As we approach the festive season, we are undoubtedly looking forward to indulging in our favourite food and drink associated with this time of year. But, have you ever stopped to wonder why certain foods are associated with winter celebrations? Let’s think about the mince pie – a popular sweet treat found on many December shopping lists . . .
Mince pies are of English origin, believed to have been made to celebrate Jesus. They were traditionally oblong in shape to represent the manger that Jesus slept in as a baby and it was said to be good luck if you ate one mince pie each day during the Twelve days of Christmas.
The ingredients of a mince pie are traceable to the 13th century. Returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits, nuts and spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Like Christmas puddings, mince pies were originally filled with actual meat, such as partridge, pheasant, rabbit, pigeon and hare.
Over time, the meat was eliminated and they became the small sweet pie we now know. The ingredients today may still be encased in suet, which is mutton or beef fat, however, the pastry is now typically made using butter and you can also find vegan alternatives.
Learning about separating mixtures and different types of change links perfectly with the National Curriculum for England statutory requirement for the Year 5 ‘Properties and Changes of Materials’ topic in science which states that pupils should:
- use knowledge of solids, liquids and gases to decide how mixtures might be separated.
- explain that some changes result in the formation of new materials, and this kind of change is not usually reversible.
This is a lovely activity to share with families so we have produced an IndusTRY AT HOME resource that you can share. Why don't you put a link on your school website?