Americans of all nationalities celebrate their real or unofficial Irish-ness on March 17 every year (or the closest weekend to that date). Of course that day is, in fact, the Feast of St. Patrick observed by Catholics and other Christians, and is believed to be the date of his death in the fifth century. Legend has it the beloved saint drove all the snakes out of Ireland. (So, where’d they all go anyway?)
We at The Food Channel salute St. Pat’s Day with an Irish flag of a menu that’ll have you speaking with a thick brogue whether you’re entertaining friends or serving it as a family dinner.
Try these recipes for…
- Corned Beef and Irish Cheddar Sliders
- Sautéed Cabbage with Noodles
- Five-Minute Horseradish Sauce (superb with corned beef)
- Irish Roasted Carrots
- Pineapple-Rhubarb Crisp
- St. Patrick’s Day Popcorn
- Lucky Leprechaun Cookies
- St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes
Celebrated in the U.S. for More Than 250 Years
Irish immigrants in Boston began celebrating the holiday publicly as far back as 1737, and New York’s first St. Patrick’s Day parade marched through the streets of Manhattan in 1762. Today, people mark the day by wearing green, pinching those not wearing green, enjoying Irish foods or by raising a glass or two with friends in taverns and pub crawls.
Although St. Patrick’s Day has been a very American holiday for many years, Ireland has only recently begun to make a big deal out of St. Pat’s Day, primarily as a way to lure tourists to its shores. In 2008, nearly one million people attended the six-day festival in Dublin, which included parades, concerts, theatre productions and fireworks.
Irish food, although not generally considered among the world’s great cuisines, does offer some unique and flavorful dishes, many of which are consumed with gusto during those days around mid-March. Irish whiskey, beers and ales, on the other hand, are some of the most admired libations on the planet.
Corned beef and cabbage, which is not really the Irish national dish, is consumed in Ireland about the same way it is here in the U.S. That is, served up as a ‘traditional’ meal around St. Patrick’s Day. The rest of the year, corned beef is mainly found stuffed between two slices of rye bread, enjoyed as a popular deli sandwich, although classic Irish fare is now experiencing something of a resurgence there.
With St. Pat’s Day upon us, let’s celebrate the green with our ‘traditional’ Irish (American) menu and recipes for a St. Patrick’s Day Feast.