The Irish in America … or “Why Corned Beef and Cabbage?”

According to the U.S. Census website there were 34.7 million U.S. residents who claimed Irish ancestry in 2010. This number was more than seven times the population of Ireland. The History Channel website reviews a number of traditions surrounding the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. The tradition of eating Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day was a purely Irish American invention. In Ireland, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner would consist of boiled cabbage and bacon. However, in late 1800’s America, the cheapest cut of meat was brisket and brining the meat would preserve it. The poor Irish immigrants would serve this at their dinner.

[Looking for some authentic Irish recipes? Try Irish Cooking by Biddy White Lennon and Georgina Campbell Call Number 641.5941 LEN]

Infoplease, the online almanac, has more information on St. Patrick’s Day and all things Irish.

Finally, if you want to “get your green on” the Library has some Irish movies and music you might enjoy!

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