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Chapter One

Historical Banqueting

In 1529, the Archbishop of Milan gave a sixteen-course dinner that included caviar and oranges fried with sugar and cinnamon, brill and sardines with slices of orange and lemon, one thousand oysters with pepper and oranges, lobster salad with citrons, sturgeon in aspic covered with orange juice, fried sparrows with oranges, individual salads containing citrons into which the coat of arms of the diner had been carved, orange fritters, a soufflé full of raisins and pine nuts and covered with sugar and orange juice, five hun- dred fried oysters with lemon slices, and candied peels of citrons and oranges.

. Figure 1.2 ,

DINNER FOR THE ARCHBISHOP OF MILAN, 1529 (Source: McPhee, Oranges, New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1966, p. 69)

At a banquet hosted by the Archbishop of Milan in 1529, oranges were the featured food ingredient included in the dishes of a three-course menu, seen in Figure 1.2.

., Eighteenth-Century Banqueting

By 1727, the banquet menu had been abridged to two main-course settings, with the third course reduced to fruits, nuts, and cheese served with appropriate ports. Menus in the American colonies mirrored the English menus of the period in the mid-1700s, as seen in Figure 1.3.

Soup

FIRST COURSE Ragout of Breast of Veal

Roast Venison

Boiled Leg of Lamb and Cauliflower served with Smaller Dishes of Stewed Eels

Stewed Carp

A Puree of Pigeons A Roast Pig

.,

SECOND COURSE Four Partridges and Two Quails

Lobsters

Almond Cheesecakes and Custards with Smaller Dishes of Four Pocket and Lamb Testicles

Apricot Fritters

Sturgeon

Fried Sole

Green Peas

Potted Pigeons

. Figure 1.3 ,

COLONIAL AMERICAN MENU, 1727 (Source: Tannahill, Food in History, 1973, p. 334)

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