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Tuesday, March 17, 2015


When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, what could be more authentic, than a tasty meal of corned beef and cabbage?  Well, truthfully, anything, since corned beef and cabbage was never a traditional meal back in Ireland.  Having said that, how then, did this become the standard St. Patrick’s Day feast?

Much like the first St. Patrick’s day parade, which took place in New York (1762) and not in Ireland, this traditional meal has its origins in this country.  The mid 1700’s through the mid 1800’s saw an explosion of Irish immigrants to the United States, who brought with them their traditions and foods, like soda bread and Irish stew.

Another favorite food was pork, which was inexpensive in Ireland.  The preferred cut was Irish bacon, similar to today’s Canadian bacon, which was served with potatoes – also inexpensive in the old World.  While these were common foods in Ireland, they needed to be adapted once the immigrants made their way to this side of the Atlantic.

Last year I discussed wearing the traditional green clothing for St. Patrick's Day.

Pork was very expensive here, and was soon replaced by beef, a much cheaper alternative, and while potatoes were available, cabbage became a much more cost-effective substitute.  But how did corned beef become the chosen food?

The Irish immigrants were considered “undesirables” and lived among other “undesirable” ethnic groups such as the Italian and the Jewish communities.  They began frequenting the local neighborhood shops, including Jewish delis, where they discovered corned beef.  It was cured much like the pork bacon of the Old World, but was much cheaper to buy.  When the cabbage was cooked in the same pot with corned beef, the spices would flavor the cabbage, making this a quick and easy meal to prepare.

While corned beef and cabbage may not have been brought to the United States from Ireland, it does have a history all of its own, which spans more than two centuries, and has now become tradition.  Here’s hoping that today you’ll enjoy a "traditional" tasty meal of corned beef and cabbage.

My Traditional St. Patricks Day Wearing Of The Green.
          Mint Green Shirt: Polo Ralph Lauren
          Green Corduroy Pants: Lands' End
          Tie: Vintage
          Shoes: Bostonian Cordovan Cap Toe
          Socks: Bugatchi
          Watch: Timex
          Watchband: Brooks Brothers
          Beads: Just For FUN!

***Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage?

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