Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone! Can’t you just imagine tables all over Ireland overflowing today with delicious, warm plates of Corned Beef and Cabbage? Think again! Contrary to popular belief, this is not the national dish of Ireland, nor is it a popular meal over there.
There are many other dishes that are much more celebrated and widely enjoyed in the land of Erin Go Bragh. Here are just a few that you might never have heard of:
The name of this dish comes from Gaelic meaning “white-headed cabbage”. Colcannon consists of potatoes mashed with cooked kale or cabbage. Much like our tradition of catching the bouquet at a wedding, it is said that the Irish were known to hide small charms in bowls of Colcannon and it was a sign of an imminent marriage proposal for the girl who got the lucky portion.
Coddle is a hearty dish where sausages, bacon, potatoes and onions are boiled together in one pot. It dates back to the 1700’s and some say it was created as a way to use up sausage and bacon scraps on Thursdays, as Catholics were not supposed to consume meat on Fridays. Considered unappetizing to most outsiders, it is a popular dish in Dublin and was a favorite of author James Joyce, who mentioned it in his novels Dubliners and Finnegan’s Wake.
An incredibly popular food native to Waterford that is simply a soft white bread bun with white flour sprinkled on top. The inhabitants of Waterford are extremely proud of their Blaa, as it is the only indigenous Irish yeast roll in existence, and has even been granted European Protected Geographical Integrity status. This means that similar products produced outside of Waterford are prohibited from being given the same name.
A staple dessert in Dublin, Gur Cake was traditionally very cheap as it was made from bakery leftovers. It usually consists of two layers of pastry with dried fruit filling, breadcrumbs and sweetener. Some believe it was originally known as “gutter cake” and later shortened to “gur.” Others believe it came from the term “to go on the gur” which essentially means to skip school. It is thought to have been popular with kids who went ‘on the gur’ as a cheap snack to fuel them for their day of mischief.
Now that you’re properly educated you can stop dossing, go on to your local for a St. Paddy’s Day pint and you’re on the pig’s back!