Major holidays can be powerful forces, and not simply regarding the celebration and spirit they represent.
Occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas have a way of impacting recipes and menus, too, in a quirky and singular fashion.
Take the Christmas peppermint candy, which now shows up in cocoas and cocktails and even as a glaze to the main meat of Christmas dinner. Likewise, Thanksgiving's pumpkin, once an unassuming gourd decoration for the dining room table, now dominates the fancy coffees come November.
The edible, drinkable classics of St. Patrick's Day are also regularly incorporated in other dishes and beverages, sometimes to creamy and/or savory effect. Look to Guinness, that stouty stalwart of March 17, an Irish icon that now provides some beery punch to adult milkshakes and sundaes.
And look to corned beef, a hearty favorite of the holiday. True, you often see slices of the piquant meat served neat, next to new potatoes and cabbage, but places like The Morrison in Atwater Village are going the quirky-culinary route with an offbeat take on the burger.
The St. Patty's Burger is, in fact, a burger, but it comes topped with corned beef and cabbage, in addition to Swiss cheese and some other flavor-filled additions.
Oh, and a pint of Guinness is served on the side, natch.
Where will corned beef and Guinness show up next? And the third point on that tasty triangle, whiskey, which is also breaking out of the shot glass and appearing in eats not typically associated with the amber-hued spirit?
It's one of the charms of a big holiday, seeing the famous dishes of the day transform and even cameo in plates that have no holiday affiliations. So be on the watch, St. Patrick's revelers, for the meat and spirit and brew to show up in ways that, a decade or two ago, would have been deemed outlandish.
Not these days. Not in 2016. Anything goes, edible-wise, on our major holidays, and cheers to that.