Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Lift a pint of Guiness to the man who drove the snakes from Ireland...
It's Saint Patrick's Day... It's time to lift a pint of Guinness with your friends, pin a shamrock on your shirt, and celebrate....but why? Everyone knows that St. Patrick drove the snakes from his native country of Ireland... right??? And what about the time that he compared the lovely shamrock to the holy trinity?
Well the truth is that St. Patrick wasn't even Irish, he was English, and I'm pretty sure that Ireland was snake-free long before he hit the scene. As far as the shamrock/trinity story goes I don't really know if he said it or not... but wouldn't that make a four leaf clover a symbol of blasphemy rather than a charm of good luck? All that aside Saint Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland (although he has never been officially canonized) because he brought Christianity to the pagans... and he did it in a unique and effective way. Instead of getting rid of pagan rituals and symbols he merged and transformed them into christian symbols... But enough of the man... this is not what I'm here to write about. There are hundreds... possibly thousands of articles about St. Patrick. I'm here to write about the BEER!
Am I the only one that thinks that Guinness is seriously overrated? I don't hate it... but I certainly don't love it. In fact when my husband and I were planning on taking a walking trip in Europe we decided against Ireland because after a long day of walking we couldn't imagine settling down at a pub and having the only choice be Guinness (the irony is that now we are traveling to a country with no real beer to speak of... but that's a story for another day). But maybe Guiness is an appropriate choice for a St. Patricks day beer. It is, afterall, surrounded by as many myths as St. Patrick himself.
For one thing... dark does not equal strong. In fact Bud light has more alcohol than a Guiness on draft. Maybe this myth is perpetuated by the fact that many people drink it in combinations with another famous beverage from Ireland... Jameson. On the plus side for Guinness... it's not really all that high in calories either. A pint of Guinness only has about 170 calories... less than most 16 oz coffee drinks at Starbucks. You can find a whole host of other myths surrounding Guinness here.
I don't know about you... but this Saint Patrick's Day I plan on baking a loaf of Irish bread... and doing something that the man himself did...No I will not drive the snakes from Texas or convert my pagen children... What I will do is merge two traditions into one... Yes I will drink a pint of Guinness... but after that I plan on celebrating St. Patricks day my own way. I'm going to drink a pint of the only true green beer I know... Sierra Nevada!