The Science Behind St. Patrick’s Day Cuisine


This past Thursday a series of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations filled with shamrocks, green madness and Irish cuisine began. From soda bread to beer, this famous holiday is known for its unique dishes –– and each tells its own food science story.

Corned beef is one of the staples of St. Patrick’s Day in America. The “corn” here does not refer to a corn on the cob. Instead, “corn” refers to the large salt crystals on the beef during a five to eight day curing process. 

During this process, the salt, which is made of charged ions, disrupts the electrostatic interactions in protein structure. This causes the protein to unravel, giving it a more tender texture. 


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