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Feasts and All Their Finery: Elegant Dining in Old Regime France

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Feasts and All Their Finery: Elegant Dining in Old Regime France

Lunghezza: 173 pagine2 ore


A mechanical horse... A mountain flowing with rose-water... A lake with a boat in full sail.. These were a few of the details of the complex entertainments presented with elegant Medieval meals. Meanwhile, table decoration, which began with abundant flowers and piles of fruit, evolved into complex constructions of glass, artificial frost and drawings in sand. Even as kings struggled to limit luxury, meals grew more ornate, multiplying courses and the dishes in each course.

Le Grand d'Aussy ends his three-volume history of French food with these exuberant chapters, bristling with colorful details, about how fine dining in France grew more formal and more ambitious, remaining extravagant (by today's standards) even after the sometimes stunning, sometimes laughable excesses of the Middle Ages were reigned in and more sophisticated service and entertainment replaced a host of mechanical devices, pantomimes, and outright exotica.

Le Grand draws on a classic cookbook and several forgotten memoirs to bring a wealth of details on menus, table decoration, royal households, customs, and entertainments to those who study the Middle Ages, food history, decoration or simply France in all its infinite variety. For the first time, this rich and unique text is available in English.

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