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Irish Food Fun Friday and an Interview with an Irish Lass!

Irish Food

One of my good friends (whom I actually met traveling through Southeast Asia) is a brilliantly funny Irish lass. I decided to pick her brain last night as I was preparing some posts for St. Patrick’s Day- you know, to get the “insider” scoop on what is going on over in the Emerald Isle for this festive holiday. 1549558_10151934214496640_1892077228_n I wanted to get down to some true Irish traditions surrounding St. Patrick’s Day, so I asked my good friend Anne Marie of Cork, Ireland.

Our Facebook chat conversation went something like this:

Me: Do y’all celebrate St. Patty’s Day over there, or is that just romanticized American thinking? AM: You might not like this but.. this is doing the rounds in Ireland… Apparently this was a sign in Dublin airport this week. 247702_10151934201996640_1647039227_n Me: Haha- I Love that! I’m so ignoramus! So, y’all DO celebrate St. Patrick’s day, right? Is it big there, like Mardi Gras is in Louisiana?

AM:  Yep we call it Paddys Day. It’s monday and we all have the day off so most people go out drinking the Sunday night and get pissed.

Some people go out Monday too but very early drinking in the day and are very messy by 8pm or 9pm and then head home for work Tuesday morning.
There is a parade and sports teams and kids partake. It’s mostly families that go watch the parade. We never do!!! I was in the St Patricks Day Parade in Sydney last year!! It was great fun!
Check out my pics of parade last year.. See the crowd of Aussies watching the parade! 30,000 people turned out to watch!
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A-M driving the tractor in Sydney!

1898124_10151934215431640_281424504_n Me: Wow 30k! Huge! We have a big parade in Baton Rouge, LA on Saturday every year (the weekend before Paddy’s day)- it’s like Mardi Gras. We close the streets down, everyone is drinking by 8 AM. Good fun. I’m going this year (home for my baby shower tomorrow) can’t drink the milk punch or green beer, though. Sad.

Me: Do y’all do green beer?

AM:  Nah!! Just plenty pints and bottles of beer
Me: Do you eat shepherd’s pie?
AM: Yep but not on paddys day. Most young people don’t have dinner paddys day cause they are hungover! 
Me: Do y’all eat soda bread or is that an American (Irish) thing?
Me: Here’s me being addicted to soda bread….
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AM: That’s me finally kissin the Blarney stone in cork at the weekend! !!Living here 13.5 years and never kissed it!!

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Me: Oh awesome! What are other “Irish foods?” Bangers and mash? Or is that more UK? Fish and chips– but also UK. Haha- doing a post on Irish food for Friday.

AM: Bacon and cabbage or bacon and colcannon.

 

AM: Have you ever heard of The Rose of Tralee? Well this is Paddys Day last year in Sydney and we jumped on the Sydney Roses float!!!! I was parading with the Central Coast hurling and Camogie club in Sydney Australia. They have well over 50 Irish in the club!!

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The girls dressed as Irish Sheep! Oh and the sticks we are holding are called hurls or hurleys used for mens hurling and women’s camogie field game.

1964916_10151934244471640_19221601_n Then the conversation turned a little personal… so….

Irish Food

As we gear up for St. Patrick’s Day, let’s talk about some fun Irish food…

Soda Bread

Irish Food

It’s hard to describe how soda bread tastes. It’s softer than regular bread. I didn’t know a thing about soda bread until I decided to buy some and then research a bit about it.

Irish Food

 

The main difference from most bread recipes is that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is used as a leavening agent instead of the more common yeast. Ingredients include flour, bread soda, salt and buttermilk. The buttermilk, containing lactic acid, reacts with the baking soda, forming tiny carbon dioxide bubbles. Other ingredients like egg, butter, nuts and raisons may be added.

 

Irish Food

The loaf I bought from Merriddee’s has raisons and rye in it. It’s delicious. I can’t stop eating it.

Irish food

Soda bread was introduced to America by early European settlers as a cheap and quick version. Pearl Ash (potassium carbonate) was used as a leavening agent (the precursor to baking soda). These breads appeared in Europe in the mid-19th century when bicarbonate of soda first became available.

Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie, or cottage pie, is a meat pie with a mashed potato crust. In the late 18th century, potatoes were introduced as an affordable crop for the poor and were used in cottage pie.

The term “cottage” was meant to denote modest dwellings for rural people. The dish was born as a means to use leftover meat of any kind. Mutton or lamb was often used instead of beef, hence the name shepherd’s pie, which was introduced in 1877.

I, personally, love shepherd’s pie (who wouldn’t love baked mashed potatoes with beef or lamb!) and have had some good servings in Ireland and here in the U.S. I plan on heading over to Family Wash in Nashville soon to try their famous lamb and beef version!

Other Irish Food Favorites….

Fish and Chips Fish_and_chips

Bangers and Mash

Bangers_and_mash_1

Irish Coffee (so- not a food, but you DO consume it!)

Irish coffee

 

What are your favorite Irish foods? What are you doing for Paddy’s Day?

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4 Responses to Irish Food Fun Friday and an Interview with an Irish Lass!

  1. Kevin @ Guess This City March 14, 2014 at 2:55 PM #

    I love Irish soda bread so much you have no clue!

  2. Susan Chollette Loudermilk March 17, 2014 at 11:57 AM #

    My memories of Ireland always include the taste of Irish soda bread (hot and fresh every morning) and Irish coffee (topped with thick cream poured over the back of a spoon).

    • Lindsay March 17, 2014 at 12:52 PM #

      Those are good memories to have! I was all about fish and chips- and Irish Coffee as well! Seems to always be a little chill in the air, even in the summer- which makes an Irish Coffee extra appetizing!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Happy St Patrick's Day! What's it Mean, Anyway? - The Traveluster - March 17, 2014

    […] and Australia. My Irish friend had a big St. Paddy’s Day celebration in Australia last year (check out that convo and photos). Oh, and she corrected me; it’s not St. Patty’s Day, it’s St. Paddy‘s […]

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