Blast from the past

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by cape chef, Apr 18, 2002.

  1. cape chef

    cape chef

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    Professional Chef
    I just finished reading about the spice trade of medievel times and came across what I think is some pretty interesting menu's

    They were served at a banquet for Pope Pius V, during the time that the spice trade became very expensive in Italy.

    I'm not sur of the time period of this event, but i'm guessing somewhere in the mid 15th century?

    First course

    Cold delicacies from the side board
    Pieces of marzipan and marzipan balls
    Neapolitan spice cakes
    Malaga wine and Pisan biscuits
    Plain pastries made with milk and eggs
    Fresh grapes
    spanish olives
    Procuitto cooked in wine, sliced and served with capers, grape pulp and sugar
    Salted pork tongues cooked in wine, sliced spit-roasted song birds, cold, with there toungues sliced over them
    Sweet mustard

    Second course
    Hot foods from the kitchen: roasts
    Fried veal sweet breads and liver, with a sauce of aubergines, salt, sugar and pepper
    Spit-roasted skylarks with lemon sauce
    Spit-roasted Quails with sliced aubergines
    Stuffed spit-roasted pigeons with sugar and caper sprinkled over them
    Spit-roasted rabbits with sauce and crushed pinenuts
    Partridges, larded and spit-roasted, served with lemon slices
    pastries filled with minced veal sweetbreads and served with slices of procuitto
    Strongly seasoned poultry with lemon slices and sugar
    Slices of Veal, spit-roasted, with a sauce made from the juices
    leg of goat, spit-roasted with a sauce made from there juices
    Soup of almond cream, with the flesh of three pigeons for every two guests
    Squares of meat aspic

    Third Course
    Hot food from the kitchen: boiled meats and stews
    Stuffed fat geese, boiled lambard style and covered with sliced almonds, served with cheese, sugar and cinnamon
    Stuffed breast of veal, boiled, garnished with flowers
    Milk calf, boiled garnished with parsley
    Almonds in garlic sauce
    turkish-style rice with milk, srinkled with sugar and cinnamon
    Stewed pigeons with mortadella sausage and whole onions
    Cabbage soup with sausages
    Poultry pie, two chickens to each pie
    Fricassed breast of goat, dressed with fried onions
    Pies filled with custard cream
    Boiled calves feet with cheese and eggs

    Fourth course
    Delicaies from the side board.
    Bean tarts
    Quince pastries, one quince per pastry
    Pear tarts, the pears wrapped in marzipan
    Parmesan and Riviera chees
    Fresh almonds on vine leaves
    Chestnuts roasted over the coals and served with salt, sugar and pepper
    Milk curds with sugar sprinkled over them
    Ring-shaped cakes

    This menu has a bit of finesse I would say, the near eastern influences are still recognizable but laid back.
  2. foodnfoto


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    Good Lord! do you think they had something like Tums back then?

    Seriously, it's remarkable that these menus still exist. What do you think "strongly flavored" meant?
  3. momoreg


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    That was the mid 16th century, apparently. Wow- Dr. Atkins would have loved that meal!
  4. pongi


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    As for the chronology, the time period of this banquet is well defined since the papacy of Pius V lasted only six years, from 1566 to 1572.
    This interesting thread reminds me that some years ago I took part in a medieval banquet that, although less sumptuous :D , had something in common with this one! It was the Dinner Party of a medical congress that took place in Bibbiena (a very nice town in the province of Arezzo, Tuscany) and was organized in its medieval Town Hall...apart from the fun, the food was very good and tasty (can't say, however, if the recipes were just like the original ones or adapted to modern palates...). I can remember there were five courses, everyone made of four or five dishes. This is what I remember best:

    -Two aspics (meat and fish)
    -Some vegetable pies (surely a spinach one and an onion one)
    -Vegetable fritters
    -A sweet and sour salad (made with vegetables and fruits)
    -A spinach salad with raisins, pine seeds, spices
    -A Blancmanger (almond soup)
    -A stuffed poultry dish
    -A couple of roasted meat dishes
    -Desserts: "Focacce Dorate" (golden buns), "Mistembec" (a sort of plumcake), some puddings, other sweets I can't remember.

    The banquet was organized by an Association who studied the medieval habits and cooking...but unfortunately I can't remember its name:(