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Traditional Irish Foods

March 13, 2019
By Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

My last editorial regarding St. Patrick's Day and the Irish is looking at traditional Irish food, which you may or may not have heard of. I have found eleven traditional Irish foods that may be eaten on St. Patrick's Day or any other day for that matter.

Start off your St. Patrick's Day with "A Fried Irish Breakfast" and you will be set for the whole day. A traditional fry includes a few slices of bacon (called rashers), fried tomatoes, black pudding (blood sausage), brown soda bread, and a huge pot of tea.

The next nine foods are served as part of a meal:

Boxty: The name tells you nothing about what it is you are eating. Would you believe this is nothing more than a potato pancake? It's made with both raw potatoes and mashed potatoes. It allegedly began during the Irish Potato Famine, and is even mentioned in an old Irish rhyme: "Boxty on the griddle, boxty on the pan; if you can't make boxty, you'll never get a man."

Coddle: This one pot stew is made with leftovers from the week, such as sausage, bacon, potatoes and onions. The name comes from "coddling" or simmering the ingredients for hours before it's ready to eat. It's a favorite dish of Dublin.

Barmbrack: The name of this dish is usually shortened to "brack." It is an Irish Fruitcake filled with raisins, fruit and spices. It is typically soaked in tea and whiskey overnight, making it an even more delicious snack.

Champ: Champ is very similar to mashed potatoes in that it is made with potatoes, milk, and scallions. What makes it so much better than mashed potatoes is the melted butter in the middle.

Colcannon: Maybe you've heard of this one; I never have. Colcannon is creamy mashed potatoes with cabbage. It is generally served with ham.

Black and White Pudding: The Irish like to enjoy their black and white pudding. Black pudding is sausage made with pork meat, fat, and blood. White pudding is made with the same ingredients but leave out the blood. It doesn't sound very appetizing to me.

Irish Soda Bread: This is simply quick bread made with baking soda. The basic recipe is very simple, however; many Irish families add their own twist of fruit and spices. These recipes are passed down from generation to generation, making them family heirlooms.

Irish Stew: This comforting one-pot meal is cooked slowly until the meat is ultra tender. Mutton was the original meat, but today, lamb is preferred. Potatoes, onions, and sometimes carrots complete the dish.

Shepherd's Pie: This is a popular way in America to use leftovers. Traditional shepherd's pie uses lamb, cottage pie uses ground beef. Many Americans use the term shepherd's pie for both dishes.

To round off my eleven traditional Irish foods, I chose a beverage.

Irish Coffee: This warm drink is wonderful on a cold winter's night curled up with a good book. It is made with black coffee, Irish whiskey, a little bit of sugar and topped with cream.

These are just a few of the many Irish foods that people eat on St. Pat's Day. As for me, I do not see myself eating Black and White Pudding, Barmbrack (Irish Fruitcake) or Irish Stew and Shepherd's Pie if there is lamb or mutton in either one. Replace the lamb or mutton with beef and I will eat a lot of either one. I love potatoes and cabbage, so any of those foods I would love.

Everyone will have the opportunity to try some Irish foods over the St. Patrick's weekend with an Irish Baked Potato Bar and Irish Stew.

Let's all have fun and have a safe and enjoyable St. Patrick's Day!



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