For today’s Pastry Post-Doc we are going Irish for St. Patrick’s Day. Even though St. Patrick’s Day is more popular in the US than in Ireland, Irish recipes are a must. We try to feature a different Irish recipe here every year – nothing artificially green allowed! For a sweet treat a little more authentically Irish than a Shamrock Shake – try making a Donegal oatmeal cream. This simple Irish dessert is similar to a trifle, and is composed of fresh fruit, jam, cream and whole Irish oat grains, aka steel-cut oats in the US. European Recipes has the full scoop on how to make Donegal oatmeal cream (seen below).
So we have heard of Irish Moss before – but it turns out it is actually an edible plant natively found off the Atlantic Irish coast. When hunting for Irish recipes for St. Patrick’s Day, we saw a variety of Irish Moss-based dessert recipes – and we were intrigued! The Irish name for “Irish Moss” is Carageen (from the Irish carraigín, which means “little rock”) – and you may have heard of Carageenan – a product derived from the moss that is often used in ice cream as a thickener. Irish Moss can be found in many health food or natural stores as a powder, and it is sometimes even still foraged by hand. Nessa’s Family Kitchen has a recipe for a simple Irish Moss pudding, or try one with raspberry coulis.
It’s St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s time for another Irish treat – the 99. But what in the world is a 99? A typical 99 is vanilla softserve served in a cone, and topped with a piece of Cadbury Flake chocolate. Each of these elements has to be present for it to be a true 99. 99s have been around since at least the 1930s, when a special, shorter version of the Flake bar was introduced as a “99 Flake.” But where does the name come from? No one is quite sure, but this short documentary on the 99 provides some theories.
On Halloween in Ireland, there is merriment and good food, principally among them, Barmbrack (sometimes also called barnbrack). Modern Halloween celebrations are actually descended from the Gaelic celebration of Samhain. This sweet bread/cake hybrid is dotted with raisins (sometimes soaked in liquor or tea) and flavored with autumnal spices like cloves and nutmeg. However, the Barmbrack also presents a twist. Much like a French King Cake, there are also little trinkets baked into the bread that have special meanings: a ring for an impending marriage, a pea for no marriage, a stick for fighting, a coin for luck, and a rag for a poor year. Whatever charm you get in your slice supposedly tells you what kind of luck to expect for the new year, though many people only put positive charms in the bread nowadays (who would want to find a rag in a piece of bread anyway?!). You can find a classic recipe from One Perfect Bite and Edible Ireland has a version with tea.
St. Patrick’s Day is here, and while that means that all your favorite foods will be colored green in America. However, a less verdant but perhaps more authentic way to celebrate is with the versatile Dublin dish, coddle. One of the most emblematic dishes from Dublin, Dublin coddle (aka Irish coddle or just “coddle”) is a homestyle (some may say old fashioned) stewed dish made with pork sausage, bacon and potatoes, and everyone has their own version. The name comes from the cooking technique of “coddling,” cooking in below-boiling water. Edible Ireland has a great recipe, along with recipes for boxty and colcannon.
It’s no secret we are huge fans of ice cream, gelato and paletas, and we are happy when a new place for these treats opens up in Chicago. But the latest place for ice cream in Chicago fills a different (and new) international niche: Cone, an Irish ice cream shop in the West Loop (1047 W Madison St.). Until now, we never associated Ireland with ice cream, though the country’s well-known cheese and butter products, in addition to a growing dairy industry, should have given us a clue. Cone is run by Irish expat Sean McGuire, and features all locally-made ice cream. McGuire’s menu highlights some classic Irish flavors, like Guinness and Jameson, while still providing the more typical mint and Oreo, among others. The store sells some Irish candy and beverages. Though Cone may seem unusual, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Irish ice cream: it turns out Irish citizens are among the top 10 consumers of ice cream a year, even beating out Italy.
Per Capita Ice Cream Consumption by Business Insider
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, have a look at the oldest published Irish Soda Bread recipe [Via Sodabread.us]. It comes from a November 1836 Farmer’s Magazine (London) p.328 referencing an Irish newspaper in County Down.
A correspondent of the Newry Telegraph gives the following recipe for making “soda bread,” memorablystating that:
“There is no bread to be had equal to it for invigorating the body, promoting digestion, strengthening the stomach, and improving the state of the bowels.”
The recipe follows:
“Put a pound and a half of good wheaten meal into a large bowl, mix with it two teaspoonfuls of finely powdered salt, then take a large teaspoonful of super-carbonate of soda, dissolve it in half a teacupful of cold water, and add it to the meal; rub up all intimately together, then pour into the bowl as much very sour buttermilk as will make the whole into soft dough (it should be as soft as could possibly be handled, and the softer the better,) form it into a cake of about an inch thickness, and put it into a flat Dutch oven or frying-pan, with some metallic cover, such as an oven-lid or griddle, apply a moderate heat underneath for twenty minutes, then lay some clear live coals upon the lid, and keep it so for half an hour longer (the under heat being allowed to fall off gradually for the last fifteen minutes) taking off the cover occasionally to see that it does not burn.”
Did you ever wonder EXACTLY where you British cheese come from? OK, so maybe I’m the only one – but I guess I must not be since there is apparently a World Cheese Book chockablock with cheese maps. Here’s Ireland from the World Cheese Book, You can find the UK Map at the BBC, where it was chosen as Mark Easton’s Map of the week in honor of the just-ended British Cheese Week.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here’s a little post about the quintessential St. Patty’s food – corned beef. So…What’s the deal with it? I always though it was an actual Irish dish, but, it turns out it is really more of an Irish-American creation. According to Wikipedia, while cabbage has long been a traditional Irish food, beef was substituted in America as a cheaper alternative to bacon, which was traditionally served in Ireland. The ‘corned’ in corned beef actually is an antiquated way to say “brined.” The dish itself dates back to 1621! If you really want to go for it, here’s a corned beef recipe from Food Network.
Welcome to Eating the World! We’re two Midwestern omnivores, L and M, who are trying to eat food from every country in the world (at restaurants in both the US and abroad). Eating the World is where we update our global restaurant and food adventures. We are based in Cleveland, Chicago and beyond.To contact us for partnerships or just to say hi, email us at eating the world (at) gmail.com
Eating The World · We're two Midwestern omnivores, L and M, who are trying to eat food from every country in the world (at restaurants in both the US and abroad). Eating the World is where we update our global restaurant and food adventures. We are based in Cleveland, Chicago and beyond.