Food & Drink

Green beer is gross: Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day by exploring the many uses of potatoes

We love you too, potato
We love you too, potato

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.


There is a special place where potato chips live together in peace
There is a special place where tayto chips live together in peace (#10)

Here are some of the few ways you can pay homage to the potato tomorrow. They may not all be relevant to Irish culture, but at least they’re not green beer:

1. Build a potato cannon

2. Go eat poutine at Park Slope’s The Perfect Potato

3. Homebrew some Irish moonshine, or “poitín

4. Make Irish potato candy (it’s a Philly thing)

5. Try colcannon, it’s like trendy kale potatoes!


Behold: colcannon
Behold: colcannon. Photo via Flickr

6. Invest in SpudWare cutlery

7. Enjoy some Irish latkes, or “boxty”. If you just can’t fully suppress your urge to be culturally appropriative, put some green Ketchup on ’em

8. If by the grace of god you have the apartment space for it, grow a potato plant

9. Build yourself furniture out of this new form of biodegradable medium density fiberboard that is made partially from potatoes. The earth will thank you.

10. Patronize your local British-import shop for some tayto. Then, become obsessed with tayto, save up your money and visit tayto park.

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