For St. Patrick’s Day, how about a Ploughman’s lunch? You can bring it to work or dig in at home.
Pronounced “plow man,” Ploughman’s, as it’s called for short, is a cold lunch that farmers (the plow men) and other laborers in the British Isles (including Ireland), out for the day, would take with them.
The lunch included bread and butter, cheese (cheddar, stilton or other local cheese), relish such as a Branston pickle (chutney),* piccalilli* and/or pickled onions.
Dress your salad with a Dijon vinaigrette.
For St. Patrick’s Day, substitute Irish soda bread for everyday bread.
Add an Irish beer.
Beyond the well-known Guinness and Fuller’s beers, look for something new.
There’s a lot to choose from, including:
THE HISTORY OF THE PLOUGHMAN’S LUNCH
There’s not much mystery to it: bread and cheese were the basis of a poor person’s diet, and was what rural English labourers carried when they left the house [source].
A reference as far back as c.1394 mentions the traditional ploughman’s meal of bread, cheese and beer.
Meat was a luxury, so cheese provided the protein.
*Branston pickle is a chutney typically made of carrots, cauliflower, gherkins, onions and rutabaga, pickled in a sauce of vinegar, tomato, apple and dates flavored with chutney spices such as mustard, coriander, garlic, cinnamon, pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cayenne pepper, plus sugar. British piccalilli is similar but tangier, less sweet, and colored bright yellow with turmeric.
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