Home CommentaryStudent Life Come for the Irish breakfast, stay for the Guinness!

Come for the Irish breakfast, stay for the Guinness!

by Archives March 22, 2006

People are clad in green, shamrocks adorn faces and walls, and the smell of meat, coffee, and whiskey is intoxicating. St. Patrick’s day is the day when everyone is Irish.

The breakfast buffet served on St. Patrick’s day at Hurley’s Irish pub includes all the Irish specialties. Agnes O’Hanlan, the head chef at Hurley’s, described the traditional Irish breakfast: “There are eggs, lots of meat of course, and we included Irish rashers this year, beans, colcannon (mashed potatoes with leeks), scones, and of course, blood sausage,” she said.

There are two kinds of blood sausage available: white and black. The main difference between the two sausages is that the white doesn’t have coagulated pigs blood, and it is more oatmeal-based.

Some of the authenticity is lost due to geography. “Blood sausages are supposed to be wrapped in pig intestine, but they don’t allow that in Quebec, so they are packaged just like regular sausages,” said O’Hanlan.

A young St. Pat’s enthusiast struggles to get his jacket on, but a few minutes later he realizes he has it on upside down. It is doubtful the buffet caused this confusion, and far more likely that the culprit is Irish coffee–known simply as “the drink” in Ireland– that accompanied the traditional breakfast.

A traditional Irish coffee is a blend of Jameson, brown sugar, coffee and fresh cream. Steven Early, a native Irishman and bartender/manager at Hurley’s, said, “we make a traditional Irish coffee: no Irish mist–that is a new liquor–and only fresh cream. We didn’t use whipped cream in a can back in Ireland.”

The Irish coffee is an ideal vehicle for an early morning “drink”. It is also a thing of beauty. Fresh cream is floats atop of the boozy coffee.

It is also impossible to ignore the national drink of Ireland–Guinness. The banners on the wall and the person dressed as a giant Guiness pint are constant reminders of the black, velvety and smooth beer.

Early said the pub goes through about 150 kegs of Guinness on St. Patrick’s weekend. Having a pint of Guinness on St. Pat’s is “tradition” on this “national holiday,” according to Early. “St. Pat’s is a great excuse for an extra day on the piss,” he said.

Having a Guinness on St. Pat’s may be a tradition for many, but as Early explained, it is not really an “Irish” creation. “Not many people know this, but the Guinness family were English Protestants, who made all their money selling beer to the Irish. A pretty easy sell,” he said.

Hurley’s is located at 1225 Crescent St.

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