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During the Middle Ages in Europe, when all kinds of ingenuity was applied to creating and evading rules about what people should and shouldn't eat when, the barnacle goose (a kind of goose native to northern Europe), was permitted during Lent because barnacles are a kind of fish.
And in medieval European towns (as opposed to rural areas), geese constituted a bigger part of the diet than other domestic fowl. Geese were a superior townie food-supply because they could be driven to market (that is, they didn't have to be transported, but could be gotten into town under their own speed); they thrived on poorer-quality food than what chickens required;, and they created a food higher in calories than chicken, a benefit in a society where food shortages were always lurking around the corner.
Because Queen Elizabeth was eating one of her favorite meals, roast goose, when she heard that the British had defeated the Spanish Armada, she ordered that day, September 29, St. Michael's day, should be forever after be celebrated with roast goose. Michaelmas in the U.K. became as associated with roast goose as Thanksgiving is with turkey in the U.S.
Goose grease, well-beaten with vinegar, lemon juice, chopped onion, and chopped parsley, is a traditional English country filling for sandwiches.
The unfortunate practice of force-feeding geese to tenderize their livers (resulting in the classic French foie gras) goes back as far as the ancient Egyptians and Romans.