Smithsonian Goes Inside The Christmas Factory

Wednesday, December 18th, 2019

In this Christmas special, showing on Thursday 19th at 8pm, Gregg Wallace, Cherry Healey and Ruth Goodman explore the fascinating factory processes and surprising history behind our favourite festive treats. Gregg follows 24 hours of production at a cake factory in Oldham, near Manchester, where they make two million Christmas cakes for Marks and Spencer. He helps to mix dried fruit and spices and discovers the challenges of producing 480 perfect cakes every hour.

Meanwhile, Cherry is given special access to Britain’s largest marzipan factory that produces two thousand tonnes of almond paste each year, and visits one of Britain’s largest sprout farms where, during the two weeks before Christmas, they pick 190 million sprouts. Ruth adds her own Christmas revelations by investigating how our early industrial heritage inspired Charles Dickens to write A Christmas Carol, and why we call Christmas tree lights ‘fairy lights’.

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