Goodness, just realised that I’ve gotten a lovely shout-out from Tanya at Epicurious.com. I’ve been visiting that site for years so I’m most chuffed with the mention. Hello to anyone who has arrived here from there. As it’s quite likely you might be American, I thought I’d give you a few tips for March 17th.
First of all, and I hate to be the one to break it to you, Irish people do not eat corned beef and cabbage. That’s an Irish-American thing. We eat bacon and cabbage, although we don’t necessarily do so on Patrick’s Day. I seem to remember we used to have roast lamb (meltingly tender Irish spring lamb, of course) for Patrick’s Day when I was a kid.
Neither do we consume green beer, green cake or any other green stuff on St Patrick’s Day, apart possibly from peas, broccoli, cabbage or other things that are supposed to be green, like the mint sauce for the lamb.
Furthermore, we do not dye the rivers green or dress entirely in green. Surprised? To see how odd the American version of Patrick’s Day seems to us, have a look at this article from one of yesterday’s Irish newspapers on the bemusing experience of being Irish in America on March 17th.
I can’t think that we eat anything else special on the day, although as children we were always given a day off from our Lenten fasting so we used to chow down on lots of sweets and chocolates. I don’t do Lent any more so that’s immaterial.
What will I eat on Saturday? Probably some lovely Irish salmon with spring vegetables and new potatoes, so the plate will be vaguely green, white & orange. Well, I have to make some sort of effort to honour the national holiday…