Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Irish cuisine is not among the best in the world. Don’t get upset all you Mc’s and O’s, the Irish are wonderful people. They are wonderful entertainers, poets, story tellers, leaders, and public servants. They may not be the world’s best chefs.
When it comes to food, you have to do with what you’ve got. Ireland was not blessed with wonderful herbs and spices like Asia and Italy. It does not have wonderful cheeses and wines like France. Ireland had a lot of potatoes.
The Irish don’t fry much, they don’t broil much, and they don’t BBQ. The Irish boil. They boil until the food has no flavor. That may be why they enjoy a bit of the drink from time to time.
Perhaps this is also why there are few fine dining restaurants serving Irish style food. Don’t get me wrong they are King of pub grub, and I do enjoy boiled corned beef, cabbage and potatoes…especially with a nice glass of beer.
The food from Ireland I enjoy the most is soda bread.
My ex-wives both had a wonderful recipe for soda bread. Dry, but just enough moisture to hold it together, lovely special flavor, texture, and raisins, smothered with butter…Yum friggin um!
I don’t miss my ex-wives; I do miss their soda bread.
Apparently Irish soda bread was a bit of a secret for some time in this country. I know when I would bring in a fresh baked loaf to work, most everyone had not heard of soda bread. Everyone did love it.
One year I had to do without my soda bread.
Apparently the country caught on to this treat, especially for Saint Patrick’s Day; everyone that is, except grocery stores. My wife ordered me to go to the store for buttermilk, a prime ingredient to Irish soda bread. She instructed me to go out and buy this buttermilk on March 16. I had heard of buttermilk, I had never tasted it and until that day I had no idea who the hell ever bought the stuff. People who make soda bread buy it. They especially buy it around St. Pat’s day when they cook their traditional soda bread.
I went to five different supermarkets looking for buttermilk. At every store I was told they had sold out before noon. Without buttermilk there could be no soda bread.
Grocery stores learn supply and demand pretty fast. I suspect they now order an extra supply of buttermilk before Saint Patrick’s Day. Still, if I want soda bread, I will buy the buttermilk early.
Then again, Mrs. Cranky is only half Irish, and that half does not do soda bread.