Lavish Christmas feasts were the reserve of the rich during the Tudor and Elizabethan periods, with swan, goose and peacock being the bird of choice for the traditional roast. The beautiful birds were skinned, roasted and re-adorned in their plumage to take centre stage on the Christmas dinner table. Wild boar was another popular Christmas feast, as was Souse – the pickled feet and ears of pigs.
Turkeys were not introduced into Britain until around 1523; Naturally, soon afterwards Henry VIII featured it on the table at one of his Christmas feasts. So popular was this new Christmas bird that soon large flocks of turkeys could be seen walking on foot to London from parts of Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. The journey was such an epic undertaking that the turkeys would begin their march to the Christmas table as early as August!
While we may not eat peacock or swan these days, there are plenty of other birds eaten in Britain besides chicken and turkey. Match the game birds to discover some of the most popular ones.