Eating turkey for Christmas originates from Great Britain, but why are people all over the world, even in Bali, so fond of the big bird during the festive season?
Turkeys were introduced in Britain more than 500 years ago by Yorkshire- man William Strickland, who acquired six birds from American Indian traders on his travels. Before that, people’s meat of choice for Christmas was geese, boars’ head, and even peacocks.
But from the moment turkeys arrived in Britain, farmers realized that the animals they were killing for their Christmas feasts could be better used to provide other foods. So, it has been left to the turkey to keep our stomachs full on Christmas Day – and many days af- ter that. Henry VIII was the first English king to enjoy turkey in the 16th century, although Edward VII made eating turkey fashionable at Christmas.
But even though turkey is now a regular feature on a great majority of British Christmas tables, it has only gone mainstream over the last 60 years. Up until the 1950s eating turkey for Christ- mas was widely considered a luxury, as only then refrigerators became commonplace.■