St. Patty’s day is commonly treated as an excuse to get very drunk very early off deplorable drinks like green beer without actually paying homage to Irish culture in any way, but why should booze define a day that could belong to everyone’s favorite tuberous crop and Irish staple, the potato (“prata” in Irish)? We love beer here at Brokelyn, but potatoes, potatoes! Not only can they create alcohol, they can create fries, they can create candy, they can create utensils, and they can sustain an entire country on their nourishment. So tomorrow, even if you do decide to guzzle disgusting quantities of green juices that have virtually nothing to do with Irish culture, take a moment to honor the cash-crop that brought us bangers and mash, vodka, hash browns, and which casually supported the Irish people and economy for centuries (I mean really, you never see potatoes bragging about all they’ve done for humankind. The king of starch is humble indeed).
On the real though, the history of potatoes in Ireland is rooted in poverty and poor policy and many people will, with good reason, automatically think of “famine” after hearing “Irish” and “potato”. Still, there’s a lot of great Irish recipes that are potato-based, certainly a lot of Irish history that revolves around the potato, and it’s just a generally better place to focus your energies tomorrow than getting wasted and acting like a frat bro in the name of negative stereotypes. (more…)