The significance of St Patrick’s Day, like most other holidays, is about far more than just wearing green and drinking green beer, it’s also about the food that represents itself on this day as well. Most of the reason why Irish food is so popular in Ireland and in the US is because it brings a sense of home to its ancestors and Irish cuisine has been around since the beginning of time.
- Corned Beef and Cabbage: Funny enough, this dish was not present in the original celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland as it is made in the U.S. and other countries using corned beef and cabbage. However, it is significant to Irish American immigrants because it’s very close to things they would eat at home. Cabbage is also a cheap vegetable in Ireland. Instead of using corned beef, they would usually use boiled beef or bacon because cabbage and boiled beef were both affordable items to purchase and make.
- Irish Soda Bread: The actual term of soda in soda bread has nothing to do with the carbonated beverage that Americans are fond of. Instead it has to do with baking soda. Irish Soda bread is actually quite different from American soda bread too because it has berries or other fruit in it. Irish Soda bread is very popular in Ireland because it has been made for centuries without an oven. Instead, it can be made in a cast iron casserole over an open fire or the remaining embers.
- Guinness: This is a stout beer that was first introduced and produced in Ireland and most of the time it carries a certain sense of “home” for immigrants. The beer was first produced in 1759 by Arthur Guinness.
- Colcannon: This might sound unfamiliar to Americans, but it’s a popular dish in Ireland made with items that can be traced back to Irish food history. It includes boiled potatoes, cabbage, onions and butter or cream. It was also quite popularly talked about in the book Angela’s Ashes and goes back as far as 1775!