or trying places like the Asian market on Georges St. or the Halal market on Mary St, both of which have so many vegetables in cans I get dizzy just trying to find black beans.
posted by distorte at 2:47 AM on October 18, 2011

Update: Just discovered this recent thread naming multiple places in Dublin that seem to stock it.
posted by distorte at 2:50 AM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

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