Monday, January 22, 2007

On the Menu (1870)

From The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine (quite an entertaining book!)

"While Escoffier was eating braised horse flesh in Metz,Paris too had fallen under Prussian siege. But the Parisians had it worse than the citizens of Metz. As if the Prussians hadn't created enough problems by surrounding the city, a violent insurrection of the Paris Commune was broiling amid Paris's own population. Meat and vegetables were vanishing fast. Rats went on sale for three francs apiece. A chef was selling a terrine, or casserole, of rats called rats a la parisienne for fifteen francs. Two cookbooks were published with recipes for dogs and cats. A restaurant was selling cocker spaniel, and cats were going for a market price of ten francs. The zoo located within Paris's botanical gardens ran out of feed, so restaurants bought the zoo animals for use as fresh meat. On Christmas Day 1870, the Cafe Voisin menu included bear steaks, donkey, kangaroo, wolf, a house cat garnished with rats, and the trunks of two elephants named Castor and Pollux."

10 comments:

CanadianSwiss said...

A house cat garnished with rats? Quite fitting, but not my menu by choice ;-)

oreneta said...

Paris ended up doing that more than once.

Here's a strange request...would you by chance know how to ask, "what do you want to do?" in Albanian or any other language? I am doing a little comparison for a future post....

Thanks whether you know or not.

You find the most amazing books.

Ll.T. said...

Kim, here's another Albanian expression for you that I'm guessing has its roots in the period that you mention:

"ta blesh si frëngu pulën" = to pay a very high price (monetary) for something.

Oreneta,

"what do you want to do" = "ç'do të bësh" is the short version, "çfarë dëshiron të bësh" is the long one (these are the singular and also the familiar ways of addressing someone, not the plural or the formal/respectful ones).

traveller one said...

Llukan, You're a Doll! Thanks for helping me out here :) I was actually going to ask for your help!

Ll.T. said...

Not a problem Kim, it is a slow Monday anyway :)

oreneta said...

Thank you both of you...I can't say that is Albanian either, but here it is in Catalan...Si us plau.

Fjäderlös Tvåfoting said...

Hi, greetings from Sweden..

Just surfed in.

Take care...

FT

hockeyman said...

You are singlehandedly making me a vegatarian...

ewwwwwwwww

traveller one said...

Ha ha hockeyman... and you once tried to make me eat a worm!

hockeyman said...

Hey...I threw the worm at you and you got it in the mouth,,,, preparing you for the world travelling and your obvious interests in the culinary arts..

"mmm tastes like earthworm dipped in honey...--you'll love it..."