Dispelling Irish Stereotypes: Why Do the Irish Eat So Many Potatoes?

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Dispelling these Irish stereotypes is easy; I just want you to imagine what you would eat if there were no grocery stores. Think about that for a minute while I whip up one of my favorite Irish drinks.

You see, for many Irish, especially in rural Ireland, the only food sources were what could be grown or raised on the land.

Traditional Irish foods also reflect the harsh reality associated with eating only what you can grow.

The actual question should be why potatoes? I mean, they are kind of starchy and bland, right?

Well, from a dietary standpoint, the potato is a nutritional powerhouse. It contains vital nutrients like B6, potassium, vitamin C, copper and maganese. Pack in a healthy punch of fiber and you’re not doing too badly. That’s probably why it’s the most grown crop in the entire world. Mind = Blown.

Secondly, the potato is easy to grow. Even in poor soil conditions, it will thrive. Why grow a fickle crop of vegetables when you can be assured of a complete meal from your potato harvest? And remember, with no grocery stores, you can only eat what you grow.

Likewise, poor Irish weather makes the ‘earlies’ (a potato planted early in the growing season, it can be dug up, washed and eaten right away) a fast, easy way to get your family fed before the rest of the crop comes up. Then, the Irish potatoes grown later in the season can be stored for wintertime food.

Finally, the beauty of a potato is that almost anyone can cook it. Small Irish dwellings weren’t designed for strenuous cooking sessions with lots of ingredients. A potato simply had to be roasted on the coals or boiled in a pot to be edible. Even a child could make this simple meal for the family.


Irish stereotypes
clearly indicated what a hard life many Irish people had. However, there was no time as difficult for them than the Irish Potato Famine of the 1800s when all the potato crops died.

And, in short, as for dispelling these Irish stereotypes, to say that all the Irish love potatoes wouldn’t be fair or accurate. The truth is, simply, that they rely on them for sustenance throughout the year — especially the country dwelling population of Ireland.

 

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