CHRISTMAS FOODS

25 December 2017

CANDY CANES

These are very much an American tradition that has come over to us in the UK but they actually originate in Germany way back in 1670 when a choirmaster made white sugary canes to keep children quiet during the church service.

The hooked shape of a candy cane is said to either represent a shepherd's crook or the J for Jesus. The red and white colouring is meant to represent the white of Jesus purity and the red of his blood shed when he died.

In 1920 Bob McCormick in Georgia in USA made candy canes for his family and friends flavoured with peppermint. He started a business called Bob's Candies which was bought over by Farley & Sathers who still make his candy canes to this day.

CHRISTMAS PUDDING

Plum pudding originated in the 14th century and was called Frumenty and contained beef and mutton with raisins, prunes, currants, wine and spices. It was more like a soup than a pudding and was eated before the feasting of Christmas Day.

In 1595 it changed and with the addition of breadcrumbs, eggs, spirits and beer became more of a solid pudding type dish. By 1650 the meat was gone and it was a dessert but was banned by the Puritans in 1664. Luckily it was reinstated by George I in 1714.

It became very popular with the Victorians who really embraced Christmas in a big way and became the sort of Christmas pudding we know today.

The holly on top is said to represent the crown of thorns on Jesus head when he was crusified, lighting brandy is meant to signify power and light and there should always be a silver coin hidden inside for luck.

MINCE PIES

Originally these were meat pies and made in an oval shape to represent the manger where Jesus lay and the pastry lid was the swaddling clothes.

During Stuart and Georgian times the mince pie was very much a status symbol and rich people showed off by having their pastry chefs produce them in all sorts of fancy shapes, some even came apart like jigsaws.

By Victorian times they had become sweet pies and some people say that if you eat one every day between Christmas and 12th Night (January 5th) you will have good luck for the whole year, you might also put on a bit of weight too!

Children traditionally leave out a mince pie on Christmas Eve for Santa.

TURKEY

Turkey was introduced to the UK over 500 years ago by a Yorkshireman called William Strickland who had been given some by American Indians during his travels.

Henry XIII was the first Engluish King to enjoy turkey but it was Edward VII who really made it popular as the Christmas dish. Before that geese, boars' head and even peacocks were eaten as the main Christmas meal.

87% of British people eat turkey on Christmas Day.

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