Completely Inauthentic yet Delicious Foods for St. Patrick's Day
Before I get into any critiques of what is or isn't Irish foods, I'd like to list out my credentials:
- I am roughly 65 percent Irish by birth.
- I have been forced to listen to Irish folk music from the age of nine because whoever drove got to control the radio.
- I attended Irish Fest in Milwaukee unwillingly for at least seven years in a row during my formative years. I've willingly gone back twice as an adult.
- My father once gave Tommy Makem an instant Irish oatmeal pack.
- I once sang "Danny Boy" at the top of my lungs at an Irish Pub in D.C. with Ted Kennedy, who was only 40 feet away from me.
- I really like Guinness.
Image: Green beer via Shutterstock
I'm going to throw down some basic truths first. It's St. Paddy's day, not St. Patty's day. People don't really pee on the Blarney Stone. There were never any indigenous snakes slithering around Ireland, so the story of St. Patrick banishing them from the island is probably just an allegory of some kind.
I'm not going to delve into the complexities of whether modern-day corned beef is Irish, Irish-American, or even Jewish. The soda bread that I make every year has a cup of sugar in it, which completely disqualifies it as authentic. I make both these things every March 17, and I could care less how authentic they are. But search any St. Patrick's Day-themed Pinterest board, and you're going to find a plethora of "St. Patrick's Day" foods that are not Irish in any way, shape, or form. I'm not making any judgments on the deliciousness of said recipes--I'd eat the hell out of most of them. They're just not Irish. So here are a few completely inauthentic but delicious ways to celebrate St. Paddy's Day.
1. Irish nachos. Not Irish. At all. I remember being at Irish Fest as a young girl, and even then I knew these were a bastardization of authentic Irish food. But a snack made with potatoes, cheese, and whatever green thing that's thrown on them? Get in my belly! I may never willingly refer to them as Irish nachos but put a pile of them in front of me, and they'll be gone quicker than you can shoot a pint of Murphy's.
Image: Courtesy of What Gaby's Cooking
2. Any recipe that involves Baileys Irish Cream. Look, I adore Baileys. My first cat was named Bailey, and most of the ingredients in this liqueur are sourced from Ireland. But it's not some fabled Irish product that can trace its history back to a Gaelic recipe carved in stone found in a fabled Irish cavern, no matter how many Celtic knots they put on the label. I'm older than this product by one year. It was dreamed up in a multinational drinks group corporate office in London. Again, I love the stuff and once spent an entire day consuming Baileys and ham sandwiches (It's a long story). t's just not "Irish."
Image: Courtesy of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Guinness Chocolate Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Buttercream from Miso Bakes
Baileys Irish Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies Culinary Concoctions by Peabody
Banana and Baileys Pancakes from Baking Serendipity
3. Irish macarons. These are not Irish. Macarons are French. I salute all of you who have ever made successful macarons. I could guarantee that any macarons I might make would never have feet. But feet or no feet, no matter how delicious they are, they're just not Irish.
Image: Courtesy of Savoring Time in the Kitchen
4. Creme de menthe. Again, look at the way this is spelled. This is just not Irish, nor are your brownies with a layer of creme de menthe Irish. I'll probably still eat the whole pan. I just won't do it while singing "Wild Rover" at the top of my lungs.
Image: Courtesy of Confessions of a Foodie Bride
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