Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Ireland is known for its hearty meals of meat and potatoes, and for its most famous dish: the Irish stew. It is the national dish for the country, and is thick, hearty and filling.
Over the years, the ingredients have changed from the traditional recipe, which included potatoes, onions, parsley and lamb or mutton. When some Irish migrated to the United States to escape the Great Famine, they had to adapt to locally available food. Sheep were not as common in the United States, so cooks began using beef instead. Cooks added various new ingredients to fit the taste of the maker. There are even gourmet Irish stews.
Another Irish favorite is bacon and cabbage. I know it sounds odd, because we are used to eating corned beef and cabbage. Originally, beef was only for the wealthy in Ireland, so pork was among the meats that the rest of the Irish population ate. It wasn't until after the migration to the United States that the Irish immigrants adopted corned beef because of how affordable it was. The recipe for bacon and cabbage changed to corned beef and cabbage and was exported back to Ireland. Don't expect to see bacon and cabbage in very many restaurants and pubs in America, although it is still more traditional and popular dish eaten in Ireland.