Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Truth Behind Corned Beef... YES CORNED not CORN

Corned beef and Cabbage, yummm….yes it’s CORNED BEEF, not CORNBEEF….I know mind blown right? So if you’re of Irish-American heritage, or just like claiming you are on March 17th, corned beef and cabbage is probably a St. Patty’s Day must have. I mean who can resist that tender fatty pink piece of succulence? Not mention the deep rooted Irish heritage and tradition that goes along with each tasty morsel.  Well as delicious as the meat may be, did you know that corned beef is NOT a traditional Irish meal?  I hate to tell you but it's the truth. Although, the Irish do love their meat, in the tiny, primarily impoverished, water locked country most of the population did not have the resources to raise to cattle. Smaller stock animals, such as pigs and sheep, where fair easier to raise and were the main source for meat and dairy in Ireland. Corned Beef is an Irish-AMERICAN tradition that was integrated into Irish immigrant's diet after arriving here in America.  In truth, the meat is actually a historically Jewish dish.  Immigrants of both groups were mostly unwelcome in established Anglo Saxon neighborhoods of the time and were subjugated to live in the poorest of areas.  Each culturally diverse group developed its own independent neighborhoods but were in close proximity to one another.  Since Jewish law prohibits the consumption of pork, butchers in and around the Jewish sector did not carry pork cuts such as bacon. Without the easy availability to his favorite cut of meat Irishman's had to look else were to curb if craving.  Corned beef on the other hand was similar in texture and taste to the fatty bacon cuts but was much more readily available.  Since it could be purchased in large portions at a relatively lower expense many of the new Irish-Americans replaced bacon with this new Jewish meat. Later New Englanders would add their own twisted and decide to boil the meat with cabbage and root vegetables.  This is how it is typically prepare today….why boil you may ask? Well to answer that I’d also have to understand why New Englanders somehow turned C-A-R into KAH...the world may never know….but I’m at least glad we got corned beef and cabbage out of it all! Hope you all eat well and are merry this St. Patty's Day!

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