Did Ireland Invent Soda Bread?

Ireland may be synonymous with St. Patrick’s day andSoda Bread, but no we didn’t invent it.  In fact I believe we can thank some of the Native American Peoples forproviding us with this option as they used to use Pearl Ash in flatcakes toleaven on hot rocks. On a great website called Sodabread.info it gives a detailedhistory of how it came to be with us.

….”The earliest reference to usingsoda ash in baking bread seems to be credited to American Indians using it toleaven their bread.  Pearl Ash was used prior to 1800 to make flat cakeson hot rocks by combining it with an acidic ingredient in the dough. However, as the Scots have made the bagpipe their instrument, the Irishhave made Soda Bread theirs.  Not by choice, but by a state of povertythat made it the easiest and least expensive bread to put on the table. As noted elsewhere, the earlier recipe found to date in Ireland is from1836. (Note:   The Irish did not bring the soda bread recipe back toIreland from America.  The potato blight that brought the Potato Faminefollowed that route, but not Soda Bread)

Living now in Virginia myself, it wasgreat to see that of of the first ever published recipes was in ‘The VirginiaHousewife’ by Mary Rudolph which had a recipe for Soda Cake.   Whatever the route it took to get to us,well its ours now!!

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