Corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day didn’t even come from Ireland. Cabbage is a long time Irish food. The corned beef was started in America. Homes in Ireland would celebrate with bacon and cabbage. The potato has more symbolism with the Irish than corned beef and cabbage.
Irish Foods: The Potato
The potato was introduced in the 2nd half of the 16th century. Potato was the main food crop of the poor. The Great Potato Famine of 1845 will go down in history as the biggest change to the Ireland population and the American influx of Irish immigrants.
The Great Irish Famine was cause by the blight of potatoes. A water spore infected the potato plant and destroyed the entire crop. The famine lasted from 1846 to 1849. Nearly one million people died and two million immigrated to the United States.
Most Irish dishes have some form of potato in them. Here are 6 Irish foods the came from the potato and Ireland:
Coddle is made by layering slices of pork sausages, potatoes, onions and barley.
Colcannon is made with white headed cabbage, mashed potatoes, kale or cabbage, butter and salt and pepper and wild garlic. An old Irish Halloween tradition is to use colcannon to hide small prizes. The colcannon is served with small coins concealed inside.
Boxty is a potato pancake. The potato is finely ground into a smooth consistency.
4. Irish Stew or Stobhach Gaelach
Irish stew or Stobhach Gaelach is made with lamb, beef or mutton, potatoes, carrots, onions, and parsley.
5. Champ or Bruitin
Champ or bruitin is mashed potatoes and spring onions, butter, and milk. This side dish is also a popular Irish saying that means stupid. It is used in a sentence as “thick as champ.”
6. Irish Breakfast or Ulster Fry
7. Irish Foods: Soda Bread
Soda bread is a quick bread made with baking soda. It is used for leavening. It is made with flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk. The soda bread is baked in a rounded shape and has a cross cut in the top of the bread. There are several reasons why the cross it there. One says it is there to ward off evil. The second, it could be used to help with the cooking of the bread or the third, to serve as a guideline for even slices.
8. Irish Drink: Irish Coffee
Many local pubs add green food colouring to their beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Looks funny, but tastes just as good. The best way to end an Irish meal is with Irish coffee. This is made with coffee, sugar, whipping cream, and good Irish whiskey.
These traditional Irish foods are huge favourites on St. Patrick’s Day. They are also staples on every other day of the year too and are delicious to eat for dinner on a cold winter Irish evening.