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39 Dishes from the First Christmas Menu, Published in 1660

If you want to try something new for Christmas dinner, you might try something very old. However, you’ll need to have a particularly carnivorous guest list.

The first known suggested menu for Christmas dinner was from 1660 book The Accomplisht Cook by Robert May. May was a chef to the nobility, so let’s assume this menu is supposed to feed a lot of people. It’s a list of 39 dishes, in which 35 or so of them are meat. Then there’s salad, quince pie, and custard. There's also something called “Made dish in puff paste,” whatever that is (probably meat). Otherwise it’s a flock of geese, chickens, swans, ducks, turkeys, pheasants, and other birds, plus venison, mutton, rabbit, pork, beef, and fish -and a few other animals. Read the list, with some information about some of the more obscure recipes, at mental_floss. In case you were wondering, there are partridges on the menu, and pears, although not in the same dish.


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