National Mincemeat Day is on October 26. The original mincemeat recipe is more than 500 years old, and it used a mixture of diced fruit, meat, and distilled alcohol. It was used as a pie filling. It contains an interesting mix of spices that are not usually used for meat, such as nutmeg and cinnamon. The fruits used are the same as those in many traditional fruit cakes. Although it is widely known in Australia, the U.S., and South Africa, it is a strange taste combination for many people. National Mincemeat Day is dedicated to this interesting dish.
History of National Mincemeat Day
In the 15th century, bakers used to preserve meat with fruits and spices. Mincemeat pies were made using this filling. Initially, vinegar and wines were used for the fermentation of the preserve. Nuts, clove, mace, and cinnamon were widely used in medieval times.
Later, people started using distilled alcohol and brandy to make minced meat. In Europe, mincemeat came to be known as a wholesome food found in old-fashioned, rural homes. England saw this dish as a traditional Yuletide treat.
In the 19th century, the way that minced meat was prepared changed slightly. Raisins, apples, and candied lemon peel were added to the recipe. Apple mincemeat, which was made without meat, was regarded as a healthier and more hygienic alternative. In the twentieth century, any similar recipe, even the ones made without meat, came to be referred to as mincemeat. Similar to spirits, mincemeat was aged so that the flavors would deepen. It was also done to change the texture of the mixture by breaking down the proteins present in the meat. It is said that properly preserved mincemeat can be stored for about 2 to 3 years.
Though the origins of National Mincemeat Day are not known, this day is widely celebrated in the United States and around the world. Mincemeat is a favorite during the holiday season, especially during Thanksgiving, where it is served with cheese or apple pie.
National Mincemeat Day timeline
Mincemeat emerges when bakers try to preserve meat by adding spices and diced fruit.
Distilled spirits and brandy are used in the making of mincemeat.
People start calling anything made with a similar recipe, even without meat, mincemeat.
National Mincemeat Day is created to give credit to this dish popular in many countries.
National Mincemeat Day FAQs
Can vegetarians eat mincemeat?
In earlier days mincemeat consisted of meat and animal products. Presently, there are alternatives available for vegetarians and vegans which do not contain meat or any animal product in them.
Why is mincemeat called mincemeat when there’s no meat in it?
In the earlier recipes, the pies had meat in them and the spices were used to help preserve them, but over time they became more of a fruity pie.
How To Celebrate National Mincemeat Day
What better way to celebrate National Mincemeat Day than to make mincemeat. If you don't know the recipe, you can just ask some of your family members or friends to help you with it. Also, there are videos online that will help you make mincemeat easily.
If you want to take the celebrations to the next level, you could organize a competition for the best mincemeat dish. It would create fun recipes, give cooks and eaters alike a new experience and broaden your taste horizon.
Spread the word
Not many know about this holiday. If you make it an ice-breaker dish at a work social or a community gathering, more people will love it, and definitely talk about it.
5 Facts About Mince Pie Traditions That Will Blow Your Mind
It had to be stirred clockwise
It was believed that stirring the mince pies anti-clockwise would bring bad luck.
Each family member stirred
It was believed that if each member of the family took turns to stir the mince pies, it would bring joy and happiness to their home.
It was eaten for good health
It was believed that eating mince pies every day for the 12 days of Christmas would bring good health.
It is associated with Christmas
It is said that the spices used in mince pies, such as cloves and cinnamon, were among the gifts presented to baby Jesus by the Wise Men.
It was oval-shaped at first
The earliest known mince pies were oval, symbolic of the shape of baby Jesus's crib.
Why We Love National Mincemeat Day
It is a tasty dish
Mincemeat pie is eaten warm, with gently melting ice cream or butter/buttered rum, which is a winning combination.
It was illegal to eat at a time
In the 1650s, it was illegal to eat mincemeat pies in England, since Oliver Cromwell tried to stop gluttony in the country.
It is a day to learn more
National Mincemeat Day is the perfect opportunity to learn more about this dish and expand your knowledge of interesting combinations of food in general. Dig deeper into the history of this age-old recipe and also discover new recipes and facts along the way.
National Mincemeat Day dates