St. Patrick's Day Eat & Drink

St. Patrick's Day is the holiday home of many delicious foods and drinks. If you're college age, the holiday typically entails wearing green and doing an all day bar crawl. For younger kids, it's a holiday about catching leprechauns to find their (chocolate) gold. I wasn't big on the bar crawls or hunting leprechauns growing up, but I did enjoy learning about the history behind the holiday and eating Irish food.

St. Patrick's Day is the celebration of St. Patrick, which you probably already knew based on the name. But did you know that St. Patrick was from Britain and not Ireland? As a teenager, St. Patrick was kidnapped from his parents' home in Britain by a group of Irish pillagers in 403 AD. He was forced into slavery in Ireland, during which time he became a devout Christian, and eventually escaped back to Britain. Once home again, St. Patrick believed he had a visit by an angel who told him to return to Ireland as a missionary. In time he became ordained and traveled to Ireland to minister for existing Christians and help convert more of the Irish to Christianity. Although St. Patrick wasn't the first person to introduce Christianity to the country that was mostly pagan worshiping at the time, he was attributed with converting the majority of Ireland to the religion by incorporating existing mythologies and rituals practiced by the Irish with the Christian belief system. He reportedly baptized as many as 12,000 in a single day. Today Ireland is predominately Christian with close to eighty five percent of the country identifying as Catholic, in addition to other Christian sects like Protestantism, Presbyterian, and the Church of Ireland.

Alright I'll stop with the history lesson. Back to the promise of yummy food and drink that brought you in. My favorite Irish import (besides this guy) is Kerrygold butter. It is the king of all butters. It's made from the milk of grass fed cows that graze freely in the hills of Ireland (can I join?). Butter you say? How can butter taste so different when it only contains one, maybe two (salt), ingredients? Trust me, Kerrygold is the platinum of butters. Once you taste it, you'll see what a world of difference it is from the other butter bought in stick form. It tastes amazing on anything, but my favorite ways to enjoy it are simply spread on toast or used to make butter coffee. If you missed my post on butter coffee, all the details are available here. As for food, it's all about potatoes and cabbage, as pictured above. Combined together they make a hearty meal that has been filling Irish bellies for a long time. You can check out my version of colcannon here.

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