Completely Inauthentic Yet Delicious Foods for St. Patrick's Day

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Before I get into any critiques of what is or isn't Irish food, 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.

Green beerImage: Green beer, 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 couldn't 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 (or Irish-American or even traditionally eaten on March 17) 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 if you're looking to mix it up this year, try these 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.

Irish Nachos
Irish Nachos. Image: Courtesy of What Gaby's Cooking

Irish Nachos from What's Gaby Cooking
Irish Nachos from Always Order Dessert



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