Different families, flavors on St. Patrick’s Day

Kate McCabe

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, most Villanova students probably not thinking about what they will be eating as much as what they will be drinking. However, along with the festivities of St. Patrick’s Day comes traditional Irish food.

St. Patrick’s Day is often an occasion for families and friends to gather to celebrate their Irish heritage. Freshman Brendan Comer’s family has made celebrating the holiday a tradition. “Most years it is one of those things where you gather around the table and eat Irish food like corned beef and potatoes and visit the Irish relatives,” Comer said.

St. Patrick’s Day is not the only time Irish cuisine comes out of the kitchen. Foods such as Irish soda bread, scones and smoked Irish salmon are a mainstay in some people’s diets throughout the year. “A specialty of my grandmother’s is her Irish soda bread, which she always has in the house,” freshman Kelly Kowal said.

Aside from traditional Irish food, St. Patrick’s Day is also an occasion for festive eccentricities such as the green-dyed bagels distributed every year along the route of New York City’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Some of the foods associated with the holiday have little true Irish origin and are created solely for the holiday.

In freshman Rebeccah Vermandel’s town, St. Patrick’s Day means Irish potatoes, which are coconut cream balls covered in cinnamon, are everywhere.

“St. Patrick’s Day is the only time of the year Irish potatoes are available but they are in every store in my town and I can’t believe that no one at ‘Nova has heard of them,” Vermandel said.

Green-dyed food may not sound appetizing to everyone, but it is a family tradition for some Villanova students. “Every St. Patrick’s Day my dad makes green eggs and ham, we have green milk too,” one student said. “Over the past couple years he has tried dyeing cake, pancakes, yogurt, ice cream and sometimes beer for the holiday.”

Alcohol consumption is a traditional part of the St. Patrick’s Day celebration as well, and many students have grown up partaking of this with their families. Growing up, freshman Ryan Cahill’s father helped introduce his brothers to his family’s St. Patrick’s Day traditions. “My mom prepares corn-beef and cabbage for me and my brothers every St. Patrick’s Day and then we have a few beers with my dad,” said Cahill.

Sophomore Jill Tyrell has spent each St. Patrick’s Day of her adolescence with a grand celebration in the streets of New York City.

“My whole family of about 20 comes down from the Bronx,” Tyrell said. “After the parade everyone goes to a bar in our neighborhood to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.”