Today is St. Patrick’s Day. If you are feeling the luck of the Irish today, then you’d probably want something inspired by the Emerald Isles: Corn Beef and Cabbage. Served every year on St. Patrick’s Day, alongside a pint of green beer (which is definitely not an Irish tradition, but anyways) nothing symbolizes Irish Pride like it.
You might be shocked to learn this, but both Corned Beef and Cabbage, as well as the first St. Patrick’s Day Parade in recorded history actually came from New York City.
You see, while pork was a popular item on the Irish dinner tables, the Irish tended to favor the Irish Bacon, which was actually quite expensive for the newly arrived Irish Immigrants in America. Living alongside other “undesirables” such as the Italians and the Jews, the Irish frequented many Jewish deli’s and food stands and happened to come across corned beef, which was a lot cheaper than the desired Irish Bacon. Potatoes, on the other hand, were plentiful in America, but still somewhat expensive, so Cabbage, being cheaper than potatoes was consumed instead. With both boiled inside the pot, with an almost foolproof recipe, the Irish American staple we know today was born.
While it may not be authentic, it does speak to the desire to adapt and thrive in a new setting. Food that may be associated with one culture may have been born out of necessity rather than a longing for home. Being able to adapt to your surroundings is what ensures the survival of a people and their heritage.
Like the Italian American community celebrating Columbus day as a unofficial celebration of Italian Pride, many Irish American’s celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a way of celebrating their culture. The actual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Ireland is actually a national holiday, and up until recently, was a religious holiday celebrated by devout Catholics. Today, the Irish Government uses the day to celebrate Irish heritage and culture with the rest of the world.
We here at CaliPlate pay tribute to those Irish who have made the USA and California an awesome place to live. Even though it may not be authentic, check out this recipe from Epicurious.com, recommended to me from an actual Irish-American friend of mine. (The best part? it uses carrots rather than Cabbage to compliment the whiskey glaze)
And now, we leave you with an old Irish Blessing
May those who love us, love us
And those who don’t love us, may God turn their hearts
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts
may he turn their ankles
so we’ll know them by their limping.
Happy Saint Patricks Day California!
Thanks to Militant vegetable gardener and proud Irish American Amy Sutor for the assist on this article.
Source: Hungry History via History.com
Photo Credit: epicurious.com
Update: An earlier posting named Allrecipes as the web address for the recipe, it was actually from epicurious.com. We regret the error made