Pen Vogler - Scoff: Why We Eat What We Eat at Christmas

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In this event around her book Scoff: A History of Food and Class in Britain, Pen Vogler tells the story behind why we eat what we eat at Christmas - and throughout the year.

Pen Vogler
Why we eat what we eat at Christmas

Every Christmas in Britain, between us we eat ten million turkeys. The cook undergoes the sweaty battle with its Himalayan bulk on Christmas day, knowing the extended family will be fed, and there will be leftovers for the turkey curry buffet for friends and neighbours on Boxing day and an annual tradition will be honoured. But with cut-down families and no mixing between households, what should we turn to this year? In Scoff: A History of Food and Class in Britain, Pen Vogler tells the story behind why we eat what we eat at Christmas and throughout the year.

She explores why our particularly British obsession with social class has given turkey, potatoes, brussels sprouts, bread sauce, and Christmas pudding top place on our tables, and edged off other festive foods for rich and poor over the years, from the Venison pasty, favourite trophy gift, to the humble cottage pork pie; from huge glittering Twelfth Cakes to simple, clean orange jellies. Perhaps this strangest of years is the time to re-imagine our traditional Christmas menu?

Pen Vogler is the author of Dinner with Mr Darcy and Dinner with Dickens and curated the exhibition Food Glorious Food at the Charles Dickens Museum. She edited Penguin's Great Food series, writes and reviews on food history for the press and has recreated recipes from the past for BBC Television. She has given talks and tastings on food in history, including on meals and dining in the Georgian era, throughout the UK. She has appeared on television, cooking and discussing recipes, including on Mrs Dickens' Family Christmas on BBC2 with Sue Perkins. She has also written on the subject for the Guardian, the Observer, and The Lady.

Pen will be in conversation with Rosie Boycott - a cross-bench peer and food campaigner and co-founder of 5x15.


This talk is sponsored by Marlo wine who deliver fine wine by the bottle to your door. Born out of a vision to give people access to serious wine by the individual bottle, Marlo have curated a superb selection of wines - all offering exceptional value and delivered directly the next working day. Using 100% sustainable materials, the wine is also beautifully wrapped and includes a hand-written note - it's the perfect way to say Happy Christmas, or to just treat yourself. 5x15 attendees can use the code 5X15OFF , to get 15% off across the whole Marlo website . This offer can be used an unlimited number of times. The code will expire at midnight on 20th December


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