Popular Christmas Dinner Items 100 Years Ago

Our ancestors did look forward to a special dinner served on Christmas Day. It was truly the day for the family and exceptional, favorite foods. One item special was to have a variety of meat prepared and serviced. For that Christmas dinner, there could be fish, venison, roast beef, a crown of roast pork. It became more the practice after 1945 and World War 2, to serve just one main meat dish – a roast turkey, chicken, ham or roast beef.

The variety of meats was not just in private homes, but many people did eat at a restaurant or a hotel restaurant for Christmas Day. A hotel restaurant in Detroit in 1900 might have had: roasted turkey, roasted opossum, cafe sweetbreads, and lamb cutlets. Also popular to serve were soups, an item not served very often today on December 25th.

Desserts were rich and good. Many favorites were originally British treats. There was plum pudding also called Christmas pudding. Another once well-known sweet treat but not always really liked by everyone was a fruitcake. There were two types, the ‘dark fruitcake’ made with darker dried fruit and brown sugar, making it darker. The other type was ‘white fruitcake’, the same idea, just used white flour, white sugar and lighter colored dried fruits.

Going back to the 1800s as Americans settled across the land, the ‘Tomato Pie’ became popular. It was a ‘sweet pie’, with recipes of the era having the same kinds of spices used in an apple pie, but strangely it never caught on as apple pie did.

Photos: A crown of roast pork; plum pudding; dark fruitcake; white fruitcake; and tomato pie.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Traditional Christmas Meals

Adding Some Ethnic Christmas Customs – PT 1

Adding Some Ethnic Christmas Customs – PT 2

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.