Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast

King Henry VIII - Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast

Picture of King Henry VIII

 

Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast

  • Interesting Facts and information about Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
  • Tudor Food Presentation - the Visual Effect
  • Serving Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
  • Examples of the different courses served at a Tudor Banquet or Feast

Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast

Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
We have all heard about the extravagant feasts and banquets of the Tudor period. It is true that Tudor Menus for the wealthy were extensive, but only small portions were taken. Social etiquette dictated that an extensive choice of foods should be made available.

Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
The Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast was sumptuous and lavish. New foods and spices were being imported during the Tudor period and unusual recipes were being created which made use of the finest foods and ingredients. The Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast prepared for Tudor royalty were the most magnificent. King Henry VIII was always in competition with the French King, Francis I. Cooks employed by Nobles during the Tudor period would have been aware of the high standards set by the French and endeavoured to provide King Henry VIII with a Tudor feast or banquet of a similar standard and content. The following description is of a lavish French banquet and feast described by a historian of French cookery, Legrand d'Aussy given in 1455 by the Count of Anjou:

Tudor Banquet & Feast

The Tudor Dining Table
"On the table was placed a centre-piece, which represented a green lawn, surrounded with large peacocks' feathers and green branches, to which were tied violets and other sweet-smelling flowers.

In the middle of this lawn a fortress was placed, covered with silver. This was hollow, and formed a sort of cage, in which several live birds were shut up, their tufts and feet being gilt.

On its tower, which was gilt, three banners were placed, one bearing the arms of the count, the two others those of Mesdemoiselles de Châteaubrun and de Villequier, in whose honour the feast was given."

The Tudor First Course
"The first course consisted of a civet of hare, a quarter of stag which had been a night in salt, a stuffed chicken, and a loin of veal.

The two last dishes were covered with a German sauce, with gilt sugar-plums, and pomegranate seeds....

At each end, outside the green lawn, was an enormous pie, surmounted with smaller pies, which formed a crown. The crust of the large ones was silvered all round and gilt at the top; each contained a whole roe-deer, a gosling, three capons, six chickens, ten pigeons, one young rabbit

To serve as seasoning or stuffing, a minced loin of veal, two pounds of fat, and twenty-six hard-boiled eggs, covered with saffron and flavoured with cloves.

The Tudor Second Course
...There was a roe-deer, a pig, a sturgeon cooked in parsley and vinegar, and covered with powdered ginger; a kid, two goslings, twelve chickens, as many pigeons, six young rabbits, two herons, a leveret, a fat capon stuffed, four chickens covered with yolks of eggs and sprinkled with powder de Duc (spice), a wild boar

The Tudor Third Course
..Some wafers (darioles), and stars; a jelly, part white and part red, representing the crests of the main guests

The Tudor Fourth Course
..Cream with Duc powder, covered with fennel seeds preserved in sugar; a white cream, cheese in slices, and strawberries; and, lastly, plums stewed in rose-water.

The Tudor Fifth Course
Besides these four courses, there was a fifth, entirely composed of the prepared wines then in vogue, and of preserves. These consisted of fruits and various sweet pastries. The pastries represented stags and swans, to the necks of which were suspended the arms of the Count of Anjou ..."

Tudor Banquet & Feast

Serving Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
Serving Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast required organisation skills and the hard work of the Tudor servants:

  • The purchase and choice of Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast was usually entrusted to the squires of the kitchen assisted by the senior Tudor cooks
  • The various Tudor food dishes were prepared by the cooks and were placed, with the help of the esquires until the moment of serving and then carried to the tables in the Great Hall
  • The Great Table was set on a dais, which was strictly reserved for Tudor royalty or nobles, was often covered with a table cloth
  • Tudor guests were shown to their seats, after washing their hands, at the entrance of the Great Hall
  • Stepped Buffets - these were a series of wooden planks with a number of stepped shelves. The greater the number of shelves indicated the higher rank of the Tudor host. The Tudor 'Stepped Buffets' were covered with rich drapes and assembled for use at Banquets and Feasts
  • The Tudors finest plates of gold or silver were displayed on the 'Buffet' and servants served from them
  • Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast consisted of three, four, five, and even six courses
  • The main courses were sometimes made to imitate a sort of theatrical representation
  • Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast might have included coloured jellies of swans, of peacocks, or of pheasants adorned with their feathers, having the beak and feet gilt, which would have been served as a speciality and placed on the middle of the table on a sort of pedestal

Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
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Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast

  • The Tudors era, period, life, age and times
  • Interesting Facts and information about Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
  • Tudor Food Presentation - the Visual Effect
  • Serving Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast
  • Examples of the different courses served at a Tudor Banquet or Feast

Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast

Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast - History of Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast - Information about Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast - Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast Facts - Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast Info - Tudor era - Tudor Life - Tudor Times - Life - The Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast - Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast History - Information about Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast - Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast Facts - Tudor Food for a Banquet or Feast Info - Tudor era - Tudor Life - Tudor Times - Life - - Written By Linda Alchin

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