St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just about green beer. There are plenty of other ways to celebrate Ireland’s rich cultural traditions of food and drink, which include unique cheeses, staggeringly flavorful butters and lamb.

No food is as closely associated with Ireland, for reasons both good and bad, than potatoes. A staple crop in Ireland’s cool, wet climate, potatoes were an essential part of the Irish diet until a plant fungus decimated the potato crops. From the appearance of potato blight in 1845 until 1852, more than a million Irish citizens died of starvation and related diseases because of the lack of potatoes, and another million were forced to flee the country.

Bernice Torregrossa:


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