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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Pat's! Your Food's Not Really Irish!

Posted By on Thu, Mar 17, 2011 at 9:00 AM

  • Not Irish.

We hate to ruin your day - okay, not really - but while you're reveling in the St. Pat's festivities with your green beer and Car Bombs and corned beef, we're here to tell you that it's all fake.

That's right. Your favorite St. Patrick's Day eats? They're not really Irish. And St. Paddy didn't really rid Ireland of snakes; they never existed on the Emerald Isle in the first place.

Green Beer Origin stories vary, but all agree that green beer is an American invention. Most Irish beer is too dark to show any food colorings or dyes. It could have its roots in the Irish tradition of "drowning the shamrock" - dunking your lapel shamrock into the last whiskey of the night, then throwing it over your shoulder for luck.

In 1952 Miami University started an annual day of drinking called Green Beer Day. Since it's celebrated in March, some think the two events might have collided.

Corned Beef and Cabbage In Ireland they eat bacon and cabbage. We get brined beef. What gives? Taverns in New York City often served a free corned beef lunch to Irish construction workers a century ago. There are records of corned beef being common in County Cork before the potato famine decimated the population.

Irish Car Bomb Throw some Irish whiskey into a Guinness, drop in a shot glass of Irish cream, and chug. Car Bomb! Fun! Yeah, not so much when the drink's named after the cause of many tragic moments in modern Irish history. Imagine going to Ireland and ordering a drink with a name that references the September 11 terrorist attacks. Irish Car Bombs were invented in the 1970s at a bar in Connecticut.

Chocolate Guinness Cake Far too new and trendy to be traditional Irish. The recipe's often attributed to Nigella Lawson, who's English.

Shepard's Pie Meat pies came from all over the U.K., but shepard's pie most likely originated in northern England and Scotland. But it's probably closer to being authentically Irish than anything we've mentioned so far.

Lucky Charms If you have to ask, lay off the green beer.

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