St. Pat's Day: Why Irish Americans Eat Corned Beef & Cabbage Mar 16, 2018 23:28:52 GMT -5 Kate likes this
Post by Graveyardbride on Mar 16, 2018 23:28:52 GMT -5
Why Irish Americans Eat Corned Beef & Cabbage on St. Pat’s Day
In every Irish establishment, and many others, especially around St. Patrick’s Day, corned beef and cabbage will make its way onto the menu, marking a “tip of the cap” to the Irish around March 17. Another annual occurrence is Irish people complaining this is not, in fact, an Irish dish at all, but is this true?
Why corned beef? Beef was not readily available in Ireland. It was considered a luxury and this is the reason the traditional Irish meal centered around ham (which they called bacon). But when these Irish folk got off the boats in America, it was quite the opposite. Corned beef was the meat they more easily, and more cheaply obtain, this became the meal of choice for generations of Irish Americans to come. In New England, it became traditional to have a boiled dinner (above). For this dish, the corned beef, cabbage and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips and potatoes were boiled.
New York Jewish corned beef. Many maintain the dish isn’t Irish at all. The close proximity of the Irish and Jewish communities at the time is said to be largely responsible for the popularity of corned beef among Irish immigrants. According to thekitchenproject.com, when the Irish arrived in America, they couldn’t find a bacon joint those in Ireland, so they gravitated toward Jewish corned beef, which was very similar in texture.
Irish workers’ free dinner. Francis Lam on Salon.com reports that, years ago, the bars of early 20th century New York would offer a free dinner of corned beef and cabbage to Irish workers who would crowd into the establishments after working all day on the building sites. The Irish builders would still have to buy a few drinks in order to get their supposedly free dinner, but the primary reason the corned beef and cabbage dinner is thought to be of Irish origin is not because they were enticed by a traditional meal so much as a cheap meal.
Whichever you prefer – whether it’s corned beef and cabbage or bacon and cabbage – enjoy!
Sources: Amanda Driscoll, IrishCentral, March 16, 2018, and ItMustBeIrish.
See “St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef & Cabbage”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/1310/patricks-day-corned-beef-cabbage
“St. Patrick’s Day Recipes”: whatliesbeyond.boards.net/thread/5160/st-patricks-day-recipes