The Luck o' the Irish: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day
St. Patrick's Day is here. And whether you're a true Irishman or just someone who looks good in green, the temptation to celebrate is overwhelming. So dust off your shamrocks and leprechauns and join in commemorating the life of St. Patrick, the Catholic priest who brough Christianity to Ireland's previously pagan populace. Although Ireland is not best known for its culinary expertise, there are a few traditional staples: corned beef and cabbage, potatoes and soda bread.
Potatoes play a particularly important role in the history of the small island nation. Indigenous to Central and South America, the potato made its way to Europe around 1570 with the help of Spanish explorers. It quickly became popular amont the poor of Europe because it was such a hardy, inexpensive vegetable to grow. But despite its sturdy nature, the potato was hit by a devastating blight. Known as the Irish potato famine (1845-1849), the infestation killed nearly one million people and led to the emigration of one and a quarter million Irish to the United States. Along with their other belongings, many Irishmen brought the potato to the U.S. Since then the versatile vegetable has become an important staple in our diets as well.
No Irish meal would be complete without plenty of stout and ale on hand to wash it down. Guinnesss is Ireland's oldest and most popular brew. Complete your celebration with some bread pudding covered with whiskey hard sauce and a hot Irish coffee.
Want to make your own Guinness Corned Beef & Cabbage recipe? Click on our Seasonal Recipes page and enjoy!