Don’t laugh, but I’ve actually never had Irish soda bread before. Growing up, our St. Patrick’s Day menu was more likely to feature green oatmeal and green pancakes than corned beef and cabbage, but I don’t know what my excuse is now that I am an adult. I guess it’s a combination of ignorance, apathy, and the fact that Irish Soda Bread has a face only a mother could love:
I mean, this came from my own kitchen, made with love by my own two hands, but even I can recognize that it’s not a looker. “Charmingly rustic” is the phrase I would put on a menu.
I would like to say that after having made soda bread, I changed my tune, became a convert to the ways of Irish eating, and decided to make this bread twice a week for the rest of my life. Truthfully, though, it wasn’t my favorite. I think my taste buds are conditioned to expect more flavor, and even with the dried tart cherries I added, I found it bland. I wish I’d added more…of everything. Maybe a pinch of sugar, a bit more salt, and some orange zest. (But by that point, I’m practically making muffins instead.)
Live and learn! I can see this being good with some savory additions as well (gruyere, green onions, and lots more salt comes to mind) but for now I’ll probably stick with green eggs on St. Patty’s Day.