Corned beef and cabbage is an Irish-American tradition that will find its way to dinner tables on St. Patty’s Day this weekend.
Corned beef and cabbage isn’t really a popular dish in Ireland, but the Irish immigrants made it popular in the United States. The Irish immigrants in America discovered that corned beef was similar to the salted pork they loved at home in Ireland.
But the dish is corned beef and cabbage. So where does the cabbage come in?
Cabbage pre-dated the potato in Ireland. Irish farms could produce up to 65 pounds of cabbage per person each year. Cabbage became popular again during the potato blight that caused the Great Famine in Ireland, which ultimately drove the Irish to America.
Corned beef and cabbage has become a traditional “lucky” dish to eat on New Year’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and in some Irish-American communities Election Day. The cabbage is meant to symbolize money and prosperity in the new year, and while the corned beef isn’t very symbolic, the dish in general has become a preferred meal on days when good luck is wished to all.
If you need a little luck this weekend, be sure to have corned beef and cabbage with some potatoes, carrots, and onions on St. Patty’s Day.