The Real Story About Irish Coffee And How It Was Invented

Before lattes and cappuccinos, before frappuccinos and espressos there was flavored coffee, ie Irish coffee, still one of the world’s most popular drinks. Yet not that much is known about why and how it became so popular.

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Margaret O’Shaughnessy, the Founding Director at Foynes Flying Boat museum in County Limerick, has written to IrishCentral to say the flying boat terminal at Foynes, 35 miles from Shannon, and not Shannon Airport was the location for the first Irish Coffee after we mistakenly said Shannon was where it was invented in a recent article.

The inventor, bartender Joe Sheridan, later moved to San Francisco and worked at the Buena Vista Cafe irish coffee_04where journalist Stanton Delaplane of the San Francisco Chronicle had brought back the secret formula from Ireland and started one of the world’s most famous drinks.

Despite it being an incredible success, Delaplane later admitted he couldn’t stand the stuff yet found his name forever linked to it.

Sheridan was a top class chef and bartender whose family had moved from the North to Dublin. When he applied for the chef’s job at Rineanna, the townland in Limerick where the Flying Boat terminal was based, his application came in to CEO Brendan O’Regan for the position of chef and it simply stated, “Dear Sir. I’m the man for the job. Yours sincerely, Joe Sheridan.

It turned out he wasn’t lying. Foynes was the first Irish transatlantic Airport when Pan Am did their first passenger commercial flights from New York to Foynes in 1939 and Joe Sheridan soon became famous.

irish coffee_03The Pan Am flying boats were based at Foynes while Shannon Airport was actually 35 miles away. Charles Lindbergh helped choose the two airports for Pan Am but no direct flights from Shannon to the US occurred until 1945, long after Irish coffee was invented

Until then passengers to the US from Europe flew into Shannon and were bussed to Foynes.

In 1943 a flying boat flight to New York turned back due to bad weather and Joe Sheridan, originally from Castlederg in Co. Tyrone – a chef and highly skilled bartender – was asked to come back to Foynes to prepare hot food and drinks for the freezing passengers.

He put some good Irish whiskey into their coffees and was asked by the passengers if he had used Brazilian coffee to which he replied ”No it was Irish coffee.” He then continued to put the coffee in a glass and topped it with pouring cream – thus the Irish coffee we know today was invented in Foynes, not Shannon Airport that night.

Furthermore, in 1952 Joe Sheridan was offered a job in san Francisco at the Buena Vista and he met Stanton Delaplane the journalist who had made his drink world famous.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reported that after sampling Irish Coffee at Foynes in 1951 Delaplane flew home and he spent a long evening at the Buena Vista Cafe near the foot of Hyde Street working out the proper balance of ingredients. Overnight Jack Koeppler, the late owner of what had been a quiet neighborhood bar, found himself the proprietor of the most prosperous saloon in the city.

irish coffee_06Five years later, Delaplane was quoted in Time magazine as saying; “I can’t stand the stuff anymore.”

Joe Sheridan was even enticed over to the Buena Vista in 1952 and worked there for ten years. He is buried in Oakland, CA. Delaplane, who was the winner of a Pulitzer Prize, died in 1988.

Today the Buena Vista serves up to 2,000 Irish coffees a day. The busiest day they’ve ever had was the Super Bowl in 1982, 49ers vs. Miami. Three bartenders served 109 bottles of whiskey between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The night crew served another 104. There are 29 drinks per bottle. So that means the pub served well over 6,000 drinks that day [6,177 specifically].

All because of a cold night and bad weather, all because of a storm in 1943 that forced a flight to America back to its origin at Foynes Irish coffee became the first flavored coffee drink. One wonders what Joe and Stan would make of all the flavored beans in Starbuck’s these days!

traditional strong irish coffee on wooden bar with coffee beans

Article by James O’Shea found at irishcentral.com

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The History of Condiments

condiments_01Since ancient times people have used condiments to enhance their food. The first condiment was salt. Salt has always been used both as a preservative and to enhance the flavor of food. Vinegar has also been used since ancient times. Its name is probably derived from the French words vin aiger meaning sour wine. (Vinegar was used as a medicine as well as a food).

The Romans liked condiments and they made many sauces for their food. One of the most common was a fish sauce called liquamen. The Romans also grew mustard and they introduced it into the parts of Europe they conquered. They also made mint sauce.

condiments_02In the Middle Ages mustard was a popular condiment in Europe. At first English mustard consisted of coarse powder and it was not very strong. However in 1720 a Mrs Clements of Durham began making a much smoother mustard powder. When mixed with water to make paste it was very hot but it proved to be popular and Durham became a center of the mustard industry. (For centuries mustard was used as a medicine as well as a food).

In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries new condiments were invented. Pesto sauce was invented in 16th century Italy. Furthermore new sauces were invented in the 17th century including bechamel and chasseur. Chutney comes from India. It was first exported to England in the 17th century. Soy sauce, which was invented in China reached Europe in the 17th century and by the mid-18th century it was popular in Britain.

condiments_03According to one story a French chef first made mayonnaise in 1756. However there are many stories about where it comes from. Hollandaise sauce was also first recorded in the mid-18th century. Ketchup began life as a Chinese fish sauce called ke-tsiap. The name was gradually changed to ketchup and in Britain people added other ingredients instead of fish. In the 18th century they began adding tomatoes. Sauces similar to tartar sauce were made in the Middle Ages but ‘modern’ tartar sauce was first made in the 1800s

condiments_04In the 19th century with the Industrial Revolution condiments began to be mass-produced in factories. Tomato ketchup was a best seller and HP sauce was invented at the end of the 19th century. Meanwhile Worcester sauce was invented in Worcester in 1835 by John Lea and William Perrins. Horseradish sauce went on sale in bottles in the USA around 1860. Salad cream was invented in 1914.

As well as sauces people have also looked for ways to sweeten their food. Since the time of the Ancient Egyptians and probably before people have kept bees for honey. Over condiments_05the centuries honey was very valuable and it was sometimes used as a currency or it was given as a tribute to a conqueror. Since ancient times people have also made an alcoholic drink called mead from honey.

Sugar cane first grew in South Asia. Later the Arabs and Europeans grew sugar cane. At the end of the 15th century sugar cane was taken to the New World. Sugar was first made from sugar beet in the 18th century. A German chemist called Andreas Marggraf was the first person to make sugar from beet in 1747. Saccharine was invented in 1879 by Constantine Fahlberg.

Text from localhistories.org

Morning Delight / Morgenfryd

An explosive egg and orange combination from prior.no
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This breakfast drink will give your day a marvelous kickstart – Ted

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