American food site goes viral after confusing mince for mincemeat in festive recipe

An American food website has gone viral after confusing mince for mincemeat in one of its festive recipes.

Published 10th Dec 2019
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

The website posted a submission from renowned British food writer Elaine Lemm for a mincemeat and apple tart.

"Individual mince pies are a classic British Christmas treat" - so far, so good, right?

So, how did it all go wrong so very quickly?

The inews writer Luke Bailey then spotted the fact the website had then mistakenly taken Elaine's usage of mincemeat to mean 'minced meat' and had a photo shoot which led to the monstrous creation of a minced beef pie with baked apples on top - covered with custard.

The recipe quickly went viral, with Twitter users from both sides of the Atlantic flocking to the post to argue over the confusion surrounding the term "mincemeat", with @StoicalSophist quipping: "Two nations divided by a common language."

Meanwhile, on the recipe page itself, one user had already pointed out the mistake, writing: "It seems that the people doing this recipe have done a Rachel (from Friends).

"Mincemeat is a mixture of Dried Fruit, Fresh Fruit, Spices, Suet and Brandy. They're cooked together on a low heat then left to cool and mature for a couple of months. In fact, there's a recipe for it on this very site. It'd go really well in a Pie with Apples topping it.

"What can be clearly seen in the photographs, however, is Minced Meat (usually just called Mince over here - I understand you colonials call it Ground Beef or something). And this is used to make the recipe. I shudder to think what it tastes like."

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While another added: "As a British person, there is absolutely ZERO about this recipe that is traditionally British, and it all seems to rest on a really quite profound misunderstanding about what ‘mincemeat’ is the UK."

Thankfully, the website has seen the funny side and added a new - correct - version of the recipe - with a handy "Now Meat Free" tag.

Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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