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Fast Food; Ireland; Culture; Economic Conditions; Celtic Tiger; Convenience Stores; Baking Technology; Sandwich

The Rise and Fall of the Jumbo Breakfast Roll: How a Sandwich Survived the Decline of the Irish Economy

Perry Share
Sociological Research Online 16 (2) 2

Keywords: Fast Food; Ireland; Culture; Economic Conditions; Celtic Tiger; Convenience Stores; Baking Technology; Sandwich
Abstract: This paper examines a specific food item - the Jumbo Breakfast Roll [JBR] - through a sociological lens, in order to trace the factors that contributed to its rise to prominence in Irish food culture in the 'Celtic Tiger' period of the late 20th/early 21st century. It also examines the development of these factors in the period following the crash of the Irish bubble economy. It is argued that the JBR arose at the intersection of a number of key trends in the food technology, retail, transport, distribution and construction sectors. Yet the JBR also had its antecedents in established foodways and traditions. It reflects on how the JBR could be interpreted as a 'national dish' that symbolised a particular moment in contemporary Irish society, and raises the possibility that a sociologically-informed analysis of such emblematic dishes allows us to explore aspects of national society, culture and economy within a globalised world.