- The Plate
Is the Christmas Goose Making a Comeback?
A hundred years ago, a golden-browned goose was a familiar delicacy on December 25th. Scrooge thought it essential to add to poor Bob Cratchet’s table in A Christmas Carol, and a goose who lays golden eggs was a prize in the Jack In the Beanstalk story. But good luck finding one at your average American supermarket today.
The Christmas goose actually traces its roots back to the medieval European feast of Martinmas. St. Martin was revered in Roman times as a spiritual leader and patron of children and the poor. As legend goes, one evening, having learned of his consecration as Bishop, he hid in a barn to avoid what he saw as a title above his humble station, only to be revealed by the loud squawking of geese. Their punishment? Feast fare for centuries to come. But as farming life waned, so did the goose—an animal that requires a long maturation time, much grazing area and time