[Sca-cooks] Medieval Food Presentation
Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius
adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Apr 22 05:19:15 PDT 2009
On Apr 22, 2009, at 7:49 AM, Jenn Strobel wrote:
> I have been looking around and didn't see much on how a medieval cook
> would have presented/plated the food that they made. Does anyone know
> anything about this?
Usually individual recipes will say when there's a strong preference
on presentation: serve vert de syr on one side of the platter,
alongside a similar serving of blanc de syr; garnish this dish with
pomegranite kernels, this one with spice powder only, this one with
fried onions, this one with fried almond shreds.
And then there's very general stuff like fried foods being dusted with
sugar, and foods being garnished with candied spices, which are for
both aesthetic and medical reasons. There are also strict rules for
carvers on what portions of the bird or other animal were put on the
plate for whom, and how much of each, depending on station and the
number of people eating off the plate. This is only partially an
aesthetic matter, but it does contribute pretty consistently to the
overall look in a fairly predictable manner; form following function.
Clearly there's enough references to this sort of thing to demonstrate
that it was something period cooks, carvers, and servers paid
attention to. I'm not sure there are a lot of collective period
sources for garnishes, though.
"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's
-- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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