Why do we eat Turkey at Christmas?

Why-We-Eat-Turkey-At-ChristmasWe are slowly coming up to the Christmas period, now is typically the time when we start to think about ordering our meat for our Christmas dinner. Roasts tend to sell incredibly well this time of the year and its often a good idea to prebook your meat of choice from your butcher as early as possible.

I often wonder why do we eat turkey at Christmas, I don’t think I have had it any other time of the year (unless I have brought turkey slices from the shop in stead of chicken by mistake 🙂 )

The main course or the centre piece of a Christmas dinner has not always been Turkey, it was either peacock or boar. Chickens and beef would never be eaten due to them being to valuable for their eggs and milk.

It is reported that t was actually King Henry VIII was the first person to have enjoyed Turkey when they were important by the Spanish, although it was Edward VII that ate them at Christmas time.

Turkey was however a luxury and only the richest of families would enjoy this pricy bird on their table. The less expensive alternative was Goose and was commonly eaten by working class families that had saved up all year for their Christmas Goose.

Around the 1950’s it became more common for families to eat Turkey during their Christmas dinner owing to it being much bigger than a goose, making it more suitable for larger families. Now Turkey is extremely common with over 10 million eaten around the Christmas period, this is according to the British Turkey Information Service.

Will we always eat turkey at Christmas?

I do think Turkey will always play an important part of a Christmas dinner, saying that I don’t think its a bad thing to experiment with other meats.

To me it seems that we are at a point were we are willing to try new meats. I know people that have tried Goose as its less common, boar and even pheasant. I find it interesting that what was once the popular choice but became less popular is slowly becoming more and more popular.

What are you going to have for your Christmas Dinner?

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About the Author Martyn

I have enjoyed cooking for some years now, its one of the only things that I can do that makes me relaxed and forget any worries I have. I love trying new foods and visiting restaurants. Other hobbies include writing, game development and work :)

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