Food - Drink
The Buttery Potato Cakes Lovers Of Irish Literature Will Truly Appreciate
By LAUREN ROTHMAN
Although it may not be one of the world’s most-craved cuisines, Irish food has a lot to offer. From corned beef to colcannon, Irish food is full of tasty delights — and potatoes! — like these humble yet delicious potato cakes from Irish chef Darina Allen that evoke the flavors of one Irish novel.
Darina Allen’s potato cakes start off like almost all potato pancakes — with mashed potatoes and a lot of butter. However, Allen’s potato pancakes are unique in that they rely on caraway seed for flavor, along with onion sautéed in butter, parsley, salt, and pepper. The caraway seeds make this recipe special, and Allen shares that she got her inspiration from a beloved Irish book.
Irish literature may be dominated by the likes of William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce, but there are two well-known Irish women writers, Edith Somerville and Violet Martin. Together they wrote “Some Experiences of an Irish R.M.” under the pseudonym “Somerville and Ross”, about the misadventures of a countryside magistrate named Major Sinclair Yeates.
In one passage from the book, the landlord of Yeates describes the delicious potato cakes he once enjoyed, saying in the book “While I live I shall not forget her potato cakes. They came in hot from a pot-oven, they were speckled with caraway seeds, they swam in salt butter, and we ate them shamelessly and greasily, and washed them down with hot whiskey and water.”