It’s Saint Patrick’s Day and everyone is invited to call themselves Irish joining in on the food, fun, and celebration on this special day.
Spring in the air which means everyone is dressing with a little more green feeling the Irish spirit. Corned beef fill rows of meat at your local food shop while cabbages, potatoes, and carrots occupy space among the countless fresh vegetables. Whether your able to drink or not or maybe you’ve already started, come share a pint of your time and follow me, Bobby Soufflé, as we explore the food and tradition in celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day.
The legend of Saint Patrick began after his death in the year of 461 A.D. As a priest, his life was devoted to serving the people of Ireland around 432 A.D.
He adopted the name Patrick near the start of his priesthood helping to build schools and monasteries along the North and West coasts of Ireland. Years after his passing, mythology grew about Patrick and his good deeds amongst the people leading him to be ordained the Patron Saint of Ireland. In turn, his life and services were memorialized by the people he served. As his legend grew, so too did the celebrations in his name which extended all the way to America.
The first such recorded occurrence notably took place in Boston, Massachusetts in 1737 with an organized parade overseen by the Irish community.
As the community of people grew in celebrating Saint Patrick on March 17th, a traditional meal was established in accordance on his day of passing. While many poor Irish immigrants arrived in America in the mid 1840’s due to the potato famine in Ireland, just as in today’s society, they needed to save money. Corned beef was a cheap alternative to the more expensive Irish bacon becoming the traditional meat on Saint Patrick’s Day.
Growing up in an Irish family, I was guranteed to have the traditional corned beef and cabbage meal at least once during the year.
Even though it’s not a major holiday, I always value the time I have to share a hearty meal with my family. It opens great topics of conversation all while indulging some delicious food. Unfortunately, the cabbage is flavorless until adding spicy mustard to give it a kick!
Around the end of the nineteenth (19th) century, cabbage was established as the traditional vegetable, but carrots and potatoes remain the tastier vegetables of the meal. Whether or not you or your family make the traditional meal on Saint Patrick’s Day, it might be available as a special on the menu at your local eatery throughout the month of March or Saint Patrick’s Day. You should be able to find a drink special or two in celebration of the day assuming the meal is not available.
It is ok to have a pint or two of your favorite ale at your local pub or restaurant bar as it’s a notable tradition on Saint Patrick’s day.
As Easter approaches in the following weeks asking Catholics to give up certain habits like drinking, Saint Patrick’s Day gave those in the Irish community the opportunity to celebrate the patron saint safely with a few pints at the pub ahead of the holy day.
The tradition of drinking started way back in 1762.
With the intention of celebrating the passing of Saint Patrick, a group of Irish soldiers in New York marched several blocks to a local tavern for drinks in his honor. Since then, this custom has remained popular among the Irish and those who partake in the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day.
I hope you have enjoyed reading the history behind this day as I did in learning about it. For myself, I have a better understanding of my Irish heritage and the traditions it carries since its incarnation. Be like the Irish and celebrate in honor of Saint Patrick.
To you and yours, never stop trying new things. Please follow me @ Food & Zen for new content.