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Why is it called mincemeat when it contains nothing of the sort?

asked in christmas

vultan answers:

Because mince pies used to be made with mincemeat. Mmm.

"The origins of the mince pie lie in the medieval chewet, which was a fried or baked pastry containing chopped liver and other meats mixed with boiled eggs and ginger. Dried fruit and other sweet ingredients would be added to the chewet's filling for variety.

By the 16th century mince or "shred" pie was considered a Christmas speciality, although in the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell made the eating of mince pies on Christmas Day illegal. (This law was voted fourth "most ridiculous British law" in a 2007 poll.) In the mid-17th century the liver and chopped meat were replaced by suet, and by the 19th century meat was no longer generally used in the "mince" in either Britain or North America. Though traditional suet pies are still made, they are no longer the dominant form."


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