4 Foods That Will Make You Feel Irish For The Day

Since my first name is Erin, I’ve been asked many times if I’m Irish and unfortunately I have to tell people I’m not. But with an Irish name and St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner on March 17, whose to say I can’t pretend, just for a bit! After all, we all want to be that lucky Leprechaun that finds a pot of gold under the rainbow!

While Valley Natural Foods may not be able to offer lucky pots of gold, it can offer festive St. Patrick’s Day novelty foods that can make pretending to be Irish and celebrating the day all the more fun and flavorful.

Here are my top four picks for authentic St. Patrick’s Day fare or food items that simply make the day memorable:



1. Cahill Farm’s Irish Whiskey Cheddar Cheese – $21.99/lb.

If authentic Ireland is what you are looking for, then you’ve found it in this cheese. Made on Cahill’s family farm in Limerick, Ireland, this pasteurized sheep and cow’s milk cheese is mixed with Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey sourced from an actual Ireland distillery. The cheese is semi-hard with a straw-colored hue. One can describe the taste of it as smooth, rich, creamy, and nutty, but bridged with a lingering sweetness and tangy taste that denotes the whiskey flavor. The whiskey flavor is definitely noticeable but it is pleasant, without being overwhelming as it does not mask the underlying milky taste of the cheese. The cheese pairs well with fruit or with a sandwich.

Valley Natural Foods sells chunks of Cahill’s  Irish Whiskey Cheddar Cheese in smaller wedges, starting at $4, making trying the cheese an easy, inexpensive decision. Samples are available too for taste-testing!

It’s also important to note that the Cahill family has been making artisan, flavored cheeses using traditional hand-made production methods since the 1950s and their actual roots in the dairy business start as early as 1902. I would venture to say that with all this experience, the Cahills are amazing experts at their craft and their Irish Whiskey Cheddar Cheese is no exception. Click here to learn more about the Cahill’s family history.


2. Irish Soda Bread with Caraway Seeds & Raisins – $5.99/each (available in the deli)

bread According to Epicurious, a well-known digital voice for consumers interested in food and cooking, traditional Irish soda bread was a simple table bread made in the 1800s out of flour, baking soda, buttermilk and salt. It became very popular as you didn’t need an oven to make it but only a big cast-iron pot with a lid that you cooked over hot coals. Irish-American immigrants began to experiment with the bread, adding more luxurious ingredients such as caraway seeds and raisins.Valley Natural Foods’ Irish soda bread is a nod to this Irish-American alternative, and a tasty one at that. Having never tried this bread, I fell in love at first bite! It is a dense, yet moist, heavier round bread with crunchy crust and the buttermilk and sugar adds a delicate sweetness, similar to that of beer bread, which pairs nicely with the caraway seeds and chewy raisins. I could see it being a nice addition to  a breakfast meal or as a simple snack.


greensmoothie3. Leprechaun Shaker Smoothie – $6.59/16 oz. (available in the coffee and juice bar)

Now this smoothie is just for fun as there is nothing truly Irish about it except for its very green shamrock-like appearance! The spinach provide its green look and the vitamins, while the bananas and almond milk give it a creamy, smooth texture, not to mention a healthy dose of nutrients too. The careful balance of the slightly bitter yet nutty cocoa nibs, which represent dark chocolate in its rawest form, with peppermint, provide just the right amount of sweetness to make this smoothie uniquely refreshing and light. It’s surprising that something that tastes this good is actually good for you too! The Leprechaun Shaker Smoothie is available for a limited time only through March 31 in the co-op’s coffee and juice bar.


4. Fresh Deals for March 16-22, 2016 – Garrett Valley Corned Beef Brisket – $10.99/lb. & Organic Green Cabbage – 69¢/lb.

Yet if you want to really get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit, our Fresh Deals for March 16-22 will help you to make an Irish-inspired meal your family will love! Garrett Valley is a family-owned and operated company that only sells the best natural and organic meats and their corned beef fits the bill.

Click here for their New England Boiled Dinner Recipe featuring their corned beef brisket, cabbage and other vegetables.

Click here to view all the Fresh Deals for March 16-22,2016.

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