[Sca-cooks] The Menu

Suey lordhunt at gmail.com
Thu Aug 26 14:10:37 PDT 2010

      A friend sent me a long article on cookery in Navarra during the 
14th and 15th in the king's court. The capital was Oliate which is a 
gorgeous medieval pueblo near Pamplona. I thoroughly recommend the 
entire area - ten days at least. It is very romantic.
     Anyway this article by Fernando Serrano Larrayoz, "La consideracion 
y el ejercicio cortesano en Navarra durante la baja edad media," 
published in En la Espana Medieval. 2008. vol. 1 357-412 informs us that 
the king used "French service" which meant that all plates were served 
at once. Each eater told the waiter which dishes he wanted. This 
continued until the 19th when they changed to the "Russian service". 
Then the meal consisted of 2-3 or 5-6 or more courses. All was organized 
around the roasted meat. In this case, the eaters choose which dishes 
they would like.
     Not all eaters could choose all the dishes presented in either the 
"French" or "Russian service." According to rank, variety, quantity and 
refinement had its restrictions. Sounds like the commoner's menu of the 
day as opposed to the 'Executive menu'.
     I am still reading the article but I think that an interesting 
explanation to substantiate putting several plates on the tables at once 
or even to buffet service today.

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