To many, March is associated with St. Patrick's Day, a day of celebration when people from all backgrounds come together to celebrate Irish culture. The day is filled with all sorts of incredible facts and while we invite you to check out our 5 Things You May Not Know About St. Patrick
, blog post from last year, today we're focusing on the first entry from a two-part series on the biggest traditions that coincide with the day. Today's focus is corned beef and cabbage: The meal most associated with St. Patrick's Day!
Corned beef and cabbage is synonymous with St. Patrick's Day, but what you may not know is that its association with the popular holiday isn't an Irish tradition -- it's actually a dish that's uniquely American, merging history and tradition into one. While corned beef has existed for centuries and featured in a myriad of cultures including much of Europe and the Middle East, the name comes from the large grains of salt, or "corns" used to cure the meat. Ireland developed a reputation for exporting corned beef back in the 17th century after cattle was brought to Ireland by British land owners, but inhabitants of Ireland typically could not afford to purchase corned beef. They often ate corned pork along with the readily available potato for their meals.
Coming To America
In the 18th century, when Irish immigrants came to America, they still believed beef to be a luxury. After quickly finding out salted beef brisket was cheap in the U.S., they replaced their traditional pork for beef. Healthy cabbage was also affordable and a combination dish of the two quickly became a regular at the tables of working class Irish families across the nation.
As St. Patrick's Day transitioned into a holiday accenting and celebrating Irish heritage for Irish-Americans, corned beef and cabbage was adopted as a holiday staple across the United States and is now enjoyed by cultures of all kinds. Western New York Catholic Schools wishes everyone a happy St. Patrick's Day . Whether you take some time taking in the sights and sounds of a parade, wear something green to show your pride, / support or sit down to enjoy a little corned beef and cabbage, have fun because on St. Patrick's Day - the one day each year when everyone's Irish!