why do we eat corned beef and cabbage

Our Irish readersВcomment about the fact that Irish-American's eat corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day instead of bacon. Here's the tradition explained
In every Irish establishment, and many others, especially around St. Patrickвs Day, will make its way onto the menu, marking a "tip of the cap" to the Irish around March 17. Another annual occurrence is Irish people complaining that this is not, in fact, an Irish dish at all, but is this true? Why corned beef? Beef was not readily available in Ireland and was considered a luxury and thatвs why the traditional Irish meal centered around ham, the bacon.

But when these Irish got off the boats in America it was quite the opposite. Corned beef was the meat that they could easily and more cheaply get their hands on and, so, this became the meal of choice for generations of Irish Americans to come. In New England, a tradition formed of having a boiled dinner. For this dish, the corned beef, cabbage, and root vegetables such as carrots, turnips, and potatoes were boiled. Many maintain that the dish is simply not Irish at all. The close proximity of the Irish and Jewish communities at the time is said to be largely responsible for the popularity of corned beef among the Irish immigrants.

According to, when the Irish arrived in America, they couldnвt find a bacon joint like they had in Ireland so they gravitated toward the Jewish corned beef, which was very similar in texture. Francis Lam on reports that, years ago, the bars of early 20th century New York would offer a free dinner of corned beef and cabbage to the Irish workers who would crowd in after working all day on the building sites. The Irish builders would still have to buy a few drinks in order to get their supposedly free dinner, but the main reason that the corned beef and cabbage dinner is thought to be of Irish origin is not because they were enticed by a traditional meal so much as a cheap meal.

Whichever you prefer to treat yourself to - whether it's the corned beef and cabbage or the В -В enjoy! Here you can find IrishCentral's best recipes for or Do you eat corned beef and cabbage or do you prefer more authentic bacon? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section. В CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Quick, what comes to mind when someone says "St. Patrick's Day"? Green. Beer. Green beer. Corned beef. Corned beef. That pink-hued, salt-cured slab of slow-cooked meat that inspires strong feelings of loyalty to the lovers of delicatessen.

It can be shaved thin on a sandwich, or carved thick like a roast. It can be basted with mustard, brown sugar or served au natural. But how is it made, and why is it the main dish associated with St. Patrick's Day? It's an Irish dish. isn't it? It's a question that, like many American traditions, has an indirect answer. We reveal the answer, as well as give a look behind the scenes of our city's beloved provider of corned beef: (3106 St. Clair Avenue) in our exclusive St. Patrick's Day video.

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