Certainly many restaurants in Ireland will serve corned beef and cabbage on March 17, but most of them will do so just to please the tourists. The truth is, most Irish people nowadays see corned beef as something that is heavily processed and comes out of a can!
Eat Like the Irish
So what will people in Ireland really be eating on St. Patrick's Day?
Most will start the day with a good old Irish Breakfast: fried rashers of bacon, fried sausage, fried black pudding, fried tomato, and a fried egg. If that's not enough, you can always go one step further and have an Ulster Fry. It's the bread that makes it special: fried potato bread made out of yesterday's leftover spuds and fried soda farls to boot. Oh, and don't forget that pint of Guinness beside it, just for good measure.
Meat and Potatoes
Irish Stew will figure highly in many restaurants and homes, as broths and stews are the cornerstone of Irish gastronomy. Because Irish stew is so wholesome and unpretentious, there's no disputing that it is still one of the best casserole dishes in the entire world.
Everyone knows that the Irish have an ongoing love affair with the potato. They talk about last year's potatoes, this season's potatoes, great potato vintages--people in Ireland talk about potatoes the way the French talk about wine. Potatoes dishes such as Colcannon and Champ, therefore, are always popular choices.
Colcannon (from the Gaelic word cole, meaning cabbage) is made of cabbage that has been cooked in milk and blended with buttery mashed potatoes. It's traditionally served in a fluffy pile with a sort of well in the centre that's filled with even more melted butter for dipping each forkful into. Champ is more favored in the Northern counties of Ireland. It's equally heavenly in taste; the only difference is it's made with scallions.
So, to answer the question--what will the Irish be eating on St. Paddy's Day?--boils down to a matter of preference. Many might respond, "Eat? I'll just be drowning my shamrock."
Check out more St. Patrick's Day recipes, cooking videos, and menu ideas.