Cooking (and Contemplating) New England

"Mince Pies," from Lydia Maria Child's "American Frugal Housewife" (1833)

December 27, 2015

Tags: Lydia Maria Child, pies, mincemeat, beef

Where's the Beef? In 1832, it was in the pie!

Mincing Medievalism
Mincemeat pie is a relic of the time centuries ago when two things were true of European food: one, that until Shakespeare's day pies were made more often with meat, poultry, or fish than with fruit or vegetables as the primary ingredient; and two, that very few dishes of any kind, including pies, tasted primarily sweet or primarily savory. Most dishes, including pies, offered what we would consider a blend of sweet and savory tastes, something like the sweet-and-sour items on a Chinese restaurant menu. Or like that American classic of the Betty Crocker era--ham baked with brown sugar and pineapple. (more…)