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Irish Foods in the Classroom for St. Patrick’s Day

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International Foods Lesson Plans

As teachers, we are always looking for great lesson plan ideas for holidays like St. Patrick’s Day. These 3 ideas for teaching Irish foods in the culinary arts classroom have been “stewing” around in our brains for years.

My mother emigrated here from Ireland when she was 18 years old. As an Irish-American kid I grew up eating mashed potatoes, Shepard’s pie, beans and toast, scones, corn beef, and cabbage, and Cadbury chocolate, of course. I can’t say that I loved all of these dishes as a child but I appreciate them today as they are a part of my upbringing and culture.

Irish foods ideas for culinary arts
Irish foods ideas for culinary arts

My Mom and I one year after she moved to the United States.

I love to bring my Irish culture into the classroom and have the kids experience authentic Irish foods. Here are 3 cooking lab ideas for your FACS or Culinary Arts class:

1. Make a Barmbrack. An Irish food memory that I love the most was when we would eat barmbrack. It is a cake that has items buried inside! If you get the slice with a little piece of rag rolled up inside, you would be poor. If you got the piece with a coin in it, you would be rich, etc.

Here is a traditional barmbrack recipe (that doesn’t include whiskey because lord knows we can’t smuggle that into the classroom!). This would be a fun cooking lab to do with students.

making Irish foods in the high school classroom for FACSmaking Irish foods in the high school classroom for FACS

Here’s a nice video of a barmbrack being made…yum!

2- Make Scones. Scones are an iconic and delicious Irish food that your students should have fun making. Most of the items you should have in your kitchen with the exception of maybe currants but you can substitute with raisins or golden raisins. Heres is a recipe for scones for a class.

Irish scone recipe for culinary arts and FCSIrish scone recipe for culinary arts and FCS

3- Present the History of Irish Foods and the most popular dishes. We have a whole line of international foods lessons about countries around the world and their unique cuisines and cooking techniques. This one is about Irish cuisine and it includes a colorful slideshow as well as notes for students to complete and questions. I love these lessons because it helps the kids understand where the foods originated from and influence on the United States’ cuisine.

It is easy to assign as it is in Google format. Click on the picture to check the lesson out!

Some other no-bake recipes include:

  • A Shamrock Shake (Lucky Shake)

  • Lucky Charms Rice Krispie Treats

St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas for Culinary Arts and Life Skills Classes
St. Patrick's Day Food Ideas for Culinary Arts and Life Skills Classes

Lucky Shake

Only a few ingredients for this one which makes it great for the classroom!

Ice cream, milk, mint extract and whipped cream.

Visual Recipes on TPT

Click the picture to check out our Visual Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day!

Lesson on the history of Irish foods and traditional Irish cuisine. Click the image to check it out in our store!

4- Reubens- Chris does a “Reuben Bonanza” menu in his culinary arts cafe for his school on St. Patty’s Day. They make Reuben dip, Reuben soup, Reuben pizza and Reuben tater tots! The recipes include corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, rye bread and Thousand Island dressing. Surprisingly, the Reuben originated in the U.S., even though it is associated with St. Patrick’s Day. Corned beef is a traditional dish of Ireland, which is why the Reuben is often made during the holiday.

Irish foods a reuben is traditional St. Patrick's Day food
Irish foods a reuben is traditional St. Patrick's Day food

Traditional Reuben


Reuben Soup!

Check out Kim Graybill’s site for free quick bread teaching ideas!

Let us know what you think of these 3 Irish food ideas in the comments. We always love feedback!

For more Global Foods ideas such as South American and Ukrainian foods, check out our other blog post.

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