Monday, March 12, 2012

Making St. Paddy’s Day Authentic: Tips from an Allrecipes’ Irish Insider

From time to time, the Fresh Bites blog likes to showcase Allrecipes’ staff who have personal interests or stories that enrich our site’s content—or just are really fascinating, talented people! This post is from Ita Mac Airt, Allrecipes’ Regional Manager, International Content. If you guessed she’s from Ireland, you’re right!

Nearly seven years ago now, we moved to Seattle from County Antrim, Ireland, when my hubby landed himself a job in a famous aircraft company near Seattle. I started looking for jobs online, and to this day I still can't believe what I stumbled upon... was looking for someone with experience in recipes and cooking from the UK or Ireland! I had to pinch myself. After years of recipe product development for food companies in Ireland, could this be my perfect job?

It certainly has turned out to be more than I ever dreamt of. We launched Allrecipes UK and Ireland in May 2008—check out the site here—and since then have launched 15 other international sites all around the world. Currently, I manage the European editors, and Allrecipes remains as exciting as ever to watch the sites grow as we build a community of home cooks around the world. My cook’s profile is even on both the U.S. and the UK sites so I enjoy the best recipes of each! As you’d expect, I’ve added quite a few of my favorite Irish recipes to both sites.

With St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, maybe you’d like to learn how the holiday is celebrated in Ireland? Check out these articles I wrote a few years ago about how people celebrate and what we eat in Ireland for our March 17th feast—it’s different from the U.S.! I’ve also shared tips in a “How to” article about traditional Irish Soda Bread. (My advice for soda bread: Eat it warm from the oven slathered with butter and jam!)

Here are some of my family’s favorite recipes from home. You’ll find a real Irish Stew, Irish Bacon and Cabbage Soup that’s always terrific on cold March nights, a fast and easy griddle-cooked version of Irish soda bread called Irish Soda Farls, and Irish Barm Brack, a dark, moist bread packed with raisins soaked in black tea.

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

If you can't go to heaven, may you at least die in Ireland!