By popular demand, the Chefs of English Lakes will be serving up hundreds of platters of succulent turkey with all the trimmings this Christmas. It’s reckoned that the British nation consumes around 10 million turkeys at this time each year. Why is this country gobbling so many of these big birds and where did the tradition come from?
Turkey Takes Centre-Stage
Prior the early 16th Century, the dishes of choice at Christmas would be goose or cockerel. For those in high society it was more likely to be peacock, pheasant and swan. Turkey was introduced from America and gained popularity because it was relatively inexpensive and quick to fatten.
The classic menu of turkey with gravy, stuffing, and plum pudding was popularised by Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and some culinary historians would say that this literary description alone moved turkey to Christmas centre stage in homes of both the modest and affluent. However, a more realistic view is that turkey remained a luxury in the UK right up until the 1950s when it started to become more widely available and refrigerators became commonplace.
Around the World on Christmas Day
Whilst 10 million Turkeys are being consumed around our green and pleasant land, we know it is not every nations favourite Christmas dish. Here at English Lakes we asked some of our international guests about their local festive feasts…
Roast goose and roast carp or suckling pig
Around the coast, concoctions of cod and haddock and a fish called lutefisk. Inland they go for pork chops or specially prepared sausages.
7 or more courses including antipasti, a small portion of pasta, a roast meal, followed by 2 salads and 2 sweet puddings – then cheese fruit, brandy and chocolates!
Fish soup, salads, eggs and carp.
12 non-meat dishes, representing the months of the year and featuring fish such as pike, herring and carp.
A successful advertising campaign in the 1970s made eating at KFC around Christmas a national custom. Its chicken meals are so popular during the season that stores take reservations months in advance
Rice, gungo peas, chicken, ox tail and curried goat.
A variety of dishes, including Biryani with chicken or lamb, chicken and mutton curry, followed by cake or sweets
Here’s a reminder of a few alternative dishes to delight your family and friends at Christmas – 3 Tasty Turkey Alternatives.