Among the great variety of meats and delicacies available at Christmas, a stuffed turkey most certainly occupies pride of place on the traditional menu. Contrary to what one might think, this dish did not come from Europe. In fact, before being domesticated, the wild turkey could be found in southern Ontario, some parts of Quebec, several American states and even in Mexico. At the beginning of the XVIth century, the Spanish took this bird back to Europe from Mexico and it was soon domesticated in Spain, France and England.
While turkey has long been considered a traditional holiday meal by Francophones, Anglophones tended to serve stuffed roast goose as the main dish at Christmas dinner.
The oldest dish that Anglophones enjoy at Christmas time is mince pie, whose origin dates back to the Middle Ages. In the original recipe, this oblong-shaped pie contained a mixture of finely chopped poultry, pheasant, partridge and rabbit. Later, sugar, apples, cider, raisins and candied oranges and lemons were added. Over time, the meats were eliminated leaving only the sweet ingredients.