Colcannon Irish Potatoes, Potatoes and Greens

Most Americans think corned beef and cabbage is the traditional Irish meal, but that’s far from the truth.  During The Great Famine, a period of mass starvation, disease, and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1852, the Irish were too poor to buy beef. Their diet was mainly potatoes and occasionally bacon. When disease ruined the potato crops, mass starvation and emigration resulted.  In America, the immigrants had more more money and began to buy beef.They transformed  St Patrick’s Day from a religious day into a celebration of their homeland with parades and a dinner of corned beef and cabbage. Ireland now has parades adopted from Americans but the chief meats in their diet are still lamb and pork.  (For an excellent history lesson, see Smithsonian’s post, Is Corned Beef Really Irish?)

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