Only half want turkey in their ideal Christmas dinner

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
December 21, 2016, 3:40 PM GMT+0

Roast potatoes are the most universal ingredient in an ideal Christmas dinner, with 85% wanting them on their plate

Christmas dinner is undoubtedly one of the best features of Christmas day. Essentially a Sunday roast on steroids, the feast sees the family gather for crackers, arguments and alcohol, before sending everyone into a food coma for the afternoon.

But what is the best bit of a Christmas dinner?

New YouGov research finds that it's not the turkey, despite being the traditional centrepiece of the meal since the 16th or 17th century. Just 52% of people would have it as the main meat on their ideal Christmas dinner. However, it is by far the most popular meat choice: 10% of people would opt for beef, 8% for chicken, 6% for goose, 3% for gammon or ham and 3% for pork. A further 8% opt for a vegetarian alternative.

Looking at the trimmings it becomes clear what the most important component of a Christmas dinner really is: the humble roast potato. Fully 85% of people say that their ideal Christmas dinner would contain roast potatoes.

Gravy is also an overwhelmingly popular choice at 75%. Other condiments are far less popular – only 38% would want cranberry sauce on their Christmas dinner and just 16% would want bread sauce.

Despite the stereotypical disdain in which they are held, 62% of people would have Brussel sprouts on their ideal Christmas dinner, making them more marginally popular than pigs in blankets (61%). Carrots (65%) and parsnips (57%) are the other vegetables welcomed by the majority of people on their Christmas plates.

Just to see how flexible people are willing to be with their Christmas dinner, we also included a few non-standard ingredients. It would appear that people have a very clear idea of what they will and will not countenance on their festive plate – just 3% say they would have rice, 2% for chips or tomato ketchup, and 1% for baked beans.

Finally, fans of the show Peep Show will be familiar with the dilemma of whether cauliflower is traditional on a Christmas dinner. We can now reveal that, with just 34% of people saying the vegetable would feature on their ideal Christmas dinner, the answer is: probably not.

Photo: iStockphoto

See the full results here

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