Happy Sunday, in the UK it is a bank holiday tomorrow, which is awesome. I was recently approached by someone who asked if I do guest posts, if the post is a good fit, then yes, I will post it onto the site, if not, then no, so when James approached me, I asked him to send it to me so that i could take a look at it. It was an interesting and informative piece so I said I was happy to post it. Without further ado then, I present James’ post.
The traditional Sunday Roast has long been the favourite meal of the week for Brits, but just how did we, as a nation, grow to love this hearty dinner so much?
Out of all of the meals that we love to eat, one stands out as a dish that truly unifies the nation and that is the traditional Sunday roast. Hugely popular amongst families all over Britain, this hearty feast has stood the test of time to remain a firm favourite in modern times. But how exactly did the roast dinner become so popular amongst the British and where did all of those ingredients come from? We decided to take a look back into the past to find out.
When it comes to which meat you prefer with your roast, there are plenty of options, including chicken, lamb and pork but if you want to keep it truly authentic you’ll opt for some beef, just like our ancestors did during the reign of King Henry VII all the way back in 1485. His Royal Guard would eat beef every Sunday after church, which earned them the nickname “Beefeaters”. This tradition soon spread to the general population, who would use local bakers to roast large joints that would last them the whole week.
If you’re anything like me, as soon as you have tasted the meat you want to tuck into those crispy roast potatoes. Thing is, we weren’t always so keen to consume this foreign vegetable. The Spanish brought them back from Peru in 1536 but it wasn’t until 1795 that they were eaten in Britain. They were, in fact, regarded with great distaste amongst the British and were only adopted after a huge campaign that was launched by the Board of Agriculture.
One of the signature building blocks of a good roast are the Yorkshire Puddings, which are quite uniquely British. Originally eaten as a starter, they were cooked underneath the joint of beef as it cooked, in order to capture the tasty and nutritious drippings.
What is a roast dinner without the veg? We’ve all got our favourite vitamin-packed varieties of vegetable but one of the most popular has to be the carrot. Iconically orange in appearance, these guys are just as tasty raw as they are cooked. However, we discovered that they weren’t always as we know them now though. For instance, before the 17th century nearly all carrots were purple and it was only when Dutch growers bred mutant strains to produce the colour that we see today in tribute to William of Orange, did the appearance of this vegetable change forever.
Have you ever wondered how things get their name? Well in the case of the beloved Horseradish, which makes up the most popular accompaniment for roast beef, it is simply the result of us British mispronouncing what we have heard. The Germans were the first to name them as “meerrettich” (sea radish) which we translated to “mareradish”, which in-turn led to the name that we call them today.
Check out the infographic below for more fun facts about our beloved Sunday Roast.