Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Directions for Placing the Cheese.

Over the last couple of days we have taken a brief look at the placement on the table of the dishes for each course in the early nineteenth century. In yesterday’s post we looked at the arrangement of dessert from a ‘Fashionable Dinner of Three Courses, with Cheese-Course and Dessert’ from The Cook and Housewife's Manual (1847 ed.) by the pseudonymous Margaret Dods.   

The cheese course was subject to the same rules of composition as the rest of the meal, and today I want to share with you Miss Dods’ ‘Directions for placing the Cheese, &c., after Dinner' for that same fashionable meal.

The footnote to this page says:

‘See another way of setting out a Cheese-Course, page 63; or there may be two small dishes with butter on each side, and a silver bread-basket in the centre, in which rusks or cheese biscuits are served on a napkin, which it is ever agreeable to see under bread.’

And here is the picture demonstrating her ‘other way.’

Cheese of all sorts was popular as an ingredient in other recipes of the time too, of course. Here is a nice idea for using Parmesan with tongue – another very popular ingredient of the time.

Langue de Boeuf au Parmesan.
Neat's Tongue and Parmesan Cheese.
Boil the tongue as in the foregoing receipt*, and finish it in a braze, with a little salt; peel it, and let it cool, then cut it in slices; put a little cullis and Parmesan into the table dish, with some of the tongue slices; then a little more cullis and Parmesan: let the cheese be the last bed. Bake it of a good colour either in a Dutch or common oven, and add the little sauce remaining.
[*Scald a tongue, and boil it in your pot, or in plain water]
The Professed Cook (1812), B. Clermont.

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