Marching on to St Patricks Day

With Valentines Day’s passing, restaurant managers and chefs need to focus on the next big dining occasion. St Patricks Day is the next feast on the menu, and Corned beef and cabbage tops the bill of fare.

While it’s not traditional in Ireland, corned beef is what most Americans prepare for St. Patrick’s Day feasts. Despite Ireland being a major beef producer during colonial times, most Irish did not regularly consume corned beef. This was due to the fact that the beef cattle were owned by the British colonists and not by the Irish , and that most, if not all, of the corned beef was exported. The majority of Irish that resided in Ireland at the time maintained a diet of mainly dairy and pork.

During the late 1700′s and early 1800′s, the United States experienced a tidal-wave of Irish immigration. With beef brisket being considered a ‘meal of luxury’ back in their home country, corned beef became a staple in the Irish populations diet in America where it was inexpensive and plentiful. Thus the association with corned beef and St. Patrick’s day celebrations.

Not all of your restaurants patrons will like the heavily textured, full flavor of a traditional boiled corned beef dinner. Guinness battered fish and chips is a popular alternative for your guests to enjoy, and adding a ‘little bit of green’ to a meal can be as simple as attaching an Irish sounding name to any of your entrees.

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