Do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday, a time celebrate your Irish heritage or just because you like to wear green and have a good time? However you celebrate, you can be sure we owe many of our favorite Southern traditions to the Irish who settled in the Appalachian region in the early 18th century. Creative and self-reliant, these settlers learned to live off the land and adhere to their traditions of food, music, crafts and storytelling. These hearty folk helped to create many of the traditions of the South we still celebrate today.
The history of any food is hard to trace, but we do know that the traditions of the British Isles, including Ireland, are evident in Southern cuisine. Quick breads like biscuits are one of the most obvious. Originally made with the most basic of ingredients – flour, shortening, buttermilk and soda, it is easy to see how closely related they are to Irish Soda bread and scones.
Traditional recipes for scones are hard to pinpoint as are traditional recipes for biscuits. Basically, a scone is made like a sweet biscuit, often including dried fruit. Sour Cream Scones are a version of a scone made with self-rising flour. Butter, an egg and sour cream enrich the dough and currant adds a traditional touch. Country Soda Bread is a traditional version of this Irish favorite made with buttermilk and soda. We gave it a Southern twist by including some corn meal with the flour for a crunchy texture and rich grain flavor.