[Image from www.stpatricksdayneworleans.com]
Anna here, with a Finish the Sentence Friday post about St. Patrick’s Day. My most vivid memories of St. Patrick’s Day come from my time living just outside of New Orleans. The people of Southern Louisiana don’t need much of an excuse for a party and a parade, and St. Patty’s Day gives us a great reason for both fun-filled parties and parades. True to form, the St. Patrick’s Day parade comes with floats, and the wonderful tradition of handing out cabbages and carrots in honor of traditional Irish dishes.
(The veggies used to be thrown – but after the predictable outcome of drunk people hurling cabbages from moving parade floats, cabbages are now handed out gently (as in the picture above). Progress? Maybe yes. Maybe no.)
In any case, memories of those St. Patrick’s Day parades stirred up thoughts of “Foods of the Old Country”. Whatever “Old Country” that might mean for each of us. The U.S. (and Canada!) is a nation of immigrants, and our families brought with them the simple, often healthy, foods of their homelands. This is true of traditional St. Patrick’s Day foods, and also traditional Irish peasant foods as well.
Old country foods and recipes tended to be healthier and cheaper because they often were simpler, based more on whole foods, and have less sugar, fat, and salt added to them. Interestingly, when recent immigrants turn back to the foods of the old country (for economic or other reasons), they can sometimes eat more healthily and cheaply. But when immigrants feel the social pressure to choose “American” foods over their traditional cuisine, the amount of calories they consume goes up.
So it seems that there is value in rediscovering foods of the Old Country. Cheaper, more healthy, and sometimes even tastier than what we, the children of our immigrant parents, grand-parents, or great-grandparents, are eating today.
So what do you think? Do you chow down on corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day (or the more traditional Irish bacon and cabbage)? Does you family have a ethnic heritage that comes with wonderful ethnic foods? Did your parents/grandparents/great-grandparents immigrate and bring healthy and delicious recipes with them that are still part of your family’s cuisine? If so, what is your favorite recipe? Please let me know in the comments!
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. Today’s prompt was ” When it comes to Saint Patrick’s Day….” and was originated by our fabulous host Kristi Campbell.
Kristi: Finding Ninee
Lisa: The Meaning of Me
Kelly: Just TypiKel