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Blast from the past

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
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.
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
post #2 of 4
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?


Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!



Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

post #3 of 4
That was the mid 16th century, apparently. Wow- Dr. Atkins would have loved that meal!
post #4 of 4
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:(

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