The traditional English Christmas dinner
With the big day drawing near we take a look at the traditions and origins behind a variety of classic Christmas dishes and ingredients.
hen it comes to a traditional Christmas dinner, the Turkey really is the main event. The Christmas turkey tradition can be traced back to Henry VIII, who decided to make the bird a staple for the festive day. However, it wasn’t until the 19th century that turkey became the standard Christmas dinner fare for families around the UK. Turkeys are commonly served with all the trimmings including stuffing and bread sauce and the British staple… the roast potato! We stock Maris piper potatoes which are a fail safe for achieving those perfectly crisp potatoes.
Pigs in Blankets
No Christmas dinner is complete without the popular pigs in blankets, in fact it is estimated that over 128 million pigs in blankets are eaten on Christmas day alone. Pigs in blankets are thought to have originated from Czechoslovakia or Germany but first appeared in print in the Cooking for Kids cookbook, published by U.S food firm Betty Crocker in 1957. Why not try our new Core range of award winning smoked and unsmoked back bacon to wrap around your sausages.
his seasonal vegetable is related to cabbage, with a sweet, nutty, sometimes bitter flavour. Brussels sprouts only became widely available in Britain towards the end of the 1800s and so due to their seasonality and availability, combined with the time; in which the modern ideas of Christmas feasting were being invented, the brussels sprout made itself a household name. We stock brussels sprouts along with many other fresh festive vegetables such as red cabbage and carrots from New Covent Garden Market.
We traditionally add cranberry sauce to our plates at Christmas to add a sweet and tangy taste to our turkey. The combination was formed and continued to become a tradition every Thanksgiving in the US and has slowly been adopted within the United Kingdom. We stock Tiptree’s luxurious cranberry sauce made with juicy wild cranberries. Perfect as an accompaniment to turkey, goose, or duck.
The very first version of the pudding originated in the 14th century; the British made porridge called “frumenty” made of beef and mutton with raisins, wines, currants, and spices. After the 16th century, dried fruit became more available, and the pudding slowly shifted from savoury to sweet. The Christmas pudding is traditionally brought to the table sprigged with holly or winter cherries and flaming with brandy. We stock Mathew Walker puddings – the world’s oldest Christmas pudding maker, which also offer gluten free and alcohol-free options.