I'll start off with what's on everyones mind- the beer and the booze. Costco has great prices on cases of Guinness and 1.75 Liters of Bailey's Irish Cream, and if you want more than just Guinness, they also have a case of assorted of Irish beers. The Irish Beer Collection contains 6 bottles each of three different kinds of Irish beer: Guinness Draught, Harp Premium Irish Lager and Smithwick's Premium Irish Ale. Guinness is "complex and rich, yet light in body with a creamy finish," Harp is "a clean, crisp, classic pale European pilsner made with all Irish ingredients," and Smithwick's has been "brewed in Ireland for over 300 years, the result is a rich ale of perfectly balanced flavor." (Quotes were taken from the description on the side of the case.)
But St. Patricks Day isn't just about getting fluthered, there is great food to be had as well, like the classic Irish American dish of corned beef and cabbage! I couldn't find any cabbage at Costco but I did find loads of Corned Beef Brisket:
If you're not a fan of corned beef you could always make yourself some traditional Irish Stew and nothing goes better with Irish Stew than Irish Soda Bread. Although technically speaking traditional Irish soda bread should be made with only flour, buttermilk, baking soda and salt, this version sold at Costco is an acceptable (and delicious!) variation :)
My favorite meal to serve on St. Patricks day is Bangers & Mash (sausage & mashed potatoes). While I'm pretty sure it's really more of a British dish than specifically Irish, I had it at a few different pubs while traveling through Ireland and fell in love with it. I particularly love Bangers & Mash with a nice onion gravy and because I just love mushy peas, (whether I'm eating fish & chips or not), I usually like to whip some up as well to go along with the bangers. (Hence the 5 lb. bag of Organic Sweet Baby Peas you can get at Costco for less than $7!) As for the the Bangers, there are a couple of different brands floating around Costco depending on your location, but I have seen the RJ Balson & Son Authentic Irish Style Bangers the most. While I cannot vouch for their Irish "authenticity," I can say they are quite tasty. Lastly, for a completely nontraditional meal that still has some Irish flare to it, try these adorable Shamrock Shaped Cheese Ravioli!
Costco is ripe with Irish imports this time of year, like delectable Kerrygold cheeses and butter. Kerrygold butters and cheeses are all-natural and made in Ireland from grass-fed cows. The Kerrygold Truckles (a truckle is a small barrel or wheel shaped cheese) are 7 oz. each and come in a pack of two: one Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey Cheese, and one Dubliner with Irish Stout Cheese. According to Kerrygold, the Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey Cheese is a "rich & creamy aged cheddar infused with the robust flavor of whiskey that produces undertones of smooth, woody and nutty taste of pure Irish Whiskey." The Dubliner with Irish Stout Cheese, according to Kerrygold, is a "classic combination of all-natural sweet, nutty, rich flavor of Dubliner Irish Cheese together with the malty, caramel, bitter flavor of the perfect pint of Irish Stout." Together, the 14 oz. package is only $8.79 at Costco. The classic (un-infused) aged Dubliner Cheese is only $5.99 per lb. at Costco. The Kerrygold Salted Pure Irish Butter is a wonderful all purpose butter that can be used as a spread or in cooking and baking.
Tipperary Irish Cheddar Cheese is an extra sharp Irish Cheddar that is aged for over one year, and comes from County Tipperary in the southern, central part of Ireland. The price of $5.79 per lb. at Costco is nearly 60% LESS than what you would generally pay for this cheese elsewhere. While the Kingdom Organic Sharp Cheddar Cheese isn't Irish, this premium, handcrafted cheese from England is absolutely divine so I had to throw it in with the others.
Last, but never least, if you're throwing a St. Patrick's Day party don't forget to pick up your themed Costco Sheet Cake!
However you choose to celebrate St. Patrick's Day may the luck of the Irish be with you!
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Until next time,
the Costco Connoisseur
P.S. - Selections and prices listed above will vary from different Costco locations.
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