Saint Patrick's Day is a fun filled event that we all enjoy. Everyone wears their something green for the day to avoid that annoying pinch. Today is a holiday filled with celebration honoring the Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick. Many people will consume plenty of Irish foods and drinks using traditional Irish recipes in honor of the holiday. In fact, this is the busiest day of the year for the local bars and pubs.
Many party-goers will seek out the nearest Irish pub for a "wee bit of drink" and good times. Did you know that there are more Irish pubs in the United States than there are in Ireland or any where else in the world for that matter? The reason being is that in Ireland Saint Patrick's Day is an official public holiday. It is a religious occasion where fellow Irishmen and women attend mass and pray for missionaries worldwide. On this day, Saint Patrick is honored for converting those practicing Celtic paganism to Christianity. In Duplin, a week long festival is held and over a million people fill the streets in celebration. In America, we celebrate with parades, festivals, Irish foods, and plenty of Irish drinks.
Traditional Irish Foods
There are specific foods consumed on this day. They are prepared from traditional Irish recipes. Some traditional Irish recipes include cabbage, Irish bacon, and corned beef. If truth be know, the Irish actually love cabbage with bacon instead of corned beef. Corned beef and cabbage is not the traditional dish desired by the Irish, this is just a myth that they succumb to, and serve, to placate the tourist. There is an excellent poem written by Frances Shilliday debunking this myth called, Good Grief - Not Beef." Here is an excerpt from it that goes like this:
"I just want to put something straight
About what should be on your plate,
If it's corned beef you're makin'
You're sadly mistaken,
That isn't what Irishmen ateâ¦."
So if you want to cook a tradition Irish recipe, then make sure that you look for recipes with cabbage and bacon. You can also make a simple recipe by boiling about 3 pounds of Irish bacon or shoulder for an hour. Add 1 small cut up cabbage to the same pan and continue boiling another 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the bacon and cut is up into bite sized pieces. Drain the cabbage and the bacon or shoulder back into the dish. Serve this with a nice parsley sauce. Remember that any sides you prepare should be green.
Traditional Irish Drinks
There are lots of traditional Irish drinks to choose from as well. If you are looking for a famous Irish Whiskey try Old Bushmills, Paddy's, or Jameson's. If it is beer that you seek, then there is nothing quite as stout as the black Irish ales such as Guinness, Beamish, and O'Hara's Irish Stout. Red ale's are another traditional beer loved by the Irish. Popular red ales include Smithwick's and O'Hara's Irish Red Stout. Other famous Irish beers include Murphy's Stout and Kilkenny. Some popular beers produced in America are of course Samuel Adams, Celtic Ale, and Finnegans Irish Amber. Bulmer's cider is yet another popular drink, and who can forget about Bailey's Irish Cream.
Find you some traditional Irish recipes and try different foods and drinks that are customary culinary treats on this special occasion. Make sure that your menu and recipes includes sides that are green such as asparagus, green beans, spinach, or broccoli. Sample some of the Irish spirits at the local pubs and get into the spirit of the holiday. Here is an Irish toast that you can make and impress your friends.
"Fad saol agat.
"Long life to you."
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