Have you ever wondered about the history of a Sunday roast? Where does the tradition come from? (even thinking about it has got our stomachs rumbling). For centuries, Sunday roasts have been the epitome of English cuisine and part of our national identity, but it wasn’t always that way. So it’s about time to discover the true story behind one of our all time favourite meals! Prepare to read the jaw dropping facts you never knew about a Sunday roast!
Britain’s lust for beef began around the late 14tth century. Back when the King’s royal guards would eat roast beef every single Sunday! (Which is why they’re known as Beefeaters). This tradition spread across the UK and on their way to church, brits would drop off their beef at the local bakers, so it could be roasted for when the service had finished! If only we could get away with that nowadays!
Did you know that Yorkshire puddings with gravy was originally an appetiser?! After researching the history of a Sunday roast, we discovered that they used to be called ‘dripping pudding’ because they were cooked under the meat in order to catch the flavoursome juices. Sounds like logic to us, although it wouldn’t have been the healthiest appetiser!
Before now, orange carrots didn’t even exist! They were originally purple and changed colour in the 17th century when dutch farmers extracted mutant strains of carrots, to develop them into the orange ones we eat today! They did this in tribute to William of Orange, the leader of the Dutch independence at the time.
Can you believe that broccoli was virtually unknown in England until the 17th century? When it was finally discovered, the vegetable was actually nicknamed Italian asparagus! Sounds exotic doesn’t it? Especially compared to now, where broccoli is common part of our Sunday roasts as well as our general diet.
Stuffing actually has the most comical history behind it. This is because the term ‘stuffing’ was first used in the early 16th century, but was deemed too vulgar by the upper classes of England, and was consequently replaced with the word ‘dressing’! It’s impossible not to giggle at this fact we found while looking into history of a Sunday roast.
The most shocking fact is that potatoes were extremely unpopular and were a vegetable that most would avoid! They only made their way into the english diet because they solved food shortages. Sooner or later potatoes became a staple ingredient and of course, they still are to this day! Nowadays we couldn’t live without potatoes a.k.a fries, crisps, mash, jackets & more!
For over 400 years horseradish has been paired with beef in England, although it wasn’t initially a sauce. Inns and coach stations would grow them in large quantities to make cordials which were drunk by exhausted travellers. We bet that tasted horrid and nothing like horseradish sauce does today!
We don’t know about you, but after discovering the history of a Sunday roast, we are glad to be in the 21st century, where a roast has fully evolved into a meal we all know and love! Our Sunday roasts in Bristol are our one of our most popular dishes! View our Sunday roast menu here and book a table now to avoid disappointment!.