Corned beef and cabbage are quintessential St. Patrick’s Day fare—but who says there’s only one way to enjoy them?
We think digging into a delicious Corned Beef Reuben is just as apropos this holiday weekend!
As food history so often proves, many of our favorite flavors and recipes intersect in ways that we would never imagine—so even though the Corned Beef Reuben isn’t very “Irish” at first glance, it’s still got lots to do with our favorite, hearty dinner that was carried over from the Emerald Isle all those years ago (or so we think)!
Just take a look below to learn more about the delicious mystery.
Makings of a cultural classic
Today, it seems that many origin stories for the classic Corned Beef Reuben revolve around a man named Arnold Reuben. Reuben, a German restaurateur in New York City, was said to have made the first iteration of his famous sandwich in 1914—and it, of course, featured the classic components of corned beef, sauerkraut and rye bread.
While there are certainly other claims to the sandwich’s fame, the Reuben (which is a beloved fixture of menus across the country, including ours at Peach Valley!) is undoubtedly an important part of New York City’s deli scene. As for the Irish connection? Corned beef was a popular meat sold at kosher delis during this time, and as Irish immigrants settled in New York City in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they, too, enjoyed its tender texture and briny flavor. In fact, they incorporated it into a classic meal from home in Ireland. Now, instead of having ham with cabbage, as was the tradition there, they enjoyed corned beef and cabbage instead for an affordable meal that still offered the comfort of home.
Some things stick—especially when they’re that delicious—so perhaps it’s no surprise that the American spin on the traditional Irish dinner caught on! It became so popular, in fact, that many of us simply see the corned beef and cabbage combo as purely Irish. But as it turns out, both the Corned Beef Reuben and the classic St. Patrick’s Day dinner have turn-of-the-century New York City delis to thank for the popularity of their respective flavors.
St. Patrick’s Day today
If all this food talk’s made you hungry, we have you covered! By evening, enjoy your classic corned beef and cabbage dinner—by day, swing down to Peach Valley for brunch and dig into its culinary cousin, the Corned Beef Reuben! Complete with sauerkraut, Swiss and zesty thousand island dressing on griddled rye, it’s a fun deli spin on the corned beef-and-cabbage combo.
We hope that these foodie facts help make your St. Patrick’s Day that much more flavorful!