Thursday, March 13, 2008

St. Patrick's Reminder

Since Monday is St. Patrick's Day I thought it would be nice to remind you of this post from last year for Irish Soda Bread. There are a lot of imitations out there so remember the rules. If it has butter, eggs or sugar in it is not Irish Soda Bread it is some kind of cake by definition, most likely some variation of the Irish Spotted Cake.

One more note: Corned Beef and Cabbage is not an Irish dish. Beef was never a big part of the Irish diet and you would more likely find some boiled pork with vegetables and sometimes even cabbage. A true Irish dish would be Colcannon which is mashed potatoes and cooked cabbage. There is a link to a recipe for that as well at the above link. Yes, the Irish had cows but they were for milk and not beef. Yes, the Irish did export tons of salted beef even during the Great Famine but that was by the tenant farmers for their English masters. Beef was too expensive. Trivia: Salted beef took on the name Corned Beef from the corn cob shaped pieces of salt used to preserve the beef when it was packed in barrels.

Truth be known there is probably not an Irish "national dish" but it is also said that Guinness is more a meal than a drink so we could consider a pint of Guinness (a Guinness sandwich if you will) a close approximation. Works for me!

While we are talking about potatoes and cabbage, the English have their own variation of Colcannon in which you take usually left over boiled potatoes and cabbage(or brussel sprouts) and and fry them up together sort of like what we in the colonies call hash. In typically English food naming convention this is known as "Bubble and Squeak".

Now aren't you glad you stopped by?

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