We’re fussy about what’s in our Ulster Fry - and that’s no yolk!

Chefs Jenny Price, Adrian Jinariu and Deirdre Craig with an Ulster Fry at Hedley's Restaurant.  US1506-553cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Chefs Jenny Price, Adrian Jinariu and Deirdre Craig with an Ulster Fry at Hedley's Restaurant. US1506-553cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

What would you say is the best part of a good old Ulster Fry?

Well according to Tesco, it’s the bacon.

Ulster Fry at Coffee Inc. US1506-556cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Ulster Fry at Coffee Inc. US1506-556cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

They asked shoppers at their Lisburn store what they loved the most about a good fry-up and found that over 28% of locals looked forward to the bacon most of all.

Next up were the sausages at just over 25.3%, closely followed by potato cake/bread (18.6%) and eggs (13.3%).

Soda farls got the thumbs up from 7.3% of Lisburn shoppers, while pancakes were voted number one by 4%.

At the other end of the scale, it seems we can take or leave tomatoes - only 1.3% named those number one. Perhaps they were the vegetarians.

Owner Jackie Gamble with an Ulster Fry at Snac-A-Jac Restaurant.  US1506-558cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson

Owner Jackie Gamble with an Ulster Fry at Snac-A-Jac Restaurant. US1506-558cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

We asked some of our local cafes what they found were the most loved part of their Ulster Fry.

Gillian Gault of Gilly G’s/Coffee Inc, Haslems Lane, proved Lisburn people still enjoy an Ulster Fry with between 140 and 160 being sold a day and 1,200 rashers being used a week.

“Bacon is definitely the most popular item and I’d say beans or mushrooms would be the least popular amongst our customers although saying that we do go through 20 gallons of beans a week as our supplier recently pointed this out,” she said.

Stephen Aiken of Hedleys, in Bow Street, agreed that bacon is the most poular Ulster Fry item with his customers and tomatoes the least popular.

He pointed out that occasionally customers will ask for a poached egg instead of a fried one.

Jackie Gamble from Snac a Jac based at Knockmore Business Centre off the Moira Road said bacon is the most popular item asked for by her customers with some preferring the fat cut off and others asking for it to be well done.

Snac a Jac made it into the final three of a Best Ulster Fry competition several years ago so Jackie certainly knows what she is talking about when it comes to serving up one of the nation’s favourite dishes.

Asked if there was anything out of the ordinary that her customers ask for she said: “Some customers like their eggs fried with the yolks taken out and we don’t hesitate to serve it that way as everybody has personal tastes.

“If the customer is with someone else who has ordered a fry too we will just cut the yolk out and give it to them so there is no waste.

“The staff ask what way people like their eggs as it can really make or break a fry if you don’t get it a certain way.

“It is important that the customer gets what they like.”

She continued: “Some customers also like their fried egg to be flipped over so you don’t see the yolk.”

Asked what wouldn’t be as popular Jackie said: “Pancakes wouldn’t be that popular with our customers.

“We’ve also noticed people are asking for wheaten farl bread instead of soda bread and veg roll too.”

Tesco’s research found the Ulster Fry remains a firm favourite, but the leading retailer is currently proving that Northern Ireland’s breakfast table has evolved down the years.

Tesco is staging a major in-store promotion to show local suppliers offer breakfast products to suit all tastes.

These days granola, nuts, seeds and grains from home are as readily available in Tesco NI’s 56-strong store network as bacon, potato bread and soda farls.

The ‘Enjoy A Northern Irish Breakfast’ initiative is part of the ongoing Tesco Taste Northern Ireland campaign aimed at supporting Northern Ireland food and its producers.