August 17th, 2018

How corned beef became synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day

By Medicine Hat News on February 13, 2018.

Metro Editorial

Many people enjoy indulging in corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, but few may know exactly what they’re eating.

Corned beef is a way to prepare a cut of beef, typically the brisket. When making corned beef, the beef is cured in a brine solution. Corned beef gets its name because the meat used to prepare the dish is treated with large grained rock salt, which are also referred to as “corns” of salt.

While corned beef is often linked to St. Patrick’s Day and easy to find at restaurants come the month of March, a debate exists as to whether or not corned beef as it is known today can be linked to Ireland.

In his book, “Salt: A World History,” author Mark Kurlansky noted that a dish of salted beef was produced in Ireland during the Middle Ages. This dish might have been a precursor to today’s corned beef.

Others suggest the corned beef enjoyed during modern St. Patrick’s Day celebrations is more closely connected to Irish immigrants who left home for the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries. Upon arriving in New York City during this time, many Irish immigrants purchased a salt-cured meat made from beef brisket from Jewish butchers.

This meat ultimately became synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day, a day to celebrate St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland

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