Colcannon Lore

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Title: Colcannon Lore
Yield: 1 Servings
Categories: Irish, Vegetables, Information


(from IRISH TRADITIONAL FOOD, Theodora Fitzgibbon:)

"This is traditionally eaten in Ireland at Hallowe'en. Until quite recently
this was a fast day, when no meat was eaten. The name is from *cal ceann
fhionn* -- white-headed cabbage. Colcannon should correctly be made with
chopped kale (a member of the cabbage family) but it is also made with
white cabbage; an interesting version is the Irish Folklore Commission's,
which gives it as mashed potatoes mixed with onions, butter,and a boiled
white cabbage in the center. Colcannon at Hallowe'en used to contain a
plain gold ring, a sixpence, a thimble or button: finding the ring meant
marriage within the year for the person who found it, the sixpence meant
wealth, the thimble spinsterhood and the button bachelorhood."


"For a dish that is not widely eaten or served today, colcannon remains
remarkably widely known. Maybe the song about colcannon is better known
than the dish. If you say "colcannon" in a crowded room, the chances are
that half the room will break into one version of the song and the other
into a completely different version. Like the recipe itself, there are two
versions commonly known.

Did you ever eat colcannon Did you ever eat colcannon when 'twas
made with yellow cream when 'twas made with thickened
cream And the kale and praties
blended And the greens and scallions
blended Like the picture in a dream?
Like the picture in a dream? Did you ever take a forkful Did you ever scoop
a hole on top And dip it in the lake
To hold the melting cake Of heather-flavored butter Of
clover-flavored butter That your mother used to make? Which your mother
used to make?

Oh, you did, yes you did! Did you ever eat and eat, afraid So
did he and so did I,
: You'd let the ring go past, And the more I think about it And
some old married sprissman Sure, the more I want to cry. Would get it at
the last?

God be with the happy times
When trouble we had not,
And our mothers made colcannon
In the little three-legged pot. " -- Colcannon is so
like champ, cally, stampy and poundies that it's difficult to understand
how it ever came to have a different name. Yet, all over the country,
colcannon is colcannon and known as nothing else. As in the two versions of
the song, it can be made with kale or with greens, meaning cabbage. Those
reared on the version made with kale can never understand how the cabbage
version can be considered colcannon, and vice versa...."

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