The History Of Christmas Dinner


With it arguably being the most special meal of the year, it brings families and loved ones from all over the world together to share fond memories of Christmas past and creates new memories that will last a lifetime. There is a lot to be said for the Christmas Dinner, some say it is even better than receiving the gifts!

Did you know that the Christmas roast hasn’t always been turkey and roasted potatoes? Christmas dinner as we know it today has actually evolved over hundreds of years. Let’s take a look at how our Christmas dinner has come to be what it is today.


The roasted meat is certainly the centrepiece of a good Christmas dinner but traditionally this normally consisted of beef, goose or rabbit. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria started eating Turkey that soon the middle classes followed suit, then the trend began! Over time as this meat became a more popular dish, the prices of it began to drop, giving the opportunity to the working class to partake in such delicacies! This opened the floodgates and helped stamp turkey as the “go to” tradition that we now see (and love) in the 20th century.


Many debates have occurred during the Christmas dinner as to what is the best part of the meal is. The most controversial being the humble potato. Not just any potato mind, roast them in duck fat, goose fat, dripping or lard and you are on to an absolute winner! The roasted potato is the staple to not only Christmas dinner but any roast dinner. However this was not the case in the early days of Christmas dinner. The potato originated from South America and was only brought to the UK via Spain by returning sailors from Peru and very quickly became what it is today. It was again our trendsetting friend Queen Victoria that introduced the roasted potato to the Christmas dinner.


Love them or hate them…..they need to be included and play a very important role in Christmas dinner. Brussels sprouts are in fact one of the oldest Christmas traditions. We have the Belgians to thank for these delightful veggies over 400 years ago! So why Christmas dinner? This is probably due to the fact they they grow during the winter time…..just cover them in tons of butter!


If you are looking for Christmas dinning in Edinburgh, look no further than Jessie May’s Bar & Kitchen. We’ve got roast turkey with all the trimmings as our special dish right up until Christmas for just £9! Get stuck in!

Share this blog: