The day before St. Patrick's Day, menu planning
I thought that I would check the web to see if I could learn anything new and helpful before I boil my corned beef, carrots, and cabbage tomorrow for my Irish-heritage wife. She clings to her Irish roots like I do to my Welsh roots. The funny thing is, we probably have an equal mix of Irish, English, Welsh, Scottish, German, and French, etc.
I crave leeks and beets. Who but the Welsh would do that?
“What foods do Irish people eat?
The question of what Irish people eat these days is one that brings people to our website all the time. (By the way, if you're here looking for an answer to the question "What is the Irish national dish?", the short answer is that there may not be one -- at least not one that you can get even a majority of Irish people to agree on. If you're thinking that the Irish national dish is corned beef and cabbage, we're sorry to tell you that it's not, and never has been: you can go to this page to find out why. It might be the Irish-American national dish...but here it's nowhere near as popular as a real national dish would be.)
Memories of the past
Many North Americans' ideas about Ireland's food and what Irish people eat have been shaped by images of a long-lost past, or stories older relatives have told them -- especially their grandparents...
They hear stories about the limited pre-famine rural diet, which might have been based mostly on potatoes and buttermilk with only a taste of meat on Sundays and holidays. Or they hear stories of the relatively poor diet of many non-city-dwelling Irish people during the early 1900's, either heavy on meat and potatoes or on tea and bread and little else. Or people may hear stories about the limitations and rationing that made it hard to find much that was really good to eat during the years of World War II, usually referred to in Ireland as "the Emergency". And immigrants from Ireland to the US and Canada during the lean times of the post-war years, when so much of the young workforce had to leave home to find any work at all, won't usually have much good to say about the sameness and blandness of Irish food during the 1950s and 1960s. But then came the food revolution that was begun -- at the grassroots level -- by people who, as the economy improved and air travel got cheaper, were able for the first time to go abroad for their vacations / holidays.”
The website goes on to tell us what modern Irish people do, but my heart is too shattered to care since they trashed the corned beef and cabbage tradition.
Just maybe the corned beef and cabbage came from my ancestral Jewish roots. Maybe St. Pattrick was really Rabi Abraham? I am going to celebrate Rabi Abraham Day. I hope he likes green.
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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada