Why Is Mincemeat So Called?


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Will Martin answered
Visitors to Britain are often puzzled by the traditional Christmas mince pie, expecting it to contain (minced) meat. In fact, originally it did. Mincemeat was developed in the Middle Ages as a way of preserving meat without the need for salt. Instead, alcohol, spices and dried fruit were used. The mince pie soon became very popular, especially around the Christmas period when fresh food was harder to get. Over time it ceased to be used as a way of preserving meat and became a delicacy in its own right. The fruit content increased and more sugar was used, but many ingredients of the modern mince pie – fruit, spices, spirits and suet – are the same as those of its ancestor.
Mincemeat has other uses besides the mince pie. It makes a tasty stuffing for cored cooking apples which are then baked; and Delia Smith has a "mincemeat cake" recipe which makes a quick alternative to Christmas cake. A spoonful of mincemeat will also spice up a fruit pie filling.

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