What You Don’t Find in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day … or Any Day…

Corned Beef and Cabbage … Seriously, my entire youth was spent looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day and mom’s corned beef and cabbage — didn’t matter we weren’t Irish.   Rye bread, corned beef and cabbage boiled with potatoes and carrots.  Heaven.  I still make it every year — but not this year, after 4 trips to Ireland in the last year and half, and never ever seeing corned beef on any Irish menu, I decided to do a little checking on that apparently only-in-the-USA St. Patrick’s Day tradition.

Apparently, it really doesn’t have much to do with being Irish.  It has to do with trying to entice Irish workers in the USA with a free meal at the pub after you ordered a drink or two.  Apparently, it was more of a Jewish dish that reminded Irish immigrants in the USA of Irish bacon and cabbage.   Now, that’s another story as well.  Order bacon in Ireland and it won’t look anything like what USA folks are accustomed to eating in the morn.  It’s more like a pork loin.  A back of the pig bacon.   A little more confusing … no corned beef and cabbage in Ireland and no bacon as an American is accustomed to eating.

So, should we ruin 4-leaf clovers are well.  Probably.  The Shamrock is a 3-leaf clover.  Never a 4-leaf clover.  And it is said, that St. Patrick utilized the symbol of a clover – 3 leaf – to symbolize Ireland.  So please don’t go looking for or wearing 4-leaf clovers in Ireland.

Ok, what will I make this year?  Shepherd’s pie but with hamburger so not quite accurate either.  It should be minced lamb.   But I’ll make do and it will be wonderful.