Holly Brown
You can celebrate St. Patrick's Day with your own version of well known pub food using these recipes. From top left are Corned Beef and Cabbage (at right the Corned Beef ready to be cooked), 2nd row, Caramel Sauce and Caramel Apple Bread Pudding, 3rd row, Shepherds Pie, Bangers and Mash, 4th row, Chocolate Stout Cake and Soda Bread.

Go Irish - St. Patrick’s Day pub party food

By Holly Brown

Saint Patrick’s Day is a day of celebration and feast, named for the most commonly recognized patron Saints of Ireland. For Christians, the day commemorates the arrival of Christianity to Ireland, but St. Paddy’s Day has become a celebration of Irish culture. Marked by festivals, parades, green attire, church services, and lifting of lent related restrictions, it’s a wonderful day to enjoy the classic dishes of Ireland.

Contrary to popular belief, Corned Beef and Cabbage isn't traditional Irish cuisine. It was however popularized by Irish Americans, and has become a central part of St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the U.S. The introduction of the potato in the 16th century heavily influenced Irish cuisine. Today, few meals are considered complete without the addition of potatoes.

Ireland is also known for its many pubs and its popular pub culture. With a population of 3.6 million and 10,500 pubs, the “public house” has been considered the center of social life. Historically, the “Publican” was in charge of the pub and he was a leading figure in the community. The reputation of a local bartender, who knows everyone’s name and can be counted on as the community psychologist, stems from the role of the Publican. He knew everyone, he knew their story, and could be counted on for advice, or an understanding ear. He was also known to resolve conflicts and keep order.

Pubs were traditionally a place to drink and gather. “Pub Grub” gained popularity in British pubs in the 1950s with the introduction of pint’s and pie, and chicken and chips. Today, gastro pubs cater to a slightly more refined palate, and include menu items like Shepherd’s or Kidney PieBangers and MashSoda Bread, and decadent desserts like Chocolate Stout Cake with Caramel Sauce, and Caramel Apple Bread Pudding. Whatever the menu, the pub retains its reputation and essence as a community-gathering place. If you’re planning to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day by gathering at home to cook up some hearty Irish food, we have St. Paddy’s Day Pub Party menu and activity ideas that will make your guests feel like they just crawled into the best gastro pub in town!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

-Holly Brown
Publisher, Foodie, WebTV Host of www.TheBrownLounge.com

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