View Full Version : food to impress in the 1400s

02-05-2011, 09:55 PM
I'm trying to find a food that a wealthy noble or a king might present to an honored guest in 1400s France. Something expensive, classy, sophisticated.

They didn't have chocolate yet, or coffee. Pepper was quite expensive I believe, but I can't find a great way for that to fit into a teatime/anytime luxury snack.

I was trying not to go with an exclusive wine, since that appears elsewhere in the scene, but I can't find anything else that might carry that covetted quality.

Any ideas?

02-05-2011, 10:10 PM

02-05-2011, 10:17 PM
Roasts with elaborate stuffings.

Poultry served inside of other poultry.


White bread

Look here (http://www.medievalcookery.com/).

02-05-2011, 10:17 PM
Sweet oranges from Spain.

02-05-2011, 10:21 PM
That was a bad time for French food, because the outside influences were small until the 1500's. If you wanted to impress someone, then fresh meat, which would have been relatively uncommon. If you want something good, then bread and cheese might be the things. The French were already making great cheeses, and the bread would have been edible. Unfortunately, they hadn't gotten the refined eating style from Italyso they were eating with their hands; the meat was either salted, smoked, or spoiled; the vegetables were just boiled, and so on.

02-05-2011, 10:46 PM
...fit into a teatime/anytime luxury snack.

No tea, either.

Hasn't saffron always been a luxury spice?

02-05-2011, 10:53 PM
If you are looking for a snack, perhaps dried or candied fruits or nuts. It's the sugar that would be a real luxury.

Anne Lyle
02-05-2011, 10:54 PM
Subtleties. Sort of like modern celebration cakes, only made of marzipan and gilded as well as painted. The more over-the-top the better! (So not very subtle at all!)

As previously stated, sugar is very expensive. It and dried fruit found their way into everything, even savoury dishes! :eek:

02-06-2011, 01:37 AM
What about swan?

02-06-2011, 01:47 AM
Look here (http://www.medievalcookery.com/).

Too cool, thanks!

Drachen Jager
02-06-2011, 02:31 AM
Babette's feast was set a little later but might make good reference.

Mmmm Quails Sarcophage.

02-06-2011, 02:42 AM
4 and 20 Blackbirds baked in a pie.

BTW, pepper was valued as a preservative, not a condiment.

02-06-2011, 02:11 PM
I watched a documentary lately about this sort of thing, there is a page about it here.


It was really interesting - sugar was more expensive than gold. And gold itself was used in food - gold leaf on pie crusts etc.

It was fascinating stuff. Not sure if it's exactly the right time period or not, but it could be worth looking at.

02-06-2011, 10:51 PM

02-06-2011, 11:28 PM
Giant puffball mushrooms. Not a joke. These things (still around today) were considered a great delicacy. They still should be. Midwesterners in particular can find these in pastures and grassy areas in late summer. They can get to the size of basketballs, although football-size is more common. When they are white and firm inside, they are at the edible stage. Can be sliced and grilled, sautéed, good with fish, in particular, or with green veggies in a stir-fry.

And smaller puffballs, like the ones we have up north where I live, are equally edible. Ours only get to the size of golfballs or slightly larger.

02-06-2011, 11:42 PM
Look here (http://www.medievalcookery.com/).

Great. Thanks.