These small, sweet delicacies originate from the Middle Ages
. Traditionally associated with Christmas
and the Christian
celebration, mince pie
s were baked in small, rectangular tin
s, shaped like the crib
that the baby Jesus
slept in. The ingredients included three spices: cinnamon
- to represent the gifts bought by the three kings
I've read that these pies originally contained minced meat and were intended as a way of preserving meat for the winter. Perhaps people substituted fruit as a cheaper alternative and that's how the mincemeat we know today came about.
It is thought to be lucky for you to eat a mince pie on each of the twelve days of Christmas, provided that each one is baked by a different person. Presumably this was to lengthen the odds of getting food poisoning!