It’s that time again on The World Cup of Food when we have to select one country’s cuisine to advance in our competition and another to be left behind. This week, the decision is between Denmark and Ireland, the winner earning a place in the round of thirty-two against India.
Many Americans, when asked for a single example of an Irish dish, would name corned beef (recipe follows) in some form. Here in the United States corned beef and cabbage is associated indelibly with St. Patrick’s Day; Irish immigrants allegedly adopted corned beef as a replacement for their Irish bacon that was suddenly a lot harder to find and corned beef and cabbage became a St. Patrick’s day dinner menu fixture.
Irish cuisine is shaped by the crops and animals that have been historically raised in its temperate climate. Potatoes, introduced in the sixteenth century, have become synonymous with both the cuisine of the island and of the reason millions of Irish left — the Potato Famine of 1842 to 1852. The Irish diaspora has left their stamp on many places throughout the world, especially the eastern United States.