St. Patrick’s Day...how the traditions started here in America!
For over a thousand years, the legacy of Saint Patrick, who was attributed with bringing Christianity to Ireland, has been celebrated on March 17th. How did it become such a big holiday and why eat corned beef…let us recap. When the Potato Famine of 1845 hit Ireland, over 1 million impoverished immigrants came to America in search of a better life. Despite being initially despised, as the Irish American population grew, so did their political clout as “swing votes” and the desire to gain their allegiance. Thus being of Irish descent became something to be celebrated!
As a result, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in America shifted from being a religious celebration to a cultural one. Cities with large numbers of Irish immigrants, such as Boston and New York started to hold annual St. Patrick Day parades. Other cities including Chicago celebrate by dyeing their rivers green in honor of the Irish national plant: the shamrock. Interestingly enough, the shamrock became the national plant because Saint Patrick originally used this 3-leafed plant to explain the Trinity. Pretty cool how everything is connected.
Previously known as “Feast Day” in Ireland, one could only expect a holiday like St. Patrick’s Day to involve epic amounts of food. Falling in the middle of Lent, St. Patrick’s Day was a “cheat day” of sorts during which you could eat as much food as you wanted before resuming the fast for the duration of Lent. The traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day meal consists of boiled bacon (similar to what Americans would call ham) and cabbage. However due to Irish immigrants not being able to afford pork, corned beef became it’s substitute. Similarly, as St. Patrick’s Day moved away from its religious roots, alcohol which was once forbidden on this day became a new staple in the holiday’s North American festivities.
Here at Truxton’s American Bistro, it only seems fitting that a thousand year old holiday deserves a week long celebration! This St. Patrick’s Day, come enjoy our Corned Beef Specials from March 15th-18th. The CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE plate includes our slow-roasted corned beef with boiled potatoes and cabbage and our CORNED BEEF SANDWICH made with slow-roasted corned beef topped with melted swiss cheese, horseradish mayo, grainy mustard, and sauerkraut, served on a pretzel roll…melt in your mouth goodness. Pair with a beer from our bar menu, it is sure to be a feast-worthy meal! Because after all, in the words of Norman Reedus “Yeah, it’s St. Paddy’s Day. Everyone’s Irish tonight.”