By now, you may have already stocked up on a case or two of Guinness in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day. But when it comes to celebratory eats, you’re either stuck with Irish-ish corned beef and cabbage (historically more American than Irish), or sugary colored treats that are oddly reminiscent of body wash or a toxic highlighter.
Is there a savior for those turned off by these shamrock shenanigans? Irish soda bread. It’s authentic, simple, kind of sweet, and heavenly when buttered up and toasted. If you’re feeling lucky, make your own with this recipe from the Culinary Institute of America, or read on to find out where to purchase some in the Valley.
A hybrid of classic techniques and American flair, this soda bread is fun and free form — just like the Irish version. But instead of opting for a whole wheat base, per tradition, Bonfiglio uses white flour to give it a lighter, fluffy texture. The addition of buttermilk, raisins, and caraway seeds gives it that familiar flavor everyone — Irish or not — knows and loves.
44 Second St., Athens
While Meredith’s does offer regular soda bread, gluten-free folk don’t have to feel like they always get the end piece of the loaf. Its gluten-free Irish bread is made traditional style in a dedicated GF facility and, with buttermilk, eggs, raisins, and caraway seeds in the recipe, you don’t have to sacrifice that incredible, classic taste. Did we mention it’s nut-free too?
Step into this quaint blue and yellow trimmed brick bakery and pick up a fresh, from-scratch currant soda bread — sold exclusively at this time of year. Per the suggestion of bakery owner Essell Hoenshell-Watson, enjoy a week-old slice toasted, topped with fig or raspberry preserves, and served aside some Irish cheddar and a strong cup of Irish breakfast tea.
407 Main St., Rosendale
Not fond of caraway seeds? No problem. All month long, this gluten-free Beacon bakery offers caraway-free Irish soda bread, made traditional with local ingredients like currants and buttermilk. The Main Street storefront has restocked its beer and cider stash just in time for the holiday, so you can wash down a hearty, toasted slice with a cold one.
418 Main St., Beacon
Come for the classic Irish soda bread, and stay for the bakery restaurant’s corned beef specials, shamrock cookie pops, and silky Irish coffee. Hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party? Take home a leprechaun-decked treat for the kids, and you’ll feel lucky in no time.
111 North Front St., Kingston; 845.338.7505
584 Broadway, Kingston; 845.338.1580