My family was playing our usual game of Spin the Globe when for the first time the kids landed on Ireland. As it so happens I have a small corned beef in the freezer that I now have reason to try. And then it got me thinking about the connection between Jews and Corned Beef and the Irish and Corned Beef. Here is what I found out.
First of all, there are around 2,000 Jews living in Ireland today and the community has been there for at least one thousand years. There is a Chabad and at least a few synagogues ranging from Orthodox to liberal. You can get kosher food and find out everything else about Jews in Ireland here.
Often times Jewish food comes about from the places we have lived, such that most Ashkenazi food is really Eastern European food. But in the case of corned beef, the Jews really took to it in America. It is a method of salting beef that preserves it and tenderizes the kosher cut, like brisket.
Apparently the debate surrounding Corned Beef and it's Jewish and Irish history has been going on for a while. On Chowhound, the discussion is all over the map. On European Cuisine they take the stance that corned beef is not an Irish staple even though it was made in Ireland, they seem to agree with many on Chowhound that most Irish began eating Corned Beef when they came to America and learned it from their Jewish neighbors on the Lower East Side. You can find a nice version of this history on Food Wishes.
No matter where it started I am still counting it for my meal and Corned Beef is delicious and not too hard to make if you either buy it brined or plan ahead. For my Kosher Irish menu I am going to make a day of it.
For Breakfast I will serve this yummy flaky Irish Soda Bread maybe with some eggs (if you want to make this parve try making it using vegan butter and soy-buttermilk (mix a bit of lemon juice into the soymilk).
I probably won't serve dessert, but if you are up for it you can try this Irish Chocolate Cake.