Dec 20, 2007

Christmas Ice Cream Is Legal!

I was watching a tv show the other day featuring a celebrity chef and his ideas for Christmas desserts - though he didn't feature any Christmas Ice Cream ideas much to my surprise - when someone in the studio said they'd heard that it's actually illegal in England to eat a mince pie on Christmas Day. Being English 'born and bred' I too had never heard of this and thought it must be the first line of a joke coming up. However, I was wrong! Apparently, it's true and all because of a very old law on the English statute book passed at the behest of Oliver Cromwell who at the time felt it important to try and reduce the gluttony that he believed people were prone to at Christmas time! To this day that old law has never been repealed, so technically it could be enforced - though it's doubtful its enforcement would have many supporters. Nearly everyone I know eats mince pies on Christmas Day!
There are similar old laws too still on the English statute book - if you're interested to read more here's a a recent BBC news article "Where mince pies break the law"

The members of my family who are partial to a mince pie or two over Christmas never like to eat them cold funnily enough - they always prefer them warm and served with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream; the latter always seems to melt at just the right speed, slowly enough to enjoy the ice cream texture yet fast enough to blend in with the warmth of the pie and not give too sharp a contrast between the chill and heat factors involved. Sounds a bit scientific put that way and I suppose there is some actual science behind it all. I can imagine one day coming across a web page with a scientific equation behind why warm mince pies are great with ice cream - it may well be Professor Douglas Goff from the University of Guelph in Canada whose Dairy Science and Technology web pages are so incredibly detailed and informative, especially the Ice Cream section.

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