Dr Madeline Shanahan, GML Heritage Associate, and Manager, Public History and Research, made several media appearances over the summer break. She was interviewed on ABC Weekend Breakfast and ABC RN Breakfast just before Christmas, to talk about her upcoming book, ‘Christmas Food and Feasting, A History‘.
In case you missed it, you can listen to the interview about Christmas food here.
The book explores the rich story of Christmas food and feasting, tracing the history of how the festive menu evolved and inherited elements of pagan ritual, medieval traditions, early modern innovations, Victorian romanticism, and contemporary commercialism. Madeline says:
“I’ve always been a great lover of Christmas. It is just such a rich and textured festival,” says Madeline. “It has absorbed so many layers and traditions over the millennia. Both the festival and the food we eat at Christmas bear witness to centuries of both continuity and change. As a food historian, I love how individual dishes and traditions can have such a detailed history behind them. Unpicking these is fascinating and we see how a single dish, like, say, plum pudding, tells the story of culinary, but also social and even political change.”