Big Bear readies to celebrate the Irish, but is traditional meal all that traditional?


In most Irish establishments and many other eateries of all descriptions, on St. Patrick’s Day, (this year celebrated on Friday, March 17), corned beef and cabbage will make its way onto the menu. The meal is meant was an acknowledgement to the Irish and their patron saint credited for his work in spreading Christianity on the Emerald Isle.

However, another annual tradition that will make its way into the conversations held over the meal will be the complaint that the meal is not, in fact, an Irish dish.

Research shows that beef was a rare treat at mealtime in Ireland, and that the traditional Irish meal centered on ham, or more accurately, bacon. However, when the Irish disembarked from their journeys to the promised land of America, it was quite the opposite. Corned beef was the meat that they could easily and more cheaply get their hands on and, so, it became the meal of choice for generations of Irish Americans to come.

The bars of early 20th century New York would offer a free dinner of corned beef and cabbage to the Irish workers who would crowd in after working all day on the building sites. The Irish builders would still have to buy a few rounds of “Irish Milk” or whiskey in order to get their supposedly free dinner, but the main reason that the corned beef and cabbage dinner is thought to be of Irish origin is not because they were enticed by a traditional meal so much as a cheap meal.

Nevertheless, whichever you prefer—corned beef and cabbage or the bacon and cabbage—enjoy yourself on this annual night out on the town.

At this time, contests could include a “Best Dressed Leprechaun” and a “Best Irish Jig” contest. They have more contests in mind for which they’re working out the details. Wyatt’s will be serving up its full menu along with a special corn beef and cabbage dinner.

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