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Christmas Feasting with Annie Gray
Episode 114th December 2022 • The British Food History Podcast • Neil Buttery
00:00:00 00:46:33

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Neil kicks off the season with a Christmas special, talking Christmas feasting – and cooking – with scholar and author Dr Annie Gray. Annie is author of books such as the excellent The Greedy Queen: Eating with Victoria and Victory in the Kitchen: The Life of Churchill’s Cook. Her new book At Christmas We Feast: Festive Food Through the Ages, published by Profile Books, is out now in paperback, and she kindly came on the podcast to tell me about it.

We talked about many things including the myths and misconceptions about the food we eat at Christmas, why and we feast, and how the feast of Christmas has changed through time, what the Victorian’s DIDN’T invent, jelly, wassail, the ancient Christmas centrepiece the boar’s head, trifle, Yorkshire Christmas Pye, and the recipes contained within the book.


At Christmas we Feast is published by Profile Books:

Find Annie on social media: @DrAnnieGray on Twitter and Instagram. Her website is

Things mentioned in today’s episode:

View Francatelli’s book The Modern Cook here:

Neil’s disastrous Yorkshire Christmas Pye:

Neil’s Smoking Bishop recipe:

Neil’s book A Dark History of Sugar is available now from all bookshops as well as from the publisher Pen & Sword:

If you want to buy a signed copy directly from Neil for £18 + postage (£2.85 if within the UK, the going rate if outside!). Contact him via email or social media if you fancy it (see below).

Also, don’t forget there will be another postbag episode at the end of the season. If you have any questions or queries about today’s episode, or indeed any episode, or have a question about the history of British food please email Neil at, or find me on twitter @neilbuttery, or Instagram dr_neil_buttery my DMs are open. You can now find me at Mastodon too:

Join the new British Food: a History Facebook discussion page:

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