The United States has a fine reputation of creating an aura of foreign culture around products that are decidedly American. General Tso's Chicken has certainly never been found in China, and chimichanga's are actually a product of 20th century Arizona.
Even Irish dishes are not spared for cultural misrepresentation. Corned-beef, America's St. Patrick's Day meal of choice, only became popular among Irish communities once they arrived in United States. The dish — a salt-cured section of beef — was exceedingly expensive in the 'home country,' and seen as a luxury item. When Irish immigrants came to the U.S. in the 19th century, they found that this luxury meal was less expensive than their other salt-cured favorite... bacon.
Nonetheless, on the Irish holiday filled with Guinness, bright green top hats, and an influx DUI checkpoints, people across the country take great joy in the "traditional" meal of corned-beef and cabbage. Even if the beef and greens meal isn't your favorite, there are certainly some great places in the area to enjoy a fine St. Patrick's Day event this year.
Enter the Haggis Celtic Rock, March 15, 6:30 p.m. doors, $20-$25, Palace Theater, thestaffordpalacetheater.com. This Haggis isn't banned in the United States.
Grady Tavern's St. Patty's Day Celebration, March 17, Grady Tavern, 622 Middle Turnpike E., Manchester, (860) 646-9554, grady-tavern-manchester-ct.com. Live music, corned beef, and cold beer. What more could you ask for?
Apricots Irish Dinner Menu, March 14-17, Apricots Restaurant, 1593 Farmington Ave., Farmington, (860) 673-5405, apricotsrestaurant.com. Great menu, special Irish beers and drink specials, Joe's Irish Soda Bread, "Irish" Andre Balazs on the keyboards from 5-9 p.m.
Stories of Ireland by Tom Lee, March 17, 2 p.m., $15, Mark Twain House and Museum, 351 Farmington Ave., Hartford, (860) 247-0998, marktwainhouse.org. This professional storyteller is for adults only... how risque!
St. Patty's Blarney Stone Dash, March 16, 10 a.m., $15-$20, Willimantic, thelastmileracing.com/stpattys.html. Are we the only ones who have no idea what the hell a blarney stone is?
Food and Music by Wandering Roots, March 17, Smokin' with Chris, 59 W. Center St., Southington, (860) 620-9133, smokinwithchris.com. Natural steel-slide American music and food with nothing Irish except the Guinness in your glass.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun