Michaelmas Goose for Austere Times

UK - Eating a goose for Michaelmas might be just the recipe for coping with these rather austere times – and will certainly put you in good company.
calendar icon 19 September 2011
clock icon 3 minute read

Traditional Michaelmas Goose

The tradition of dining on goose on Michaelmas Day (29 September except in Suffolk 4 October and Norfolk 11 October) has long been associated with guarding against financial woes. Folklore declares: 'Eat a goose on Michaelmas Day, want not for money all year long'.

It transpires that almost 200 years ago Jane Austen was hoping that dining on a goose would help sales of her first novel 'Sense and Sensibility'.

She wrote in a letter on 12 October 1813 to her sister, Cassandra, describing a visit to her wealthy brother, Edward, at Godmersham Park in Kent: 'I dined upon goose yesterday – which I hope will secure a good sale of my second edition'.

October 11 is the Old Michaelmas Day before an Act of Parliament removed 11 days from the calendar in 1752 as Britain switched from the Julian to Gregorian calendar.

Eddie Hegarty, chairman of British Goose Producers (BGP), said: "The link with Jane Austen is one of many references to eating a Michaelmas goose spelling good fortune in the year ahead. Goose is certainly becoming good business with the increasing number of restaurants and 'gastro-pubs' putting it on the menu at Michaelmas and in the run-up to Christmas."

One of the most prominent is The Goring hotel in Grosvenor Gardens, London, where head chef, Derek Quelch, is featuring goose in three of the courses – terrine of goose liver with mulled wine jelly and gingerbread, goose consommé with beetroot and goose scratchings, and roast Coleman's goose with braised red cabbage and caramelised apples.

For those planning to feast at home, full details about sourcing, cooking and serving Michaelmas goose can be found on the BGP web site [click here], where there is a new section devoted to Michaelmas.

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