Did you know that Santa Claus is America’s adaption of England’s gift-giving figure Father Christmas? Or that holly and ivy greens have been used to decorate English homes at Christmas for over five hundred years? Those are not the only Yuletide traditions that come from Britain! The English also serve goose as their traditional Christmas dish. This custom taps into the natural cycle of geese, which are born in the spring, raised on summer corn, and then slaughtered come autumn.
Although geese are naturally fatty, the fat renders out while the bird roasts, leaving lean, dark, moist flesh and a pan full of rich drippings, excellent for making gravy or roasting vegetables. Because goose meat is so rich and filling, it satisfies the palette more quickly than turkey. This both allows for smaller serving sizes (1 ½ to 2 lbs. raw weight per person), and leaves you room to enjoy an array of tasty side dishes and desserts.
Pasture Raised Goose
Our pasture raised geese are Embdens: big, white, and bossy. These massive birds are among the largest domestic geese, fleshing out to as much as 30 lbs in the ganders and 20 lbs in the geese, and have uncanny blue eyes. Embdens originated in Northern Europe; some accounts place their origin in the Netherlands, others near the River Ems in Germany. They arrived in Boston in 1821, and have become one of the most common domestic breeds in the United States.
Geese have big personalities, and our Embdens are no exception. They strut about the farm as if they own the place. In fact, geese have a reputation as watchdogs: inquisitive, they poke their bills into everyone’s business and are not happy unless they have personally checked out a situation.