Is there no greater signal of spring than a grocery store’s meat section overflowing with corned beef briskets? I really can’t think of one.
I’m not Irish, and I don't pretend to be the biggest beer drinker or have a vast collection of emerald threads in my closet. So boiling a large pot of corned beef and cabbage has been my go-to tradition in honoring Ireland’s patron saint.
My wife, on the other hand, does not share my appreciation for this annual March feast. I believe her exact words (a nod to Anchorman) are, “Ugh, that smells like Sex Panther.”
Sixty percent of the time, she hates it every time.
So this year I’ve scrapped the corned beef and cabbage menu in hopes of finding a meal more authentic to Ireland. Come to find out, it was never really an Irish tradition in the first place.
If that last beer made you feel a little warm and fuzzy inside, it could be because you just did some good. You may have just donated to a charity, just by buying a drink.
I first noticed this philanthropy trend while enjoying a new limited release IPA from Sweetwater Brewery called Second Helping. The name implies having more, and the compelling flavoring of juniper berries and chocolate malts had already sold me on that proposition.
But then I read the beer’s label and learned that it was crafted to benefit a charity called The Giving Kitchen, which helps people in the food industry going through hard times. This initiative was inspired by Atlanta chef Ryan Hidinger, who brought the Atlanta restaurant community together when he fought and ultimately lost his battle with cancer. His wife and friends decided to take the generous funds that were raised to help Ryan and pay it forward by creating this charity. I admit that it got me when I read that the juniper berries were added for Ryan, because he so enjoyed cooking with them.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Recently - and just in time for St. Patrick’s Day - Nerdwallet.com released a study on the cheapest cities for beer drinkers. Based on some fancy math that involves a six-pack of Heineken, median incomes, beer tax and beer demand, the site determined that Washington, DC, is the least expensive city for beer drinkers. (If you’re earning the median income, you could buy more than 30,000 Heinekens a year!) Of course, now you want to know the most expensive city for beer drinkers; according to Nerdwallet, that’s Chicago.
More St. Patrick's Day:
Alessandra Bulow (@abulow on Twitter) is Food & Wine's associate digital editor.
If foraging for shamrocks and downing marshmallow-filled cereal endorsed by a cartoon leprechaun hasn’t brought you the luck of the Irish by now, then it may be time to rethink your strategy on St. Patrick’s Day. From traditional dishes like noodles that symbolize longevity to a simple ham sandwich, superstitious chefs share their picks for good fortune.
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