Colcannon, while made from mashed potato and blanched greens, is not – as many on this side of the water believe – the same thing as bubble and squeak, since it is not fried. In Ireland it is traditionally a Friday fast day dish.

For an authentic Irish treatment, mash some peeled boiled potatoes until smooth with a little milk, seasoning with salt and pepper. Beat in an equal amount of chopped, just-cooked greens (some say it should properly be made with curly kale, not cabbage) and mound the mixture on a plate. Push down with a spoon to create a depression in the middle and fill this with melted butter.

Four people who wrote to us on the subject insisted it contains raw diced onion, while three others said that parsley is vital. Two different correspondents said colcannon should be turned out on a serving plate in the middle of the table and melted butter poured into a well in the centre. People eat from the outside in, dipping their forkfuls into the butter. What happens as diners cross forks over who gets the buttery centre piece is not recorded.