“….. the lunch described by George Musgrave seventy years earlier in a travel book about Normandy. He watched a couple (on their honeymoon, he thought) on board the river steamer at Rouen consuming a midday meal of soup, fried mackerel, beefsteak, French beans and fried potatoes, an omelette fines herbs, a fricandeau of veal with sorrel, a roast chicken garnished with mushrooms, a hock of ham served upon spinach. There followed an apricot tart, three custards, and an endive salad, which were precursors of a small roast leg of lamb, with chopped onion and nutmeg sprinkled upon it. Then came coffee and two glasses of absinthe, and eau dorée, a Mignon cheese, pears, plums, grapes and cakes. Two bottles of Burgundy and one of Chablis were emptied between eleven and one o’clock.”

From, “French Provincial Cooking” by Elizabeth David. The event would have been about 1870.

It is not only the quantity of the food, but the rhythm of the meal,  that is extraordinary to us today. Have you ever eaten, (or served) such a meal?

Loire steamer



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