The History behind our traditional Sunday Roast

The History behind our traditional Sunday Roast


If there’s one thing that us British can all agree on, it is our love of the traditional roast dinner. For centuries, this hearty feast has unified families every Sunday, bringing us all together to feast on delicious meat, crisp potatoes and fresh vegetables. However, have you ever wondered how we grew to love this meal so much? The guys over at foodmixitup decided to try and find out a little about the history behind the traditional roast dinner..

Now depending upon your personal preference you may prefer chicken, lamb or even pork but if you want to keep it really traditional, you’ll opt for that family favourite; beef. It turns out that our ancestors started eating beef on Sunday’s way back during the reign of King Henry VII in 1485. His Royal Guard would dine on roasted beef every Sunday after church, which led to them affectionately becoming known as “beefeaters”. The common folk would drop off their beef on the way to church to be roasted in the large ovens of local bakers, ready to be collected upon their return.

When it comes to potatoes, you may be surprised to learn that the British treated them with great distaste until the board of agriculture launched a massive campaign to sway public opinion. The Spanish brought them back from Peru in 1536 but it wasn’t until 1795 that we started eating them in Blighty, where they were quickly made a staple ingredient of a roast dinner.

We’ve all heard the old wives tale that eating carrots will improve your eyesight but did you know that carrots used to be purple? Dutch growers bred mutant strains in the 17th century to produce the orange colour that we associate them with today, in tribute to William of Orange.

There are plenty more interesting facts regarding the history of our favourite dish, including the famous Yorkshire Pudding, so take a look at the infographic below for some tasty trivia:

infographic about the British Sunday roast

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