Next Tuesday is St. Patrick’s Day, a day that in years past, was a time to honor Ireland’s patron saint. It is said that St. Patrick drove all of the snakes, which were of tremendous population, from the Emerald Isle. In present time the day is an excuse to drink a few stouts and eat beef stew or corned beef and cabbage.
Ireland is a country of limited resources and a peasant background. Economic factors dictate the use of inexpensive and simple food products. An Irish proverb says “the newest of food and the oldest of drink.” Ireland boasts fresh food from its bountiful supply of produce and livestock. Simple food becomes simply splendid.
Onions, leeks, garlic, cabbage and carrots are some of the most common crops. Watercress and sorrel are used with the same frequency as iceberg lettuce in the U.S. What a delightful difference: greens with a taste. Potatoes were brought to Ireland around the 1600’s. The Irish were the only people in Europe that ate the tubers.
Other foodstuffs, particularly dairy products, meat and fish are top quality. The bacon is meaty – not all fat. The oatmeal is in-comparable and, the lamb has a special sweetish flavor.
Irish cooking today is much different than yesteryear. It is more seafood oriented and lighter. Irish salmon is some of the most coveted in the world. Vegetarianism is on the rise. The cooking of Ireland is not regionally driven as in most other countries. The only dish that changes from area to area is lamb stew. The base is lamb, onions and potatoes. From there the stew changes from town to town, or even, house to house, with the variations being limitless.
So, head into the Bistro this weekend for your favorite Irish fare. Sharon and crew are preparing Traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage; Beef and Stout Stew; Lobster Pot Pie; a Grilled Lamb Burger topped with Kerrygold’s Aged Dubliner Cheese; Smoked Trout Dip with House Made Potato Chips and for dessert Bailey’s Cheesecake.
Finally, thanks to everyone who has brought in food for our furry friends. It is much appreciated by them and their owners. Any and all donations can be left in the lobby.
“Erin Go Bragh!” And, Wishes For Many Million Dollar Days!
See you at the Bistro. XXOO, Mary