Ah, March. The things that this month brings - there are the religiously motivated Easter and Passover meals (the traditional beast for feasting at the Casa McBardo is bunny). And then there is the oddly interpreted St. Patrick's Day celebrations in a couple of weeks. I've been invited to such a party, although I suspect that culinary pursuits are less of a pursuit than green dyed beer and kilts (yes, I know those are traditionally Scottish, but for some reason, the party host insists that kilts are part of the celebration).
I see many parallels between St. Paddy's and Cinco de Mayo, where the significance of the event is so diluted that anything remotely reminiscent of the cultures they originate from (Ireland in the former, Mexico for the latter) is considered sufficient. In this case, many of the common outlets should be featuring "traditional" Irish cuisine, ranging from corned beef and cabbage (odd, since beef was quite expensive in poverty stricken Ireland), to colcannon, and, of course, beer. The iconic crop of Irish cooking is seen as potatoes, although potatoes weren't introduced into Ireland until the 16th century from the New World. Potatoes became so central to Irish cuisine, though, that they are an abject historical example of the dangers of monoculture agriculture - the potato blight and following famine stands as one of the defining moments of Irish history, when so many people starved to death.
But, really, we need to focus on the actual significance of St. Patrick himself. Which means that the appropriate beast of the feast in this case should be ... snake.
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