Food for Thought: St. Paddy's Day brings out Irish in everyone

By Loretto J. Hulse, Herald staff writerMarch 13, 2013 

No matter their ancestry, everyone has at least a wee bit 'o the Irish on St. Paddy's day.

See if you can stump your friends with these facts from the United States Census Bureau. The loser has to buy the next round of green beers.

The world's first St. Patrick's Day parade was on March 17, 1762, in New York City. Marching prominently along the streets were Irish soldiers serving in the British Army.

The parade became an annual event in 1948, with President Truman attending. In 1995, Congress declared March to be Irish-American Heritage Month. Each year since then the president has issued a proclamation commemorating the occasion.

In 2011, 34.5 million U.S. residents claimed some portion of Irish ancestry.

There are seven places in the U.S. named for the green icon of Ireland, the shamrock: Mount Gay-Shamrock, W.Va., Shamrock, Texas, Shamrock Lakes, Ind., Shamrock, Okla., and three Shamrock townships in Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri.

Corned beef and cabbage is a traditional St. Patrick's Day dish for many people. In 2011, we imported $2.8 billion worth of beef into the U.S. and $28.6 million of cabbages.

In 2011, the total value of alcoholic beverages -- except wine -- imported from the Emerald Isle to the U. S. was $532.1 million.

Not surprising, beer imports spike during the month of March, going from $288 million in February 2012 to $374 million in March 2012. Come April of that same year, the value of beer imports dropped to $334 million.

Give fish a chance

The National Fisheries Institute offers these tips to prepare fish and incorporate more seafood into your daily diet:

-- Substitute fish or shellfish for meat and poultry in favorite casseroles, stir-fries or salads.

-- To convert meat lovers, serve "meatier" fish such as swordfish, fresh tuna, halibut and shark, which are good marinated or with barbecue sauce and then grilled.

-- Substitute seafood or shellfish one night a week, slowly making the switch.

-- To enhance the flavor of fresh seafood, add lemon and lime juice, herbs such as dill and basil, onions or garlic.

-- Cook fish correctly. When baking fish, do so in an oven preheated to 450 degrees, cooking for 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until fish just starts to flake in the middle.

-- Try poaching fish in wine and herb-seasoned broths.

New read

The book: Tea With a Twist: Entertaining and Cooking with Tea by certified tea specialist Lisa Boalt Richardson.

Cost: $25

Best for: The author takes readers on a tea trek around the world introducing the unique serving traditions and tea preparations of cultures as diverse as China, France, Kenya and Russia. The book is divided into eight tea party themes with recipes, stories and tea tips. Each chapter is illustrated with full-color photographs of foods that'll make you want to eat them right off the page.

*Loretto J. Hulse: lhulse@tricityherald.com. To receive a recipe via email each Tuesday, register at tricityherald.com and click on newsletters. If you already are registered, click on edit account and newsletters to select Recipe of the Week. This exclusive recipe does not appear in the newspaper.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service