Food & History: December 25

Food & History: December 25

336  The first recorded celebration of Christmas.

1213  King John of England orders 3,000 capons, 1,000 salted eels, 400 hogs, 100 pounds of almonds and 24 casks of wine for his Christmas feasts.

1252  Henry III hosts over a thousand knights and nobles at York where 600 oxen are consumed.

1415  England’s Henry V orders food distributed to the citizens of Rouen who are trapped by his siege while he dines on roast porpoise.

1512  The Duke of Northumberland was served 5 swans for Christmas dinner.

1535  French explorer Jacques Cartier and his crew celebrate Canada’s first recorded Christmas at Stadacona, an Iroquoian village near present-day Québec City.

1580 The Christmas feasts of Sir William Petrie includes 17 oxen, 14 steers, 29 calves, 5 hogs, 13 bucks, 54 lambs, 129 sheep and one ton of cheese.

1643  Christmas Island was discovered and named by Captain William Mynors of the East India Company ship, Royal Mary.

1714 England’s King George I has his first Christmas pudding, made with 5 pounds of suet and 1 pound of plums.

1741  Anders Celsius developed the Centigrade temperature scale.  Originally he had the freezing point of water at 100 and the boiling point at 0.  This was reversed after his death to match the other temperature scales.

1805  American explorer Zebulon Pike celebrates Christmas by allowing “two pounds extra of meat, two pounds extra of flour, one gill of whiskey, and some tobacco, to each man, in order to distinguish Christmas Day.”

1837  Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière dies. He was a French writer and gastronome.  Notorious for his extravagant behavior, sharp wit and dark humor, he was one of the first food and restaurant critics.

1852  A 446 pound baron of beef was served to Queen Victoria and the royal family.

1887  Conrad Nicholson Hilton born, founder of one of the largest hotel chains.

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