By CRISTINE STRUBLE

Food - News

The Truth
About The
The 'Corn' In
Corned Beef

Even if a devilish leprechaun pulls a prank or two, the promise of a hearty corned beef and cabbage dinner to celebrate St. Patrick's Day is a welcome feast. Although this traditional food has become a holiday staple, the name corned beef can be a slight misnomer.

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When it comes to corned beef, many people instantly think of Ireland and St. Patrick's Day, but the traditional food celebration for the feast of St. Patrick often involved Irish bacon and cabbage. Ireland was a major producer of salted meat, but corned beef was considered a luxury until it became less expensive in the 19th century.

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Since Britain imported large amounts of Irish cattle, the practice of "corning" the beef became popular. The term “corned” refers to the size of the salt crystals used to preserve the meat, which resembled the size of a corn kernel.

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According to the USDA, brining is done more often than "corning" today. Beef is submerged in a salt brine which both flavors and tenderizes the beef, and the brine allows more flavors to be absorbed by the beef, which helps to create that classic flavor.

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