“At Christmas, we feast,” writes Paul Levy. Why is such importance placed on what foods are eaten and how they are prepared and served at the Christmas meal (which Levy calls “our annual midwinter binge”)? Levy, who knows his history, digs deep to find the roots of modern traditions, dissecting the meal, course by course, and chapter by chapter. The result is a curiosity-satisfying, hunger-inducing, revelatory read.
Why do we eat turkey for Christmas? The French eat white sausage too, and some go on to 13 desserts. Is Christmas pudding really the oldest recipe still eaten today? And how are we to prepare for this most celebrated of all Christian festivals? Published as a companion to a Channel 4 television series, this book offers a combination of anecdote, history and more than 60 of Paul Levy's favourite Christmas recipes, with contributions from friends such as Claudia Roden, Ken Hom and Frances Bissell.