[Sca-cooks] a Well-Dressed Peacock and a Golden Calf (was on topic: Healthy Feasts)

Patrick Levesque petruvoda at videotron.ca
Mon Aug 7 11:56:54 PDT 2006

Actually, I'm getting more interested at events that surrounded the feast in
period (not just the carving and washing, but the entertainment,
discussions, or whatever they decided to do when they gathered for feast) -
It does look like this manuscript has a few interesting tidbits in it -
can't wait to read more!


On 06/08/06 23:22, "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net> wrote:

> Maggie MacDonald wrote:
>> I'm still trying to decide if the birds stuffed inside were dead or alive.
>> Either way has potential for amusement.  The live ones would be trickier
>> though.
> Dead. And cooked.
> What the heck, here's the post again:
> I was delighted yesterday to discover that the Cervantes Virtual Library has
> added a transcription of an early 15th c. Spanish carving manual.  I have a
> photocopy of the book, and the facsimile has been on line for a while, but
> having it in a searchable form is much nicer.  Browsing through, I found some
> things I hadn't noticed before, including instructions for serving animals
> stuffed with cooked birds.
> "...suele fazer en reales combites, que dan las terneras asadas enteras e los
> vientres llenos de capones e otras aves preciadas, asadas o cochas, por
> magnificencia; e cosido encima el logar por donde las pusieron. Estonces
> abrese por la costura e sacan las aves. E si quisieren, pueden fazer piecas
> d'ella e cortarla, como dicho es, antes o después de las aves, segúnt fuere
> plazible a los comedores. E si las dan doradas, non se comen sinon los tajos
> de la cabeza, de ojo, de lengua, de paladares e lo al dexanlo por
> magnificencia e aun porque non es tan bueno de comer, por la clara del huevo
> en que se á de asentar el oro e porque ha de venir frio..."?
> Enrique de Villena, Arte Cisoria, 1423 (first published 1766)
> The above text is taken from the transcription at:
> http://www.cervantesvirtual.com/FichaObra.html?portal=0&Ref=708
> An online facsimile is at:
> http://www.bib.ub.es/grewe/showbook.pl?gw60
> "...what they are in the habit of doing for royal feasts, for magnificance; is
> to serve the calves roasted whole, and their bellies full of capons and other
> esteemed birds, roasted or boiled, and stiched above the place where they were
> put in.  Then it is opened through the stitching and the birds are taken out.
> And if they wish, they can make pieces of it and cut it, as is said, before or
> after the birds, according to whatever is pleasing to the diners.  And if they
> are served gilded, they are not eaten except for the cuts of the head, the
> eye, the tongue, and the cheeks, and they leave it for magnificence, and even
> because it it not very good to eat, because of the egg white with which they
> afix the gold, and because it has to arrive cold."
> (Translation by Mistress Brighid ni Chiarain)
> Talk about conspicuous consumption!
> Villena mentions that sheep and goats are sometimes roasted whole, and served
> with small birds in their bellies.  He doesn't mention gilding these.
> There are many other interesting tidbits, such as the right kind of scarf for
> a peacock to wear to a feast, and why servers shouldn't hang out in stables
> and smithies.
> Brighid ni Chiarain
> Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

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