All of the corned beef and cabbage eaten over the next few weeks to celebrate St. Patrick will probably be washed down with many pints of Guinness, Ireland's favorite beverage.
Guinness is one of the most successful beer brands world wide with billions of pints consumed each year.
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Guinness Irish Stout
Made from roasted unmalted barley, Guinness has a distinctive burnt flavor, with a tang that either appeals or doesn't appeal to the palate.
I must confess, I have never learned to love the national beer of my homeland, but that does not stop me from cooking extensively with it and from admiring the genius behind the company and it's exceptional marketing.
Beer was first brewed at the St. James's Gate brewery in Dublin in 1759 by Arthur J. Guinness. He first sold dark porter or Guinness stout in 1778.
Growing up in Ireland in the 1960's and 70's we heard over and over that:
Guinness Is Good For You.
Back then advertising beer was not illegal and Guinness emphasized it's supposed medicinal qualities.
It was highly recommended, even by doctors, for it's iron and vitamin content. I always remember watching Irish centenarians on television who were asked their secrets to longevity.
Many spoke highly of their daily pint of Guinness, no more, no less. A single pint is the way to go seemed to be the motto.
When ordering a pint of Guinness an Irishman often asks for a pint of "the black stuff." Another favorite term is a "pint of plain."
Using A Toucan to Advertise Guinness
In the 1930's Guinness' London advertising agency first introduced the image of a toucan in their marketing efforts.
What exactly the links may be between a toucan, Guinness and Ireland is a mystery to me.
But let's face it! Some of the most memorable Guinness signs feature our favorite toucan.
I love this Toucan wall art from a bar in Indiana.
Over the years Guinness has created some eye-catching posters and advertising. Masterful graphics seem to be a constant.
This Guinness sign is from a drinking establishment in Temple Bar in Dublin.
In County Tipperary, Ireland's horse country, this pub's mural is very appropriate.
Many Ways To Enjoy Guinness
So whether or not you like a pint of plain, there is no denying the power of Guinness imagery, the lure of a friendly pub and the promise of good music and good company.
If you enjoy Guinness you might like to sip on a Black Velvet cockatil, a combination of Guinness and champagne.
It's also wonderful for cooking. I make Guinness marinated steaks, and use the marinade to make a rich sauce to pour over the steaks.
I also love to add Guinness to a big pot of stew.
It also adds incredible flavor to shepherd's pie.
And don't forget it's also a wonderful baking ingredient, and can be combined with chocolate for a rich and satisfying cake.
Wishing you all happy cooking and a little taste of Ireland, this St. Patrick's Day.
Thanks for following my recipes and ramblings.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
Here are some more recipes and ramblings you might enjoy...
When Luke was in Ireland he and his partner became obsessed with Murphy's. Tried and tried to find it here and finally talked a friend who owns a liquor store to special order some in for them only to find that what they could get in the cans just didn't taste the same as what they got in Cork! Poor babies!
Irish American Mom
Corkmen drink Murphy's rather than Guinness, and it's true that the canned stuff is nothing like the stout from the tap in an Irish pub. He'll just have to take you back to Cork with him, to get a real pint of Murphy's again.
We love Guinness! Looking forward to enjoying some on St. Pat's. Great photos you included in your post.
Irish American Mom
Melissa - I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick's Day and enjoy a few pints of Guinness.. I'll be using a few bottle of the black stuff to make a Guinness stew and shepherd's pie on the day.
Thanks for stopping by.
Nothing like a pint of Guinness. It always taste better in Ireland though. I read an article recently that said that Guinness might really be good for you, it stated that 24 ounces of Guinness a night had the same heart saving properties as taking an aspirin, who knew. I think the real heart saving properties may be the way your heart is filled with joy over a creamy pint in a nice old Irish pub.
Irish American Mom
Brian - I worked in the Mater Hospital in Dublin many years ago. One of the ward sisters kept a stash of Guinness in her desk drawer to give to the men who were recuperating from surgery. She swore by the stuff and she was a nun. Don't know if she bothered getting doctors' orders for her little "cure".