The Shamrock Shake is Back!
My Dad was an Irish-Catholic when he met my mother, a Sephardic Jew. When they decided to get married, my Dad opted to convert to Judaism and believe it or not, had his Bris shortly before the wedding. As such, my sisters and I grew up in New York as Irish-Jews – a fairly uncommon mix.
What that meant to us, was that we would be raised in the Jewish faith, and twice a year (St. Patty’s Day and Christmas Day), we would delve into our Irish heritage and indulge in the customs that had been passed along from generation to generation.
Our St. Patty’s Day traditions included the never-ending smell of corned beef and cabbage wafting through the house, pigging out on Irish Soda Bread made from an ancient Irish recipe passed on through generations, a few bottles of Guinness, a bottle of Bushmills, green bagels (a tribute to my mom), and hopefully, a tipsy rendition of Danny Boy by my Dad.
In the 80’s, I discovered the Shamrock Shake from McDonalds, and it was added to the arsenal of my St. Patty’s Day traditions. The Shamrock Shake was a limited-time vanilla shake with some mint flavoring that came out each March. My high school friends and I would cruise to Mickey D's after school to indulge in its wonderful goodness. Even after we went our separate ways, I continued on the custom and introduced it to my current friends and family.
Life was good until about 5 or 6 years ago – not 100% sure of the year – when the Shamrock Shake just never made its scheduled appearance in March. The Golden Arches simply discontinued it, without any prior notice. My fond minty-memories of Uncle O’Grimacey (resembled the Grimace as we know him today) were gone forever and worse – my boys would never know the wonderful goodness of the Scope-like aftertaste that the Shamrock Shake left behind.
Then, lo and behold… 2008 marks the year that the Shamrock Shake makes its delightful return. No explanation on why it was coming back and not a single commercial. Hmmm…..
Was it because McDonalds felt the pressure of the social media environment on them as witnessed by the 40+ Facebook groups that address the growing concerns about the effects of no Shamrock Shakes on the environment?
Was it because they were tired of the deceitful Shamrock Shake sightings on www.ShamrockShake.com? [Update March 5, 2013: Original site no longer exists]
Maybe. Well, it’s my conspiracy theory and I’m sticking to it.
All I know is that after tonight’s dinner, I’m loading up the SUV and taking the boy’s to the McDonald’s in Apopka for their first of many (St. Patty willing), Shamrock Shakes. I have already confirmed said shake availability with the location, so we’re all in for a treat.
Tomorrow, I will be working off the damage done by its ingestion. See here for nutritional facts from the McDonald’s website. [Link updated on March 5, 2013]
To end this post, below is my favorite Irish saying for St. Patrick’s Day, which I wish you all:
May your neighbors respect you,
Troubles neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And Heaven accept you.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!