How did mincemeat get its name?
Mincemeat was originally a conglomeration of bits of meat, dried fruit and spices, created as an alternative to smoking or drying for preservation, a variant form of sausage. Mincemeat containing actual meat has become less common over the years. The customary form today typically consists of raisins, spices, grated apple, and animal suet, though many commercial varieties use hard vegetable fat instead, making it completely vegetarian. Mincemeat may also contain currants, candied fruits, and brandy, rum or other liquor. This mixture can be made at home, but is also available either canned or bottled. The most common use is in the Christmas mince pie or mincemeat tart, but there are many kinds of pastry containing mincemeat. See also fruitmince. The first mincemeat factory was in Port Byron, New York, using a recipe patented by Dr. Julius Allen. His patent was voided in 1895.
Mincemeat pies are pies made with mincemeat. Years ago, they were served as a main dish. Now, they are served as a dessert, often on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Today, mincemeat refers to a spiced mixture of chopped raisins and apples and other ingredients with or without meat. Originally, mincemeat was a way to preserve meat, which was cut up small and other ingredients were added. It was canned for storage.