Beyond Corned Beef: Traditional Irish Dishes to Try in Chicago This St. Patrick’s Day


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Chicagoans celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with corned beef and cabbage may be surprised to learn that the dish is not actually a traditional Irish meal, but rather a Jewish-American creation that became popular among Irish immigrants in the United States.

The origins of corned beef can be traced back to the Jewish community in Eastern Europe, where beef brisket was cured with salt crystals or “corns” of salt. When Jewish immigrants arrived in America in the late 19th century, they brought their love for corned beef with them, and it soon became a staple in Irish-American communities.

In Ireland, however, corned beef was not widely available to the average person and was considered a luxury item. The traditional Irish diet consisted mainly of pork and potatoes, and corned beef was not a part of their cuisine. Thus, the idea of corned beef as a traditional Irish dish is a myth that was popularized in America.

While corned beef may not have Irish roots, it remains a beloved dish among many Americans, particularly those of Irish descent. Its popularity on St. Patrick’s Day is a testament to its ability to bring people together at the table, regardless of its cultural origins.

So, while Chicagoans may not be indulging in a truly traditional Irish meal this St. Patrick’s Day, they can still enjoy a delicious and hearty plate of corned beef and cabbage.

While the Irish-American community has made many culinary contributions to the Windy City’s food scene, there are also a variety of dishes from Ireland that locals can enjoy.

One popular Irish dish is colcannon, a potato-based dish that includes cabbage or kale, onions, and butter. The ingredients are mashed together to create a creamy and savory side dish that pairs well with meat or fish. Another classic Irish dish is Irish stew, which typically features lamb or beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and herbs. This hearty and comforting dish is perfect for chilly Chicago evenings and is often served with crusty bread or soda bread.

For those with a sweet tooth, there are also a variety of Irish desserts to enjoy. One classic example is bread pudding, which is made with day-old bread, eggs, sugar, milk, and spices. Another popular dessert is apple tart, which features a buttery pastry crust filled with sweet, cinnamon-spiced apples. Whether you’re looking for a hearty meal or a sweet treat, there are plenty of traditional Irish dishes to try in Chicago this St. Patrick’s Day.

So while it may feel like corned beef fibbed a bit on its 23andMe test results, it remains a beloved dish that brings people together at the table.


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