Want a green vegetable for St. Patrick's?
Put a little German in it too.
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Munich, Germany is the venue of one of the largest St Patrick's Day gatherings on the European continent. Irish people and Ireland fans have been meeting for the festival in the Bavarian capital since the mid-1990s. What first began as a fairly private celebration quickly developed into a kind of folk festival.
Why Munich for St. Patrick's Day celebration and parade? Not just Lola Montez, an Irish dancer that became a mistress to Bavarian King Ludwig, but 1000 years ago Irish monks helped bring Christianity back to Bavaria after the Huns had destryed much. St. Patrick is a very popular name in Bavaria and there are a good number of folks from Ireland.
John King one of our food historians wrote and talked about the German influence on Corned Beef and Cabbage. I thought it was interesting enough to share.
The popularity of Corned Beef and Cabbage in the United States is due most likely with the German Jews that migrated to the US. In Ireland you would generally make a Bacon Joint and cabbage, which is a cut of pork that isn't like our bacon at all but more like Canadian bacon. This cut was hard to find outside of Ireland. The corned beef brisket was a close second that they could find in the neighborhood New York delis, and the German Jewish owners made all the time, since they didn't use pork.
So if you make this on the 17th of March. Realize that some German went into it !
My Friend Allan Marcotte who is German American told me he was making this Irish dish on St. Patrick's Day. Potatoes , In Ireland a slow layered and simmered Stew can be called a "Coddle", with Bacon and Bratwurst have German written all over them. This dish is a layered Stew, with potatoes, onions, and bratwurst sausage. To further give a German flavor to this I used fresh marjoram...boy what a deep earthy herby flavor.
Fresh spinach, whether from the garden or from the market, was liked by the whole family—even by the children. Grandma would wash a large bowlful of the leaves, swishing them well through lots of water several times to be sure every grain of the sandy soil was gone. She put the wet spinach into a large cooking pan with a little salted water, and let it simmer gently until it was tender. By this time, the big batch of leaves had condensed to a much smaller amount. She then put the cooked spinach into a large wooden chopping-bowl, (resembling a big salad-bowl) and chopped it up very fine. The chopping tool had a handle on the top, holding two sharp, curved blades, and made short work of the process.
While this was going on, several slices of bacon, diced, were slowly cooking on the stove. An onion, chopped into small pieces, was added to the bacon and cooked just a little bit. Then a bit of flour was stirred into the bacon-onion mixture to make a sort of roux, and a little liquid (sometimes cream, but usually bouillon and boiling water) was added to make a small amount of thickened sauce. The spinach was added to this and mixed, with salt and pepper to taste. At the table, it was always accompanied by gravy of some kind, either from the meat being served, or with leftover gravy from a former meal.
The 12th Annual Tomball German Heritage Festival will be
March 31- April 1 and 2.
located on the Old Downtown Streets of Tomball Texas near 201 S. Elm Street, Main Street (FM 2920), and Market Street. It is a Music/Street festival celebrating German and ethnic heritage with 4 stages of live music entertainment "happy music for happy people", ethnic and festival food, beer, wine, 150 street vendors, all kinds of German souvenirs and clothing, arts crafts, antiques, Heritage Center, German church service, fireworks, carnival, pony ride, petting zoo, strolling music makers, street performers, and much more. Like Oktoberfest in March! Huge fun for the whole family! You do not have to be German to enjoy this festival. It is fun for everyone, and there is no admission or parking fees.