If someone were to ask you what you think the very best thing to come from Ireland would be, what would you answer? Without a second of hesitation, I would say corned beef and cabbage, which is my absolute favorite meal. Except I would be wrong.

Anyone who says corned beef and cabbage is their favorite thing to come out of Ireland would be wrong and not about the meal being delicious, but about it being from Ireland.

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While corned beef and cabbage might be a coveted dish that we have come to consider a traditional treat for St. Patrick's Day, the dish is not something that you would find on the menu of a restaurant in Ireland on the holiday because it isn't even a dish native to Ireland!

The True Origins of Corned Beef and Cabbage

When the first generation of Irish immigrants came to America, they longed for the comfort foods of their homeland. One of those foods is boiled bacon which is a traditional meat served in Ireland on St. Patrick's Day in Ireland. Our newly arrived ancestors were still trying to catch their financial footing when they got to America and they weren't able to afford bacon products because they were out of their budget. So, they searched for the cheapest cut of meat that they could find and that cut was beef brisket.

Why Is Corned Beef Called Corned Beef?

Unless there's something sneaky going on that we don't know about, there's no corn in corned beef so why is it called "corned beef?" Well, thanks to the influence of other immigrants from around the world, the Irish decided to give the concept of brining the meat a try instead of boiling it as they traditionally would have and found that they rather liked it. The "corned" in corned beef refers to the corn-sized chunks of salt used in traditional brine methods.

Why Is Cabbage Served With Corned Beef?

After discovering how much they loved the taste of brined beef brisket, our Irish ancestors had to decide what vegetable to pair with it and since cabbage was among the cheapest vegetables available, it won, and luckily for us, it works perfectly!

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