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Colcannon (Irish: cál ceannann, meaning "white-headed cabbage") is a traditional Irish dish of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage.

Colcannon
Colcannon.JPG
A pot of freshly made colcannon
CourseMain course or side dish
Place of originIreland
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredientsMashed potatoes, kale or cabbage
Colcannon recipe on a bag of potatoes

DescriptionEdit

Colcannon is most commonly made with only four ingredients: potatoes, butter, milk and kale. Irish historian Patrick Weston Joyce defined it as "potatoes mashed with butter and milk, with chopped up cabbage and pot herbs".[1] It can contain other ingredients such as scallions (spring onions), leeks, Laverbread, onions and chives. Some recipes substitute cabbage for kale.[2] There are many regional variations of this staple dish.[3] It was a cheap, year-round food.[4] Leftovers fried on the griddle for breakfast are called "bubble and squeak".[5] It is often eaten with boiled ham or Irish bacon. As a side dish it goes well with corned beef and cabbage.[1]

An Irish Halloween tradition is to serve colcannon with a ring and a thimble hidden in the dish. Prizes of small coins such as threepenny or sixpenny bits were also concealed inside the dish.[6] The dish champ is similar but made with buttermilk.[2]

EtymologyEdit

The origin of the word is unclear. The first syllable 'col' is likely derived from the Irish 'cál' meaning cabbage. The second syllable may derive from 'ceann-fhionn' meaning a white head (i.e. 'a white head of cabbage') - this use is also found in the Irish name for a coot, a white headed bird known as 'cearc cheannan', or 'white-head hen'. The phrase may also be borrowed from the Welsh name for a leek soup known as cawl cennin, literally "broth (of) leeks."[7]

SongEdit

The song "Colcannon", also called "The Skillet Pot", is a traditional Irish song that has been recorded by numerous artists, including Mary Black.[6][8] It begins:

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

The chorus:

Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I'm to cry.
Oh, wasn't it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Andrews, Colman. The Country Cooking of Ireland.
  2. ^ a b Sheraton, Mimi. 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die: A Food Lover's Life List.
  3. ^ Recipe from An Bord Bia (Irish food board)
  4. ^ Irwin, Florence (1986). The Cookin' Woman: Irish Country Recipes. Blackstaff. ISBN 0-85640-373-3.
  5. ^ Friedland, Susan R. Vegetables: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cooking 2008.
  6. ^ a b Allen, Darina (2012). Irish Traditional Cooking. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. p. 152. ISBN 9780717154364.
  7. ^ Evans, H. Meurig (1980). Y Geiriadur Mawr. Gwasg Gomer.
  8. ^ "The Black Family" CD, 1986, Dara Records, DARA CD 023

External linksEdit