As Saint Patrick’s Day approaches, I’m reminded of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852), during which the nation’s potato crops became diseased and a large part of the population died. Around one third of Ireland’s poorest people depended on potatoes for their survival. It was a devastating collision of environmental and socio-political occurrences.
As a Bay Area resident in the 21st century, I feel extremely lucky to live in a thriving epicenter of great food and a seemingly unending supply of it. We truly are blessed, even in this modern world, where many people continue to starve daily and good environmental policies often seem to fall victim to private interests.
So, in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day this year, throw on something green and grab some savory spuds! Fried eggs and potatoes anyone?
As far as potatoes at Bi-Rite go, the Klamath Pearls are small and great for roasting. To make some tasty mashers, try the Irish Red or Yukon Gold potatoes from Willey Farms in Madera, California. Keep your eyes peeled for the local fresh crop of potatoes, which will hopefully begin arriving to our produce section in a month or so.
Or come to the Deli and try our special house-made Colcannon-style mashed potatoes, made with cabbage and leeks! They’re available for a limited time from March 14th-17th as part of our full St. Patrick’s Day menu.
As the old children’s rhyme goes,
“One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four,
Five potatoes, six potatoes, seven potatoes, more!”