By: Megan Dunlevy

The Shamrock Shake returns every March. For many people the annual return of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake means that St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. This mint-flavored shake started off as a charitable Cornedbeefpromotion that started the first Ronald McDonald house. Since the introduction of the shake in 1970 there have been over 60 million sold and there is even a website ( ) to find Shamrocks out of season. There are numerous examples of foods that are seen as Irish or are specific to St. Patrick’s Day, from artificial green beer, Irish soda bread, and potatoes to corned beef – the examples seem never ending. To many Irish Americans, including myself, corned beef, boiled potatoes and carrots is a classic St. Patrick’s Day meal and for bakers, Irish soda bread is equally traditional. But are these “traditional” foods actually Irish? Or have they simply become “Irish” over time?  Clearly some foods like the Shamrock Shake and green beer are not traditional, but what about corned beef and Irish soda bread? Continue reading