When it comes to Christmas delicacies, few foods are consumed as readily as turkey. The large bird has risen above rivals like roast beef and honey ham as the quintessential holiday meal. But how did turkey become the preferred bird for the yuletide table? Turns out, the story goes back a-ways.

Turkey first became a popular Christmas meal in the Victorian Era (1837-1901). Queen Victoria and the royal family began dining on turkey for Christmas. Soon the Victorian populous began following suit. Before the Victorians came along, roasted beef, goose, and rabbit were the traditional holiday choice.

For more on the history of Christmas meals, click here.