Friday, October 13, 2006

The Coronation of Henry IV.

Today October 13th …

Henry IV was crowned at Westminster on this day in 1399, and what a feast was had! The service of food was quite different in the 14th century. There were three courses at elaborate affairs, with a huge number of dishes in each course, but without any clear distinction between savoury and sweet. The general trend was from the bigger dishes in the first course to the smaller more delicate in the third. Different tables would have received different selections, depending on rank.

The first course:
Braun en peuerarde. (Brawn in a sort of spiced wine pottage).
Viaund Ryal. (A soup of almond milk, wine, and spices)
Teste de senglere enarme. (Boar’s head with tusks)
Graund chare. (Large roasts)
Syngnettys. (Cygnets)
Capoun de haut grece. (Capons, larded)
Fesaunte. (Pheasant)
Heroun. (Heron)
Crustade Lumbarde. (A sort of savoury custard pie with marrow and dried fruit)
Storieoun, graunt luces. (Sturgeon, large pike)
A Sotelte. (A “subtlety” or decorated symbolic piece)

The second course.
Venyson en furmenty. (Venison with Frumenty)
Gely. (Jelly or Aspic)
Porcelle farce enforce. (Stuffed Sucking Pig)
Pokokkys. (Peacocks)
Cranys. (Cranes)
Venyson Roste. (Roast Venison)
Conyng. (Rabbit)
Byttore. (Bittern)
Pulle endore. (Gilded chickens)
Graunt tartez. (Great tarts with game, birds, etc, marrow, spices and eggs)
Braun fryez. (Brawn cooked in a sweet batter)
Leche lumbarde. (A paste of dates, wine, and spices, in slices)
A Sotelte. (A “subtlety” or decorated symbolic piece)

The third course.
Blaundesorye. (A white soup)
Quyncys in comfyte. (Preserved quinces)
Egretez. (Egrets)
Curlewys. (Curlews)
Pertryche. (Partridge)
Pyionys. (Pigeons)
Quaylys. (Quails)
Snytys. (Snipe)
Smal byrdys. (Small birds)
Rabettys. (Young Rabbits)
Pome dorreng. (Meatballs, cooked in a golden batter)
Braun blanke leche. (Brawn cooked with almond milk)
Eyroun engele. (Jellied Eggs)
Frytourys. (Fritters)
Doucettys. (Small cheesecakes)
Pety perneux. (Small tarts)
Egle. (Hedgehog??)
Pottys of lylye. (Pots of Lilies??)
A Sotelte. (A “subtlety” or decorated symbolic piece)

What to choose from such a feast? Some of the ingredients would be impossible to come by today – there is not too much bittern and crane at the butchers nowadays. Some dishes – the sweetened meat dishes for example – would probably not suit most modern palates. There are a few however that sound delicious, and could easily appear at a modern dinner party.

Recipe for the Day …

Chike Endored (Gilded chicken).
Take a chike, and drawe him, and roste him, And lete the fete be on, and take awey the hede; then make batur of yolkes of eyron and floure, and caste there-to pouder of ginger, and peper, saffron and salt, and pouder hit faire til hit be rosted ynogh.

Take a chicken, remove the viscera and roast him. Leave the feet on, and take away the head. Make a batter of egg yolks and flour and add powder of ginger, pepper, saffron and salt, and powder it fair till it be roasted enough.

Monday’s Story.

Big Fish of the Sea.

Quotation for the Day ….

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety. Aesop’s Fables.


Anonymous said...

Very intersting and I wonder how and where you put all of this food? I do beleve these were large productions lasting hours upon hours! Thanks for the interesting post!

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I truly enjoy visiting your blog every day. What a beautiful idea, and what dedication you bring to your posts! Keep up the great work.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello twv and nene; thanks for visiting. I dont think I'll ever run out of stories!

Anonymous said...

Could Egle be Eagle and the one below it be lily pads?

Melanie said...

thanks for posting this! I live in Segur le Chateau in France. It's the village that Henri IV's mother was born in, and in fact our rue it Avenue Jeanne d'Albret. It's fabulous to learn what Henri IV and his relatives would have eaten.

The Old Foodie said...

Hello Melanie! what a wonderful place to live! I am delighted that you enjoyed the story and it made history come alive for you a little bit more than it probably is every day you walk down the street.