One of the great traditions of the holidays is the food. From the turkey to the cookies, much of the food we enjoy during Christmas are from traditions stretching back centuries. Many of us probably never thought about where the traditions began or how they have evolved. We have 14 Christmas food facts for you to enjoy. Share them with your friends and family while you’re enjoying your feast.
- It wasn’t until the 16th century when Henry VIII had turkey for Christmas dinner, that it became a tradition.
- The main dish at Christmas dinner during medieval times was peacock. Boar was also typical.
- Turkey didn’t become a tradition in America until the 19th century.
- Before farmers raised poultry commercially, families that lived off the land ate geese for Christmas dinner. Chickens provided eggs and cows provided milk, so they had to choose carefully which animals to eat. Since geese only laid eggs seasonally, they were the chosen meat for a Christmas feast.
- Early mince pies included minced meat. They also included suet, fruits, nuts, and spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
- The original Christmas pudding was made with beef, mutton, rains, currant, prunes, wines, and spices.
- The first eggnog is believed to have been introduced in America in 1607 in the British colony of Jamestown, Virginia.
- Sugar Plums are not actually plums. In the 1600s the term “plum” meant any type of dried fruit. Standard sugar plums are a combination of dried fruit and spices coated with sugar.
- The fruit cake was designed to last all year. When the fruit cake first came about, it was baked at the end of the harvest season and saved to be eaten at the beginning of the next harvest season.
- The tradition for leaving cookies for Santa started when Christmas Trees used to be decorated with food and those decorations would disappear during the night, so it was speculated that Santa had a late-night snack while delivering presents.
- Many parts of the Christmas tree can be eaten, but pine needle soup doesn’t sound great.
- Chocolate coins are a Christmas tradition thanks to Saint Nicholas, who gave bags of coins to the poor.
- Candy canes were invented to help keep the children quiet during church. They were created in 1670 by a German choirmaster. The traditional strips came later.
- The typical Christmas dinner includes 7,000 calories per person.
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