MENU TO CELEBRATE ST. PATRICK’S DAY
The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, or Irish celebration, keeps growing every year. The largest celebration doesn’t take place in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, but in New York. Other large-scale celebrations take place in Boston and Chicago. In the United States there are 40 million people with Irish ancestry. This number represents 12 per cent of the total population of the U.S.
Thousands of people attend these celebrations even if no Irish blood runs through their vains. This also happens in Denver. These enthusiasts take one day off to celebrate the joy of living as an Irish. People attend, dressed in green, and starting early, the parade honoring St. Patrick. Later in the day, thousands of Denverites travel the bars, pubs and restaurants, to savor the Irish beer and food. Downtown Denver gets packed with a crowd dressed in green.
A traditional menu
75-year old Samantha O’Sullivan was born and raised in Denver. She told us she is the granddaughter of Irish immigrants and she has been in charge of maintaining the traditions and rituals she learned at home to honor St. Patricks. Every 17th of March, O’Sullivan attends mass in the morning, and cooks a special lunch for her family, that keeps growing. She explained there are two ingredients that can’t be missed that day: Cabbage and potatoes. “I learned that these are the two ingredients that represent Irish cuisine and I keep the tradition,” she said.
O’Sullivan serves the boiled cabbage with slices of pork. She then tops it with a sweet sauce, made with peppers. Another side that goes with this dish is known as “colcannon,” which is an Irish-style mash potatoes dish. “Colcannon has potatoes, green onions, and cabbage. It is seasoned with salt and pepper,” she said. Potatoes came from South America to Ireland and were adopted to their cuisine and blended with their ingredients. Meanwhile, the main dish for O’Sullivan is a lamb stew that she makes only for this celebration.
A new generation
35-year-old Elena Whelan has Irish ancestors, but doesn’t know how to cook Irish food. She is planning in attending the parade in Downtown Denver and then go visit the bars to enojoy Irish beer, another product that identifies this country. Whelan refers to the dark beer or “stout”, that will be available at Irish pubs. Meanwhile, Whelan enjoys how her coworkers decorate the office with shamrocks, and green accents with a St. Patrick’s motive. This celebration reaffirms her Irish identity.
Options in DEnver
The Irish Snug Restaurant on Colfax said they will be serving a special menu with traditional Irish elements for St. Patrick’s day. Kate Hampson, owner of the restaurant, said they will offer the traditional “Shepherds Pie”. This dish includes stewed lamb meat that is layered with mashed potatoes. It is served hot out of the oven after it has been baked to a golden brown. Hampson said they will also have fish and chips and meat with cabbage, the same dish O’Sullivan explained to us. We are sure that Whelan will enjoy her visit to The Irish Snug, if she wants to stop by on March 16th.
Who was St. Patrick?
On March 17th, the death of Maewyb Succat is remembered. Succat was a Scottish man that would be later known as Patrick. He was a missionary that on the V Century preached Christianity on the island of Ireland. He was responsible for the evangelization of a country that was very strong in their Celtic roots.