You’ve probably enjoyed at least one roast dinner at some point over the Easter weekend that has just passed, but can you remember how you went about it?
Very little divides opinion like the roast dinner, with arguments raging in perpetuity about what belongs on the plate, how it should be served, and whether there’s a specific way to eat one.
While there are no hard and fast rules, we’re here to offer you a historical perspective on the humble roast, as expert Seren Charrington-Hollis has revealed on a Channel 5 documentary called Toby Carvery: How Do They Do It?
As you can no doubt imagine, the show is about the goings-on at one of the UK’s most popular places to get a roast dinner, but they went a bit deeper into the theory behind the meal as well.
Basically, it turns out that the Yorkshire puds used to be served as a starter to the main meal back in the 15th century when the beef would have been roasted on a spit hanging above an open fire.
The idea was that the meat would roast and the drippings would then drop down and be used alongside batter to make the puddings.
OK, that actually sounds incredible.
Charrington-Hollis explained: “Originally, your Yorkshire pudding would be called a dripping pudding.
“It was originally a batter pudding that the meat juices on the spit would drop into underneath, and then you would cook this batter.
"Not quite like today’s modern fluffy Yorkshire pud, but very filling nonetheless.
“The idea was that you would eat it before your roast beef because it would fill you up.
"Beef was expensive – any meat was expensive – so you needed to fill up your guests on the batter pudding so they would eat less of the expensive meat."
Don’t say we never provide you with the vital information that you need.
The historian went on to explain how the meal was the preserve of only the richest people in society back in the day, because only the most privileged could afford it.
"When you look at the 15th century, the type of people that would be eating that would be really at the top of society," Charrington-Hollis continued.
"Just like today, if the royals do something, or those with money do something, it gradually works down the social scale because we all want to mimic and copy what’s in fashion."
As for the Toby Carvery, it is living proof that the Yorkshire pudding has a long future ahead as well as a lengthy past.
According to general manager Michael Murrell, they’re still flying out after more than 500 years.
Murrell said: "I believe it’s over 21 million a year of Yorkshire puddings that we’ll serve.
"Having a young child walk up and see a massive Yorkshire that’s the size of their head always puts a smile on their face.”
Featured Image Credit: Alamy