The Pleasures of the Table  

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"Gasteria is the Tenth Muse; she presides over the enjoyments of Taste."--Brillat-Savarin

"The History of Gastronomy is that of manners, if not of morals; and the learned are aware that its literature is both instructive and amusing; for it is replete with curious traits of character and comparative views of society at different periods, as well as with striking anecdotes of remarkable men and women whose destinies have been strangely influenced by their epicurean tastes and habits."--Abraham Hayward

"Eggs, milk, rice, and honey, onions, succory, leeks, and garlic, the leaves of the vine, radishes, and carrots, with other growths of the garden, formed the staple articles of diet among ancient peoples."--The Pleasures of the Table (1902) by George Herman Ellwanger

"The strong stomach of the early Briton, fortified by abundant out-of-door exercise, was proof against dyspepsia, and was enabled to digest the coarsest and most strongly seasoned foods. Whale, porpoise, seal, and grampus were common dishes. Besides such seasonings as ginger, cinnamon, galingale, cloves, garlic, and vinegar, copiously used in preparations where they would seem most incongruous, ale was generously employed."--The Pleasures of the Table (1902) by George Herman Ellwanger

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The Pleasures of the Table (1902) is a book by George Herman Ellwanger.

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From the painting by Gabriel Metzu, 1664









Copyright, 1902, by Doubleday, Page & Co.


By A. Thierry




"Gasteria is the Tenth Muse; she presides over the enjoyments of Taste."


"The History of Gastronomy is that of manners, if not of morals; and the learned are aware that its literature is both instructive and amusing; for it is replete with curious traits of character and comparative views of society at different periods, as well as with striking anecdotes of remarkable men and women whose destinies have been strangely influenced by their epicurean tastes and habits."

Abraham Hayward.



It is far from the purpose or desire of the author to add another to the innumerable volumes having practical cookery as their theme—the published works of the past decade alone being too numerous to digest.

The following chapters, therefore, though touching upon the practical part of the art, will be found more closely concerned with the history, literature, and æsthetics of the table than with its purely utilitarian side. Indeed, a complete manual of practical cookery is one of the impossibilities, for no person would have the patience to compile it; and even were such a work achievable, few readers could find sufficient time for its perusal. A glance at the portly "Bibliographie Gastronomique" of Georges Vicaire, in which English contributions to the subject are so meagrely represented, will suffice to show the difficulties such a task would impose. To classify properly the multitudinous dishes which, virtually identical, figure under so many different names, would of itself require years of severe application and laborious research. It may be observed, notwithstanding, that the world stands much less in need of additional inventions as regards the utilisation and preparation of foods than of an expert anthologist to garner the most worthy among recipes already existing in such bewildering profusion.


In the succeeding pages the writer has drawn from many sources, both ancient and modern—wherever an anecdote which is not too familiar has been found amusing, or an observation has been deemed pertinent or instructive. An occasional recipe has been given, and the sweet tooth of femininity has not been neglected. The hygiene of the table has likewise been considered, and some pernicious customs in connection with dining have been plainly dealt with. There are also some allusions to wines with respect to their complementary dishes, although wine is so important a subject as to call for a volume by itself.

It has not been deemed advisable to pass the cookery of the entire globe under review, even in a cursory manner. To devote separate chapters to Scandinavian, South American, and Oriental dishes, or even to purely Spanish, Mexican, and Russian food preparations, were both needless and cumbersome. The best have been embodied in the cosmopolitan kitchen; and the rest, for the most part, require the atmosphere of their native surroundings to be appraised at their proper value. It is with the French that the annalist of the table has chiefly to deal.

Necessarily, in treating of what Thomas Walker has termed "one of the most important of our temporal concerns," many gastronomic expressions and names of dishes, and not a few observations relating to the table, which would lose their piquancy or precise colouring on translation, have been retained in the language in which they originally appear. "Les quenelles de levraut saucées d'une espagnolle au fumet," "les amourettes de bœuf marinées frites," "l'épaule[xi] de veau en musette champêtre," "un coq vièrge en petit deuil," for example, while natural and comprehensible in French, would sound somewhat bizarre as "Forcemeat balls of leverets sauced with a racy Spanish woman," "the love-affairs of soused beef fried," "a shoulder of veal in rural bagpipes," and "a virgin rooster in half-mourning." And surely, in reviewing the aide-de-camp of the cook, it becomes obligatory to employ a French term upon occasion, and equally seemly to address him now and then in the classic tongue of the kitchen.

The principal meal has chiefly been considered, as through this to the greatest extent depend the health and frame of mind that determine the actions of man from day to day. It will, accordingly, be an entrée compounded of numerous flavourings, or a braise with its "bouquet garni" that has simmered gently over the smothered charcoal, rather than a familiar pièce de résistance which the reader is invited to partake of and discuss at his leisure.


TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE Introductory ix I Cookery among the Ancients 3 II With Lucullus and Apicius 24 III The Renaissance of Cookery 49 IV Old English Dishes 80 V L'Almanach des Gourmands 112 VI A German Speisekarte 145 VII The School of Savarin 175 VIII From Carême to Dumas 199 IX The Cook's Confrère 229 X American vs. English Cookery 248 XI At Table with the Clergy 280 XII Sundry Guides to Good Cheer 315 XIII Of Sauces 344 XIV The Spoils of the Cover 354 XV Two Esculents Par Excellence 383 XVI Sallets and Salads 409 XVII Sweets to the Sweet 428 Bibliography 447 Index 469 [xv]


"A Sa Toute-Puissance!" Frontispiece From the painting by Gabriel Metzu, 1664 PAGE Fantaisie culinaire: le poisson prévoyant iv By A. Thierry Le Cuisinier xi After the engraving by Mariette FACING PAGE A Bacchante 3 From the stipple engraving in colours by Bartolozzi, after Cipriani Portrait du Gourmand 24 After Carle Vernet Le Livre de Taillevent 49 Facsimile of title-page of the edition of 1545 The Cries of Paris: "Old clothes, old laces!" 69 Facsimile of an old French plate First of September 80 From the engraving after A. Cooper, R.A. The English Housewife 94 Facsimile of title-page of the edition of 1675 "Un Viel Amateur" 112 A. B. L. Grimod de la Reynière, né à Paris le 20 9bre, 1756. From an old print Le Premier Devoir d'un Amphitryon 121 Frontispiece of the fifth year of the "Almanach des Gourmands" Les Méditations d'un Gourmand 132 Frontispiece of the fourth year of the "Almanach des Gourmands" The Chef 145 From a print after an old Dutch master The Bird of St. Michael 160 From the etching by Birket-Foster, R.A. Promenade Nutritive 175 Frontispiece of "Le Gastronome Français" (1828) "Pour voir de bons refrains éclore, Buvons encore!" 186 Frontispiece of "Le Caveau Moderne" (1807) Alexandre Dumas 199 From the etching by Rajon "L'Art du Cuisinier" (Beauvilliers') 213 Facsimile of title-page, 1824, Vol. II Day's Closing Hour 229 From the etching by Charles Jacque "First Catch Your Hare!" 248 From the engraving by J. W. Snow "Rôti-Cochon" 261 Facsimile page from volume, 1696 Non in Solo Pane Vivit Homo 280 From the original oil-painting by Klein La Contenance de la Table 296 Facsimile of title-page (early part of sixteenth century) "Enfant, tu ne dois charger Tant de la première viande Se plusieurs en as en commande Que d'austres ne puisses menger." Promenade du Gourmand 315 Frontispiece of "Le Manuel du Gastronome ou Nouvel Almanach des Gourmands" (1830) La Table 331 Frontispiece of the Second Canto of "La Conversation" of the Abbé Délille, 1822 A Supper in the Eighteenth Century 344 From the engraving after Masquelier The Spanish Pointer 354 From the engraving by Woollett, after the painting by Stubbs, 1768 Partridge Shooting. I. La Chasse aux Perdrix 364 From the coloured print after Howitt, 1807 Partridge Shooting—September 375 From the coloured engraving by Reeve, after the painting by R. B. Davis, 1836 Truffle-hunting in the Dauphiné 383 From the Salon picture after Paul Vayson "Nouvel Manuel Complet du Cuisinier et de la Cuisinière" 397 Facsimile of frontispiece, 1822 The Wounded Snipe 409 From the engraving after A. Cooper, R.A. "Après Bon Vin" 428 From the engraving by Eisen in the Fermiers-Généreaux edition of the "Contes et Nouvelles" (1762) Le Pâtissier Français 442 Facsimile of title-page of the edition of 1655


After the engraving by Mariette




"L'art qui contient toutes les élégances, toutes les courtoisies, sans lesquelles toutes les autres sont inutiles et perdus; l'art hospitalier par excellence qui emploie avec un égal succès tous les produits les plus excellents de l'air, des eaux, de la terre."—Fayot.

Cookery is naturally the most ancient of the arts, as of all arts it is the most important. Whether one should live to eat, is a question concerning which the epicure and the ascetic will hold widely varying opinions; but that one must eat to live, will scarcely admit of controversy. The man who is wise in his generation will be inclined to choose a happy medium. Or perchance the French axiom that we only eat to live when we do not understand how to live to eat, may somewhat simplify the matter. As it is largely through food and drink that man[4] derives his highest mental efficiency and physical well-being, as equally through improper diet accrue countless bodily disorders, it would appear that the proper choice and preparation of aliments and the selection of beverages should receive the profound consideration of every one.

In few of the arts has progress been more apparent during modern times. The mechanic has improved its accessories until the utmost perfection would seem to have been attained, medicine and chemistry have endeavoured to determine what elements of our daily dietary are injurious to certain individuals or to all, volume after volume has been written upon the subject, while the grand army of cooks has been busy in inventing new combinations or in resurrecting forgotten recipes.

And yet the digestive ills of humanity have continued to multiply, even though there are over six-score ways presented by a single author of serving the rabbit, and a competent priest of the range can utilise the egg in hundreds of different forms. Is it that with greater variety in our aliments, a greater number of ailments is a necessary sequence, and that as mankind increases in culinary knowledge digestion decreases in power? It is an olden adage that too many cooks spoil the broth; and it may be worthy of consideration whether a superfluity of dishes is not responsible to a considerable degree for the furtherance of various stomachic maladies. Or, on the other hand, is it that with the trebled facilities of locomotion supplied by modern science, and the closer confinement of indoor pursuits, the cause may [5]be largely ascribed to lack of exercise and insufficient oxygenation?


From the stipple engraving in colours by Bartolozzi, after Cipriani

However this may be, the art of cookery is far less generally understood than its great hygienic importance demands, while the art of dining is understood only by the relatively few. As M. Fayot observed to Jules Janin, "Without doubt, Monsieur, as you have often said, it is difficult to write well, but it is a hundred times more difficult to know how to dine well." Or, as Dumas has expressed it, "To eat understandingly and to drink understandingly are two arts that may not be learned from the day to the morrow." He himself was a striking example of the accomplished bon vivant, and his marked intellectual superiority over his son may be readily attributed to his greater knowledge of dining.

Where, indeed, more than at the well-appointed dinner-table may one echo the sentiment of Seneca, "When shall we live if not now?" "An empty stomach produces an empty brain," observes the author of the "Comédie Humaine"; "our mind, independent as it may appear to be, respects the laws of digestion, and we may say with as much justice as did La Rochefoucauld of the heart, that good thoughts proceed from the stomach." It is, however, a source whence our joys and sorrows both may spring. Neglect and indifference may impair its action to destruction; but, humoured kindly, it ever guides us in paths of peace. In a healthy and a hungry state, it yearns for special gifts which gustatory edicts demand, and rarely will confusion attend them when their bestowal is flavoured with prudence. It is a faithful minister and[6] discriminating guardian, which rebels only when its functions are imposed upon; but when they are, its resentment is thorough and relentless. Worthy then, most certainly, of solicitous regard is the nourishment of an organ which may shape our ends for weal or woe.

"Cookery," said Yuan Mei, the Savarin of China and author of a scholarly cook-book during the eighteenth century, "is like matrimony—two things served together should match. Clear should go with clear, hard with hard, and soft with soft.... Into no department of life should indifference be allowed to creep—into none less than into the domain of cookery."

Concerning the art itself, it may be remarked that the French have been to cookery what the Dutch and Flemish schools have been to painting—cookery with the one and painting with the other having attained their highest excellence. Rubens, Rembrandt, Teniers, Jordaens, Ruysdael, Snyders, Berghem, and Cuyp may be paralleled in another branch of art by Carême, Vatel, Beauvilliers, Robert, Laguipière, Véry, Francatelli, and Ude. But, as in painting during its earlier stages Flanders and the Netherlands owed much to the Roman and Venetian schools, so in cookery the French are vastly indebted to their predecessors and former masters the Italians, who, if less distinguished colourists, were not to be despised as draughtsmen, and who if by instinct not as skilled in the chiaroscuro of sauces, were most dexterous in creating breadstuffs and pastry. Montaigne's reference to an Italian cook of the period will be remembered in this[7] connection—one of the artists who had been employed by Cardinal Caraffa who discoursed upon the subject in such rich, magnificent words, well-couched phrases, oratoric figures, and pathetical metaphors as learned men use and employ in speaking of the government of an empire.

It is a long stone's throw from the first apple eaten in the Garden of Eden—and this was a wild fruit, and not a Spitzenberg or a Northern Spy—to a Chartreuse à la bellevue or that triumph of the ovens of Alsace—the pâté de foie gras. The first dish of which any record exists is the red pottage of lentils for which Esau sold his birthright—a form of food still very common in Germany and France. The first direct mention of breadstuffs in the Bible occurs in Genesis, where Abraham tenders the angel a morsel of bread, and bids Sarah make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.

The primitive tribes and nations were content of necessity with the spoils of the chase and the then more limited products of the vegetable world; and long before John the Baptist's time the Hebrews lived to no small extent upon locusts and kindred insects. In his enumeration of the animal food which they might eat without rendering themselves unclean, Moses specifies four insects of the locust family (Lev. x, 22). Some species of the Locusta are yet esteemed a delicacy in the East, these being cooked with oil, roasted upon wooden spits, baked in ovens, or broiled. The Bedouins, who are ever on the march, pack them with salt in close masses, carrying them in their[8] leathern sacks. By the Athenians they were usually roasted; and mention is made by Athenæus of an archimagirus, or master cook, who, in his tour around the ovens and stock-pots, enjoins one of his subalterns to take the utmost precaution with them and see that they obtain only a light golden hue.

Eggs, milk, rice, and honey, onions, succory, leeks, and garlic, the leaves of the vine, radishes, and carrots, with other growths of the garden, formed the staple articles of diet among ancient peoples. Vegetable food was more common than animal, the latter being served principally in the case of entertainments and special occasions of hospitality (Gen. xviii, 7, 8). Instead of lard and butter, olive oil was employed, and is still almost entirely employed by the Orientals. Fish constituted an important article of diet, together with game, lambs, and kids. Though not common, the flesh of young bullocks and stall-fed oxen was highly prized (Prov. xv, 17; Matt. xxii, 4), the shoulder being considered the choicest part. The master of the house was the matador, and upon the mistress devolved the preparation of the food. Among primitive cooks, Rebekah proved herself a performer of no mean ability, as instanced by her dressing the flesh of a young kid after the manner of venison, in order to obtain a father's blessing for her favourite son. Roots, berries, fruits, and the quarry of the bow and harpoon composed the fare of aboriginal man, and proved all-sufficient. When the struggle for physical existence called for strong exercise in procuring necessary food, little variety in nutriment sufficed, at no loss of brawn and sinew.


With many savage races, bread-fruit, nuts, the plantain, the cocoa-palm—known as the "tree of life"—with numerous other food-yielding palms, served as a principal means of subsistence. The first fruit-tree cultivated by man is said by all the most ancient writers to be the fig, the vine being next in order. The almond and pomegranate were cultivated at an early date in Canaan, and the fig, grape, pomegranate, and melon were known to Egypt from time immemorial. In Solon's law's, the olive, the fig, and the vine are enumerated, as also the cabbage, crambe, or sea-kale, pulse of various kinds, and onions. Cabbage and asparagus were known to the Greeks from the earliest ages, and by them the chestnut, largely utilised for food, was termed the "Oak of Jupiter." The original home of wheat and barley is supposed to be Mesopotamia and the fertile plains of the Euphrates, whence, after a period of cultivation, they spread eastward to China and westward to Syria and thence to Europe. Among other food-stuffs of the inhabitants were onions, vetches, kidney-beans, egg-plants, pumpkins, lentils, cucumbers, chick-peas, and beans—with such fruits as the apple, fig, apricot, pistachio, almond, walnut, and the product of the palm and vine.

Coffee, of very remote use in Abyssinia, was unknown to the early Greeks and Romans; they were, however, familiar with the cucumber, cultivated in India for at least three thousand years. The cucumber was also known to Moses and the Israelites, the patriarch referring to fish and cucumbers, melons and leeks, as among the delicacies that were freely eaten[10] in Egypt (Numbers xi, 5). Various kinds of Cichorium, or chicory, were familiar to antiquity, while Lactuca, or lettuce, was extensively grown as a salad. The onion was a favourite with the ancient Egyptians, garlic likewise being made much use of—a plant denounced by their priests as unclean.[1]

Baking in ovens is of great antiquity, the ovens of old Egypt being frequently represented in contemporary paintings. The table appointments of Egypt are similarly portrayed in her paintings—the guests of both sexes seated in gala attire, with jewelled fingers holding the lily of the Nile or sacred lotus, while slaves, naked except for necklace and girdle, served them with viands and wines. Differing from the Egyptians, the Greeks and Romans excluded women from their feasts, agreeing with the sentiment of Fulbert Dumonteil that for a true gourmand there exist no blue eyes, white teeth, or rosy lips that may take the place of a black truffle. The only exception related to the cup-bearers—fair youths and tender maids—who were enjoined to refuse nothing to the guests, and the richly and gorgeously arrayed hetæræ, the voluptuous Aspasias, Barinés, and Phrynes of the period, who made their appearance at the conclusion of the repast.

With a corps of twelve stewards to provide for his table, eleven of whom were constantly travelling in search of viands and wines, it is reasonable to assume[11] that Solomon, of whose menus so little record exists, scarcely confined himself to coarse dishes prepared from the flesh of "bullocks, sheep, harts, and roebucks," but that he, with his thousand wives and concubines, observed a sufficient variety and luxury in his kitchen to correspond with the magnificent table appointments and sumptuous surroundings chronicled in the book of Kings. For ruthless extravagance, Cleopatra's dish of a melted pearl, weighing seventy-four carats and valued at six million sesterces, probably exceeds that of any single plate of the Egyptian rulers or prodigal Roman potentates. Horace, in the third satire of the Second Book, makes mention of the spendthrift son of Æsopus as also dissolving a pearl in vinegar—his mistress's earring—

"... to say he'd quaffed A cool five thousand at a draught." Boiling was another primitive mode of cooking; and the method even yet practised by barbarians is to utilise the hide of the slaughtered animal for a bag, placing the meat in this receptacle with water, and dropping in stones heated to a white heat until the flesh is cooked. Laving the meat on hot stones and covering it with ashes, or hanging it upon a tripod of sticks over the flames, was the mode of roasting and broiling of the aborigines, with whom utensils of pottery and metal were unknown—a method often resorted to by woodsmen at the present time.

The Persians were first to set an example of luxurious cookery, at least as it was understood in an[12]cient times—the favourable climate and fertility of their products, as well as their natural inclination to ease, all tending to foster a love for the pleasures of the table. The oldest books of which we have any knowledge refer to their pomp in banqueting, and portray the brilliant revels of the Oriental kings.

Thousands of years before Henrion de Pensey pronounced his famous aphorism, a novel culinary preparation was regarded as of vaster importance than a new celestial visitant. The saturnalia of Darius and Xerxes, the powerful Persian despots, are notorious in history, as are also the feasts of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Chaldea, and those of Belshazzar, the final ruler of corrupt Babylon who fêted and feasted a thousand of his lords, his wives, and his concubines. Anticipating the munificence of the Roman emperors, Sardanapalus, last of the Assyrian kings, offered a guerdon of a thousand pieces of gold to him who would produce a new dish. "Eat, drink, amuse thyself: all else is vanity," was his maxim, and the precept he desired to have engraven on his tomb.

The book of Esther records the magnificent royal feast at Shushan given in the third year of his reign by the Persian king Ahasuerus: a carnival which lasted an hundred and fourscore days—where the beds were of gold and silver upon a pavement of red and blue and white and black marble; where were white, green, and blue hangings, fastened with cords of fine linen and purple to silver rings and pillars of marble; and where the people were given to drink, in vessels of gold, of royal wine in abundance, according to the state of the king. From the land of Zoroaster,[13] therefore, the Greeks received their first lessons in gastronomy.

Simplicity in their habits was a characteristic of the early Greeks, this simplicity extending in a marked degree to their cookery, when the famous Spartan black broth, composed of pork-broth, vinegar, and salt, became a national dish. But this epoch of abstention was of comparatively short duration. The spiritual sense was overcome by the carnal, and, imitating the Arians, they soon converted a natural craving into a hypersensuous pleasure.

The dinner or supper developed into an elaborate banquet, partaken of on reclining couches, accompanied by wines of Corinth, Samos, Chios, and Tenedos, the fumes of incense, the strains of music, and the singing of pages and beautiful maids. The couches on which they partook of their repasts and offered their generous libations to the gods were ornamented with tortoise-shell, ivory, and bronze, some being inlaid with pearls and precious stones; the mattresses were of purple embroidered with gold. Then Archestratus, the Syracusan, who had travelled far and wide in quest of alimentary dainties of different lands, was the Carême of the Attic cuisine. His much-lauded poem on "Gastronomy" is unfortunately lost to posterity, and thus it may not be compared with that of Berchoux, composed twenty centuries later. This poem Athenæus has termed a treasure of light, every verse of which was a precept, and from which numerous cooks drew the principles of an art that rendered them illustrious. The cook in the "Thesmophorus" of Dionysius, however, denounces Archestratus, his rules,[14] and his maxims. But cooks are notoriously jealous and prone to asperse their rivals, just as a jealous woman will decry another member of her sex whom men admire. His aspersions, therefore, are not to be weighed against the avalanche of encomiums that Archestratus has received. It was to the select few who appreciated the delicacies and importance of his art that his poem was addressed. He spoke with authority, and not as the scribes. Witness his stately opening stanza, one of the few surviving fragments of his epic:

"I write these precepts for immortal Greece, That round a table delicately spread, Or three, or four, may sit in choice repast, Or five at most. Who otherwise shall dine Are like a troop marauding for their prey." Mithæcus, another famous Hellenic guide to epicurean delights, wrote a book entitled "The Sicilian Cook," which has been mentioned by Plato; but this was written in prose, and was the product of a former native of Sicily, whence Greece was largely accustomed to draw her supply of culinary masters. Among the most distinguished of Sicilian craftsmen was Trimalchio, whose cunning is said to have been so great that when he could not procure scarce and much coveted fish he could counterfeit their form and flavour so deftly as to deceive even Neptune himself.

The cook of Nicomedes, King of the Babylonians, was accustomed to serve him with anchovies, made in imitation of the real fish, at such times as his majesty expressed a desire for anchovies on a sea voyage. A[15] turnip, disguised by oil, salt, poppy-seed, and other seasonings, was the basis of the plat, the king, as Euphron, the comic writer, records, smacking his lips over the dish and saying that cooks were equally as useful as poets, and even more skilful. That, with the aid of olives, salt pork, onion, parsley, condiments, and stuffing, with veal as the medium, an accomplished cook can prepare a fair semblance to an overdone quail is proverbial. But how a turnip can be made to counterfeit anchovies is not so apparent. The celebrated repasts of Socrates, at which the guests were seated on chairs, were an exception to the luxury of the times; these entertainments were extremely frugal, the cheer being of an intellectual more than a corporeal nature—a mere collation,

"... light and choice, Of Attic taste, with wine." Epicurus, the Athenian who flourished three hundred years before the Christian era, is wrongly supposed by many to have been one of the dediti ventri—a slave to appetite and living only for epicurean pleasure: a supposition that his name naturally implies. But it should be recollected that in proposing pleasure or happiness as the supreme good, he qualified this doctrine by the maxim that temperance is necessary in order to enjoy the noble and durable pleasures which are proper to human nature.

However varied the fare and splendid the appointments, the position of the ancients at table—resting on their left elbows and reclining on couches as the[16] gnomon and clepsydra noiselessly marked the lapse of the hours—must have been not only irksome, but one greatly furthering stomachic maladies. Besides, it must be borne in mind that the ancients ate with their fingers, while the use of emetics, first in vogue among the Egyptians, and later on among the Romans in order to forefend satiety and enable them to prolong their saturnalia, was extremely common. The ten books of Athenæus give us a complete manual of olden Greek cookery, and Herodotus, Plutarch, and other authors, if not as exhaustive, are most fertile in references to the subject. Plato, who denounced epicureanism and preferred olives to all other kinds of food, often making his meal from them alone, nevertheless praises Attic pastry, and extols the baker Thearion, who was noted for the perfection of his bread.

Besides beef and mutton, kids, the domestic swine, fowls, the wild boar, the roebuck, hares, rabbits, and numerous game and song birds, the Greeks were especially fond of the peacock, served in all his panoply of plumage.

As the Romans considered the mullet the king of fish, so the Greeks regarded the sole as the piscis nobilis. They were served then, as now, fried, when their size admitted, and likewise were prepared with a savoury sauce under the name of citharus,—

"The cook produced an ample dish Of frizzled soles, those best of fish, Embrowned, and wafting through the room, All sputtering still, a rich perfume." [17]

Suckling pig was considered a signal delicacy, its charms no doubt having been set forth in melodious measures in the lost poem of Archestratus. Indeed, who knows but that the sportive grace of the "Dissertation upon Roast Pig" may, after all, be Grecian rather than Anglo-Saxon in essence, and be merely an inspiration caught from some forgotten Attic author? The sea, on its part, yielded its infinite treasures, including the oyster, the earth contributing its varied fruits and esculents. Strong and sweet wine was a common beverage, both mixed, unmixed, spiced, and scented.

After fish and game, pork was the most esteemed food set upon the salvers of ancient Greece and Rome—a food in which epicures believed themselves to have discovered fifty different flavours, or fifty parts, each possessing an individual taste. At large entertainments, and even where the guests were only equal in number to the Muses, it was customary to serve pigs roasted whole, stuffed with sausages and bursting with boudins, or "black pudding." The pig was salted by the ancients in order to preserve it; but Apicius recommended, for keeping purposes, that medium-sized pieces of pork be chosen and covered with a paste composed of salt, vinegar, and honey, and be stored in carefully closed vessels.

Of ancient recipes, Apicius and Athenæus present a vast array. Soyer also, in his aspiring, cumbersome, and learned "Pantropheon," affords convenient access to the mysteries of the Greek and Roman kitchens. But the only way to pass intelligently upon the cookery of the ancients would be to try it. It is[18] true that we do not possess their marvellous digestive powers ere their vigour became impaired by centuries of unbridled luxury. To young and vigorous stomachs it is possible that, if accompanied by the appropriate wines, some of their dishes, executed by a skilful chef who would exercise extreme caution as regards the use of cummin, rue, coriander, and boiled grapes, might prove an agreeable surprise party at a dinner à la Grecque or à la Romaine. So light a touch and so discriminating a palate, however, are necessary in employing certain herbs and spices; so much, moreover, depends upon knowing the precise moment when an entrée or a ragout has received its just caress from the flames, that only an artist of the foremost rank would be able to reproduce some of these dishes with success.

Two especially prized dishes were those termed myma and mattya—the one composed of all kinds of finely minced viands and fowls, seasoned with vinegar, cheese, onions, honey, raisins, and various spices; the other a fowl boiled with a great variety of herbs. "Boil a fat hen and some young cocks just beginning to crow, with some vinegar added to the water, and in summer with sour grapes in place of the vinegar, then remove the herbs from the vessel in which they are cooked and serve portions of the fowls on the herbs, if you wish to make a dish worthy to be eaten with your wine," enjoins Artimidor in his treatise of cooking. Finally, Athenæus, in the "Banquet of the Learned," has the scholarly host Laurentius give his recipe for what he terms the "Dish of Roses," prepared, he states, in such a way that you may not only[19] have the ornament of a garland on your head, but also in yourself.

"'Having pounded a quantity of the most fragrant roses in a mortar,' says Laurentius, 'I put in the brains of birds and pigs boiled and thoroughly cleansed of all the sinews, and also the yolks of eggs, and with them oil, and pickle-juice, and pepper and wine. And having pounded all these things carefully together, I put them into a new dish, applying a gentle and steady fire to them.' And while saying this he uncovered the dish, and diffused such a sweet perfume over the whole party that one of the guests present said with great truth:

'The winds perfumed, the balmy gale, convey Through heav'n, through earth, and all the aërial way'— so excessive was the fragrance which was diffused from the roses."

Truly a noble pot-pourri—meet for the gods of high Olympus. The pickle-juice, the pepper, and the wine denote the address of a master in disguising any possible taint of the pen, while the yolks of eggs and the oil would necessarily blend and assimilate with the attar of the rose-leaves. Thus does a great architect plan the construction of a cathedral, or a wizard of the brush adjust his pigments upon a canvas that is destined to become immortal.

The early Greeks had four meals daily—the breakfast, or acratisma; the dinner, ariston or deipnon; the relish, hesperisma; and the supper, dorpe. As luxury and cookery advanced, luncheon took the place of the midday dinner, the latter, among the wealthier classes, gradually being postponed to a later hour. At all[20] great feasts and dinners of ceremony, which it was customary to hold in the evening, the bill of fare was presented to the guests, and huge chalices were offered them to quaff from.

The frequent and detailed references by the old Greek dramatists, poets and writers to eating, drinking and banqueting, and to the various products employed as food, make it apparent to what an extent gratification of appetite and feasting prevailed.

The reader who would penetrate further into the mysteries of Grecian cookery may be referred with advantage to Homer's repast of Ulysses at the home of Eumæus, Athenæus's "Marriage of Caranus," and Barthélemy's "Feast of Dinias." But Homer's fare which he allowed his heroes was, with few exceptions, extremely simple. Although he mentions many kinds of wine, he praises moderation, and never represents either fish or game as being put upon the table, but "viands of simple kind and wholesome sort," such as were calculated to render man vigorous in body and mind, the meat being all roasted and chiefly beef.

Athenæus, in particular, presents the Greek and Oriental kitchens in all their aspects, and, with his marvellous erudition, proves himself a very Burton of gastronomy—the most accomplished Master of Feasts that antiquity has produced. To turn the pages of the "Deipnosophists, or Banquet of the Learned" is to enter a larder of which he only holds the key. Thus he introduces Damoxenus, the old Greek comic writer, who picturesquely portrays a master cook of the period, superintending his saucepans and directing the preparation of the feast:


"I never enter in my kitchen, I! But sit apart, and in the cool, direct, Observant of what passes,—scullions toil. ... I guide the mighty whole, Explore the causes, prophesy the dish. 'Tis thus I speak: 'Leave, leave that ponderous ham; Keep up the fire, and lively play the flame Beneath those lobster patties;' 'Patient here, Fix't as a statue, skim, incessant skim.' 'Steep well this small glociscus in its sauce, And boil that sea-dog in a cullender.' 'This eel requires more salt and marjoram;' 'Roast well that piece of kid on either side Equal;' 'That sweetbread boil not over much.' 'Tis thus, my friend, I make the concert play.

 *    *    *    *    *

And then no useless dish my table crowds. Harmonious ranged, and consonantly just, As in a concert instruments resound, My ordered dishes in their courses chime." The ideal cook is depicted with equal picturesqueness in a lengthy tribute by Dionysius wherein he thus sums up his qualifications,—

"Know on thyself thy genius must depend. All books of cookery, all helps of art, All critic learning, all commenting notes, Are vain, if void of genius thou wouldst cook!" Cratinus, in his play of the "Giants," extols the merits of Sicilian cookery:

"Consider now how sweet the earth doth smell, How fragrantly the smoke ascends to heaven: There lives, I fancy, here within this cave,[22] Some perfume-seller, or Sicilian cook." And Hegesander, in his "Brothers," presents an archimagirus, proud as Lucifer, who sings his own praises in the following grandiloquent strain:

"When I am call'd to serve a funeral supper, The mourners just return'd, silent and sad, Clothed in funereal habits—I but raise The cover of my pot, and every face Assumes a smile, the tears are wash'd away. Charm'd with the grateful flavour, they believe They are invited to a wedding-feast.

 *    *    *    *    *

Let me but have the necessary means, A kitchen amply stored, and you shall see That like enchantment I will spread around A charm as powerful as the siren's voice.

 *    *    *    *    *

You know not yet The worth of him you speak to—look on those Whom you see seated round, not one of them But would his fortune risk to make me his." Philemon, in turn, the witty Athenian bard, represents a cook as pluming himself upon his cunning, and saying:

"Those who are dead already, when they've smelled One of my dishes, come to life again." Anthippus, too, presents a graduate of the range who was no less proficient in the resources of his art,[23] and who devised his dishes according to the age of those who were to partake of them,—

"Insensible the palate of old age, More difficult than the soft lips of youth To move, I put much mustard in their dish; With quickening sauces make their stupor keen, And lash the lazy blood that creeps within." Nor does Athenæus fail to depict a glutton of the period, transcribed from Pherecrates:

"A.I scarcely in one day, unless I'm forced, Can eat two bushels and a half of food. B.A most unhappy man! how have you lost Your appetite, so as now to be content With the scant rations of one ship of war?" Milo of Crotona, Titormus the Ætolian, and Astydamas the Milesian were still more celebrated; and even Ulysses in his old age is represented by Homer as eating "endless dishes" and quaffing "unceasing cups of wine." Gargantua and Pantagruel evidently existed long before the days of Rabelais, and time will run back to fetch the age of gluttony, as well as that of gold.


WITH LUCULLUS AND APICIUS "Whether woodcock or partridge, what does it signify, if the taste is the same? But the partridge is dearer, and therefore thought preferable."—Martial, Epigrams, xiii. 76.

Passing from Greece to Italy, we find frugality to have been a prominent trait of the early Romans, and porridge to have been the national dish until wheaten bread was introduced from Athens. Like the Greeks, who received their initial lessons from the Persians, the Romans derived their knowledge of cookery from Attica, whence they imported their first masters. The Romans proved apt scholars, and soon outrivalled their instructors in the pleasures of the table, where the pomp, luxury, and licentiousness of the times were carried to their furthest limit. It is indeed well nigh impossible to conceive the splendour, prodigality, and sensuality [25]that prevailed during the Republic and the Empire, when fabulous revenues were squandered at a single feast, and gluttony and intemperance were the gods of the hour.


After Carle Vernet

It was towards the decline of the Republic, during the period of Pompey the Great, Cæsar, and Lucullus, that, dispensing with the culinary preceptors of Greece, the Roman cuisine attained its greatest celebrity.

For it was at this period that the great ravagers of the world, who were to carry the name and arms of Rome into distant lands, brought their cooks with them, who vied with one another in contributing the most appetising dishes of various countries. It was then when Antony, intoxicated with the spoils of conquest and more than usually pleased with the artist of his kitchen, sent for him at the dessert and presented him with a city of thirty-five thousand inhabitants—an example followed in a minor way by Henry VIII of England, who rewarded his cook for having composed a pudding of especial merit by the gift of a manor. It was then that the Sybarites bestowed public recompense and marks of distinction upon those who gave the most magnificent banquets, and especially upon those who invented new dishes.[2] It was then that the practised epicure professed to distinguish by the taste from what locality of Italy a[26] wild boar had been procured, or whether a pike had been caught in the lower or upper Tiber. Thus Horace, in one of the "Satires":

"But say by what Discernment are you taught To know that this voracious Pike was caught Where the full River's lenient Waters glide, Or where the Bridges break the rapid Tide: In the mid-Ocean, or where Tiber pays With broader Course his Tribute to the Seas."[3] It was then that the rich Romans had at their villas magnificent piscinæ filled with fresh-and salt-water fishes that might be netted at a moment's notice to set before their guests. In his ode "On the Prevailing Luxury," the Venusian bard also alludes to these vivaria and the inordinate fondness for fish of the Romans:

"Soon regal piles each rood of land Will from the farmer's ploughshare take, Soon ponds be seen on every hand More spacious than the Lucrine lake."[4] The mansions of the wealthy were likewise provided with splendid aviaries filled with thrushes that were fed with millet and crushed figs mixed with wheaten flour. Cygnets and snow-white geese were held in great repute, and when fattened upon green figs their livers were highly prized.

Hortensius the consul was among the first to maintain salt-water ponds stocked with his favourite fish,[27] the red mullet of the Mediterranean. He was also the introducer of the peacock served in its feathers, a dish extremely popular during the Republic. Horace proved a better judge than his many moneyed hosts, and chose the chicken in preference, asserting that it was the costliness of the bird of Juno and the glory of his glittering train more than the quality of the flesh that were prized. Artificial oyster-beds, according to Pliny, were first formed at Baiæ by Sergius Orata, a contemporary of Crassus the orator, not for the gratification of gluttony, but as a speculation from which he derived a large income. He too was the first to adjudge the preëminence for delicacy of flavour to the oysters of Lake Lucrinus. Preserves were subsequently formed by others for murenæ, sea-snails, and numerous saline delicacies.

Like the Hellenes, the Romans had three meals—the breakfast (jentaculum), the luncheon (prandium), and the dinner (cena). Originally, as has been the case with all peoples, the dinner was held in the morning, but with the progress of luxury and owing to the greater convenience to men of affairs, it became gradually deferred to late afternoon or evening. Nine was the favourite number of guests at the cena. It was a custom borrowed from the Greeks to appoint a king or dictator of the feast, who prescribed its laws, which the guests were bound, under penalties, to obey. By him the quantity of the cups to be drunk was decided, ten bumpers being the usual allowance—nine in honour of the Muses, and one to Apollo. Similar to the Grecian custom, every man who had a mistress was compelled to toast her when[28] called upon. To this a penalty was sometimes attached, in which case the challenger was obliged to empty a cup to each letter of the lady's name. When the gallant had reasons for secrecy, he merely announced the number of cups which had to be drunk.

The place of tobacco was taken by perfumes at feasts, a practice carried by the Romans to great excess. Nard and other perfumes in use being extremely costly, Horace insists upon Virgil contributing them when he comes to dine in the vale of Ustica. Catullus, also, who asks his friend Fabullus to dinner, agrees to supply the perfumes, providing Fabullus bring with him all the other requisites. The spiciness of the essences doubtless spurred the appetite, and tended to produce a pleasant languor.[5]

Very numerous plants and herbs were employed as flavourings in the kitchens of the ancients, such as dill, anise-seed, hyssop, thyme, pennyroyal, rue, cummin, poppy-seed, shallots, and, naturally, onions, garlic, and leeks—savoury then taking the place of parsley, which, though known, was used more as a decoration and worn by guests as an adornment. Cummin was largely utilised for seasoning. Sorrel was cultivated by the Romans to increase its size, and, according to Apicius, was eaten stewed with mustard and seasoned with oil and vinegar. The carrot was stewed, boiled with cummin and a little oil, and eaten as a salad, with salt, oil, and vinegar.


Brocoli was an especial favourite with Apicius, the most tender parts being boiled, with the addition of pepper, chopped onions, cummin and coriander seed bruised together, and a little oil and sun-made wine. Turnips were boiled and seasoned with rue, cummin, and benzoin, pounded in a mortar, adding afterwards honey, vinegar, gravy, boiled grapes, and oil. Asparagus, which Lamb says inspires gentle thoughts, was cultivated with notable care. The finest heads were dried, and when wanted were placed in hot water and boiled. Lucullus and Apicius ate only those that were grown in the environs of Nesis, a city of Campania. Beets, mallows, artichokes, and cucumbers were greatly relished and elaborately prepared, and garlic, extolled by Virgil and decried by Horace, was generously used.

Apicius, in his treatise "De re Culinaria," gives numerous recipes for cooking the cabbage—the silken-leaved, curled, and hard white varieties. From these recipes we at once may judge of his resources, and obtain an idea of a master vegetable-cook of the period:

"1. Take only the most delicate and tender part of the cabbage, which boil, and then pour off the water; season it with cummin seed, salt, old wine, oil, pepper, alisander, mint, rue, coriander seed, gravy, and oil.

"2. Prepare the cabbage in the manner just mentioned, and make a seasoning of coriander seed, onion, cummin seed, pepper, a small quantity of oil, and wine made of sun raisins.

"3. When you have boiled the cabbages in water put them into a saucepan and stew them with gravy, oil, wine, cummin seed, pepper, leeks, and green coriander.


"4. Add to the preceding ingredients flour of almonds, and raisins dried in the sun.

"5. Prepare them again in the above manner, and cook them with green olives."

To what an extent strange condiments, herbs, and other seasonings were employed, as well as to what a task the human stomach was subjected, will be apparent from a recipe, given by the same authority, for a thick sauce for a boiled chicken: "Put the following ingredients into a mortar: anise-seed, dried mint, and lazer-root (similar to asafœtida); cover them with vinegar; add dates; pour in garum, oil, and a small quantity of mustard-seeds; reduce all to a proper thickness with red wine warmed; and then pour this same over your chicken, which should previously be boiled in anise-seed water."

With regard to the olden wines, let us be duly grateful for the progress of viniculture, and thankful that we may read of them, rather than have to partake of them, to rue the Katzenjammer of the following morning. For if one must have a headache on rare occasions as the penalty of dining, it were assuredly less to be deplored if obtained through a grand vintage of the Marne or the Médoc than from a wine mixed with sea-water or spices, or old Falernian cloyed with honey from Mount Hymettus. By all means, if we must drink an excessively sweet wine, let it be, at most, a glass of Hermitage paille or Muscat Rivesaltes, iced to snow!

The tables, the plate, and the dinner-service corresponded with the rarity of the viands and beverages.[31] Cicero's table of lemon-wood cost him two hundred thousand sesterces, or over seven thousand dollars. Besides being made of the most precious foreign woods, veined and spotted to imitate the tiger's and the leopard's skin, they were also wrought of ivory, silver, bronze, and tortoise-shell.

The drinking-cups of gold and glass, the nimbus and ampulla—crystal chalices, ewers, and flagons in which the luxurious were wont to mix myrrh, spikenard, and other perfumes with their wine—were equally costly. Martial extols a jewelled cup: "See how the gold, begemmed with Scythian emeralds, glistens! How many fingers does it deprive of jewels!" His lovely description of an exquisitely chased wine-cup of gold, received from Instantius Rufus, will also be recalled. Again, he praises a gold dinner-service: "Do not dishonour such large gold dishes with an insignificant mullet; it ought at least to weigh two pounds." "I see," says Seneca, "the shell of the tortoise bought for immense sums and ornamented with the most elaborate care; I see tables and pieces of wood valued at the price of a senator's estate, which are all the more precious the more knots the tree has been twisted into by disease. I see murrhine-cups, for luxury would be too cheap if men did not drink to one another out of hollow gems the wine to be afterwards thrown up again." In vain Pompey the Great and Licinius Crassus strove to cheek the riotous table extravagance, which continued despite previous and subsequent sumptuary laws for its suppression.

"To-day," says Pliny, "a cook costs as much as a[32] triumph, a fish as much as a cook, and no mortal costs more than the slave who knows best how to ruin his master." Fabulous prices were paid for fish, notably for the famed red mullet or sea-barbel. Tiberius, who was an exception, and was not partial to this fish, on being presented with an unusually large specimen, weighing four and a half pounds, sent it to the market to be sold. "I will be greatly surprised," he observed, "if the mullet is not purchased by Apicius or Octavius." It was borne off in triumph by Octavius, who became celebrated for having paid two hundred dollars for a fish sold by the emperor and that Apicius himself had not secured.

Seneca also states that the mullet was looked upon as tainted unless it expired in the hands of the guests, who were provided with glass vessels in which to put their fish, in order the better to perceive their changes and motions in the last agony betwixt life and death. "Look how it reddens!" cries one; "there is no vermilion like it; look at those lateral veins, see how the grey brightens upon its head, and now it is at its last gasp, it pales and its inanimate body fades to a single hue." "The mullet of the ocean is certainly a meritorious fish," observes Baron Brisse, "but how greatly superior is that of the Mediterranean!"

This greatly valued fish was the European Mullus barbatus, one of the forty or more different species of the red mullet, found chiefly in the subtropical parts of the Indo-Pacific Ocean. By far the most abundant in the Mediterranean, it is nevertheless not uncommon to the coasts of England and Ireland, though nowhere does it attain so delicate a flavour as[33] in the Mediterranean. The name is said to have reference to the scarlet colour of the sandal or shoe worn by the Roman consuls, and in later times by the emperors, which was called mullus.

Like the ruby, the mullet increased rapidly in price when it exceeded the usual size—the largest weighing scarcely three or four pounds. Suetonius is authority for the statement that this fish was so esteemed in his time that three large specimens were sold for thirty thousand sesterces, or more than a thousand dollars, which caused Tiberius to enact sumptuary laws and tax the provisions brought to market. The red mullet, although much less highly thought of than in olden days, is still in request by the modern French epicure. Francatelli cautions that it should never be drawn; it is sufficient to remove the gills only, as the liver and trail are considered the best part—an opinion held by the Romans. It is possible that, owing to this circumstance, it has been termed the "sea-woodcock."

The mullet was served by the Romans with a seasoning of pepper, rue, onions, dates, and mustard, to which was added the flesh of the sea-hedgehog reduced to a pulp and oil. When the priceless liver alone was to be eaten by an emperor or a senator, it was cooked and then seasoned with pepper, salt, or a little garum, some oil was added, and hare's or fowl's liver, and oil poured over the whole.

The turbot was another favourite supplied by the sea, and one will remember Martial's panegyric concerning it: "However great the dish that holds the turbot, the turbot is still greater than the dish."[34] From the foam-fleeced flocks of Proteus many other fish with strange names were transferred by the wealthy Romans to their vast aquaria—the sargus, the harp-fish, the hyca, the synodon, the hespidus, the chromis, the callichithys,

"The orphus, the sea-grayling, too, who haunts The places where the sea-weed most abounds." The huge tunny and sturgeon, the tiny anchovy, and, in fact, nearly every denizen of the ocean appeared upon the Roman tables in some form. The dolphin was a sacred fish, and was left unmolested to pilot Triton's car. Even the polypus, sea-urchin, and cuttlefish were held in great esteem. The scaurus or char, a species unknown to us, and the murex, an edible purple mussel of which the finest flavoured came from Baiæ were highly prized. Fatted eels were considered a great delicacy, and among fresh-water species the tench, carp, and pike were the most employed. Piscis was the Phryne of the Roman feasts, and dolphins, whales, and mermaids appear to be the only species that were not consumed.

According to Juvenal, who relates the story at great length, the members of Domitian's cabinet were one day suddenly summoned to the Alban Villa, where they were obliged to remain in waiting while the emperor gave audience to a fisherman who had brought him an unusually large Rhombus, and when they were finally admitted they found they had nothing to debate about except whether the fish was to be minced or cooked in a special dish, there being none[35] of sufficient size in the imperial kitchens. After mature deliberation, a special receptacle was decided upon, when the audience was dismissed. The turbot was served with a sauce piquante.

Nor were the affluent nobles and business men far behind the triumvirs, consuls, and emperors in their ruinous manner of living. Autocracy set the pace, and her wealthy vassals were not slow to follow. Trimalchio, the moneyed landholder, was accustomed to serve a wild boar whole, with a number of live fieldfares inside, ready to fly out as soon as they were given their liberty by Carpus, his professional carver. These, as they fluttered about the room, were caught by fowlers with reeds tipped with bird-lime.

The minute account of one of Trimalchio's dinners, given by the licentious Latin classicist Petronius Arbiter, descriptive of the viands, beverages, service, and table customs of the day, may be advantageously consulted by those whose powers of digestion are strong enough to enable them to consider a representative feast during the reign of Nero at the home of this ostentatious host. The elaborate first course is described as terminating with the appearance of a servant bearing a silver skeleton so artfully constructed that its joints and backbone turned in all directions; when, having cast it several times upon the table and causing it to assume various postures, Trimalchio cried out, "Of such are we—let us live while we may!" The first course finished, the second was presented in the form of a large circular tray with the twelve signs of the zodiac surrounding it, upon each of which the arranger had placed an appropriate dish—on[36] Aries, ram's-head pies; on Taurus, a piece of roasted beef; on Gemini, kidneys and lamb's fry; on Cancer, a crown; on Leo, African figs; on Virgo, a young sow's haslet; on Libra, a pair of scales, in one of which were tarts, in the other cheese-cakes; on Scorpio, a little sea-fish of the same name; on Sagittarius, a hare; on Capricorn, a lobster; on Aquarius, a goose; on Piscis, two mullets, while in the centre spread a green turf on which lay a honeycomb. It will be readily apparent that the modern French chef does not stand alone in his skill of producing a pièce-montée. Meanwhile, an Egyptian slave carried bread in a silver portable oven, singing a song in praise of wine flavoured with laserpitium. Whereupon four attendants came dancing in to the sound of music, and, removing the upper part of the tray, there was revealed on a second tray beneath stuffed fowls, a sow's paps, and in the middle a hare fitted with wings to resemble Pegasus. At the several corners stood four figures of Marsyas spouting a highly seasoned sauce on a school of fish.

At the third course a very large hog was brought in, much larger even than the wild boar that had been previously served. This was followed by a young calf, boiled whole, with more wine, perfumes, fruits, and sweetmeats—thrushes in pastry, stuffed with nuts and raisins, and quinces stuck over with prickles to resemble sea-urchins. "Only command him," exclaimed the host, "and my cook will make you a fish out of a pig's chitterlings, a wood-pigeon out of the lard, a turtle-dove out of the gammon, and a hen out of the shoulder!"


Apparently, the artist of Trimalchio was no less fertile in resources and liberal ideas of expenditure than the chef of the Prince of Soubise, who, on being taken to task by his employer for including fifty hams for a single supper, replied:

"Only one will appear upon the table, monseigneur; the rest are not the less necessary for my espagnole, my blonds, my garnitures, my—"

"Bertrand, you are plundering me."

"Oh, monseigneur," replied the conjurer, "you do not understand our resources; say the word, and these fifty hams which confound you—I will put them all into a glass bottle no bigger than your thumb!"

To be sure, the accounts given by Petronius Arbiter, Juvenal, Martial, and other satirists must be taken with some limitation. Yet, making all due allowance for exaggeration, it is hardly to be wondered at that many of the olden rulers and opulent personages, armed with unbounded power and possessed of unlimited riches, should have yielded so abjectly to luxury and vice as to have fully warranted the stricture of Juvenal:

"The baffled sons must feel the same desires, And act the same mad follies as their sires. Vice has attained its zenith...." These accounts, moreover, attested as they are by serious annalists, may not be dismissed as largely imaginative or grossly exaggerated. The strictures on the besetting vices that occur in the contemporary works of historians, moralists, philosophers, and poets[38] are far too vehement and voluminous to leave any doubt of the inordinate abuse of the table among the ancients, particularly among the Romans, when their wealthy capital, as Propertius records, "was beset all round in its own victories." It was the period of insatiable voracity and the peacock's plume. Even Martial was careful to state that it was vices, not personages, to which his scourge was applied. His caustic and highly seasoned epigrams deal largely with the dinner-table, and from these one may derive a most realistic idea of the bill of fare of his contemporaries, as well as of the varied and luxurious character of the presents made to the guests at feasts. The excesses of eating and drinking are roundly denounced by him at every turn, while his picture of the crapulous Santra in the Seventh Book is only equalled by the "Portrait of a Gourmand" of Carle Vernet, or Spenser's etching of "Gluttony" in the "Faerie Queene."

Horace in particular, a scholar, poet, and man of the world, the friend of Mæcenas, and an onlooker and frequenter of society, may be accepted as a competent authority on the table manners and customs of the times. No one more than he was aware of the gross extravagance and intemperance of the age. Nor has any writer depicted his own and the everyday life of the Romans more vividly. To peruse him attentively in the "Satires," "Epistles," "Epodes," and "Odes," is to take part in the feasts, be admitted to the inner circle of the optimates, knock at the door of Lydia, and join in the pageant of the Sacra Via. The table of Mæcenas, the rich voluptuary and dilet[39]tante, who had a palace on the Esquiline Hill, where Horace was often a guest, was widely celebrated. As the poet was a visitor also at the palace of Augustus, and numbered among his friends the most eminent men of Rome, he had unusual opportunities to become acquainted both with the vie intime and haute cuisine of his day. While not a gastronomer, he was far from averse to good living, though, from his digestion not being of the soundest, he had frequent cause to rue the sumptuous banquets, borrowed from the Asiatic Greeks, which were in vogue at the time. And while he was a frequent attendant at the entertainments of the wealthy, we nevertheless find him constantly censuring their intemperance and extravagance at table. For himself, he would have "simple dinners, richly dressed," and "let the strong toil give relish to the feast." Rare old Cæcuban, Falernian, and Massic, Mæcenas might pour out at home from his well-filled amphoræ into chased crystal cups and vessels of gold—at the Sabine farm the common Sabine wine in modest goblets would alone be tendered him.

If we may regard the elaborate repast of Nasidienus as a typical one, we may readily conceive the nightmares that must have ensued from such a plenitude of viands and wines and such copious libations. The student of Horace will remember the menu. First a Lucanian boar, surrounded by excitants to the appetite—

"Rapes, Lettuce, Radishes, Anchovy-Brine With Skerrets, and the Lees of Coan Wine." [40]

Fish and wild fowl, lampreys and shrimps, succeeded, washed down with brimmers of Cæcuban, Alban, Falernian, and vintages of Greece; and finally, as the feast and the night wore on,

"The Slaves behind in mighty Charger bore A Crane in Pieces torn, and powder'd o'er With Salt and Flour, and a white Gander's Liver, Stuff'd fat with Figs, bespoke the curious Giver; Besides the Wings of Hares, for, so it seems, No man of Luxury the Back esteems. Then saw we Black-birds with o'er roasted Breast, Laid on the Board, and Ring-Doves Rump-less drest! Delicious Fare! did not our Host explain Their various Qualities in endless Strain, Their various Natures; but we fled the Feast, Resolved in Vengeance nothing more to taste, As if Canidia, with empoison'd Breath, Worse than a Serpent's, blasted it with Death."[6] That Nasidienus was proverbially penurious, was guilty of purchasing tainted game in order to save expense, and would have been chary of his wines had it not been for Servilius, who cried loudly for "larger goblets," leads one to conclude that even his repast was far below those of the pampered upper classes in its prodigality.

Apicius, who is referred to by Pliny, Seneca, Juvenal, and Martial, is said to have squandered nearly four million dollars in riotous living, when, looking over his accounts, he found he had only about a tenth of that amount remaining, and, unwilling to starve[41] on such a pittance, he poisoned himself. Of the three persons bearing the name of Apicius, one of whom lived in the times of Sulla, another during the reign of Tiberius, and the third under Trajan, none is supposed to be the author of "De re Culinaria," since published in so many different editions, a work now ascribed to Cœlius, who, in admiration of the renowned Marcus Gabius, termed himself Apicius. The latter, the richest of the three who bore the name by right, vied with royalty in his regal tastes. He is reported as having voyaged to Africa expressly to ascertain whether the crawfish there were superior to those he was accustomed to have at Minturnæ; but finding them inferior, he returned immediately, without setting foot to land. "Look at Nomentanus and Apicius," says Seneca, "who digest all the good things, as they call them, of the sea and the land, and review upon their tables the whole animal kingdom. Look at them as they lie on beds of roses, gloating over their banquet and delighting their ears with music, their eyes with exhibitions, their palates with flavours."

Where the deliciously scented cyclamen carpets the shore of the Mediterranean in myriads at Baiæ, Apicius repaired to savour shell-fish—"the manna of the sea"—and from the self-same sea that laves the isle of Capri and rolls its azure wave into the famed blue grotto, Tiberius sent turbots to him that Apicius was not rich enough to buy himself.

Yet far exceeding Apicius, who was almost deified for discovering how to maintain oysters fresh and alive during long journeys, was his predecessor Lu[42]cullus, the wealthy general, a great patron of learning and the arts, as well as the king of epicures. Juvenal has etched his portrait in four lines:

"Stretch'd on the unsocial couch, he rolls his eyes O'er many an orb of matchless form and size, Selects the fairest to receive his plate, And at one meal devours a whole estate." The Monte Cristo of Naples, he pierced a mountain to place two of his country villas in closer communication and to conduct the sea-water to one of them, where he had constructed a huge aquarium for sea-fish. His carvers were paid at the rate of four thousand a year. The various dining-rooms at his Neapolitan palace were designed according to the costliness of the repasts which were given in them, the saloon of Apollo being the most sumptuous. Cicero and Pompey, resolving one day to surprise him, presented themselves unceremoniously, and, upon being pressed to remain to dinner, assented on condition that he would go to no extra trouble. Summoning his major-domo, he dismissed him with the simple command:

"Place two more covers in the saloon of Apollo"—the cost of the dinner in this apartment being fixed at a thousand dollars per plate.

No review of the Roman table, however brief, would be complete without retelling the story of Lucullus as his own host. On this occasion, when, through some misunderstanding, he was without guests for dinner, his cook appeared as usual to receive his orders.


"I am alone," said Lucullus; whereupon his servitor, thinking that a five-hundred-dollar dinner would suffice, acted accordingly. At the conclusion of his repast, his face flushed with the juices of Falernian, Lucullus sent for his minister of the interior and took him severely to task. There were no fig-peckers, and the prized spawn of the sea-lamprey was missing. The cook was profuse in his apologies.

"But, seigneur, you were alone—"

"It is precisely when I happen to be alone that you require to pay especial attention to the dinner; at such times you must remember that Lucullus dines with Lucullus."

The great dining-room of Claudius, termed "Mercury," was constructed on an equally magnificent scale. But this was eclipsed by Nero's marvellous Domus aurea, which, through a circular movement of its sides and ceiling, counterfeited the changes of the skies and represented the different seasons of the year, while at intervals during the repast flowers and essences were showered down upon the guests.

The gluttonous feasts of Verres, Claudius, Nero, Vitellius, Domitian, and the rest of the Roman potentates are familiar to the student of ancient history. Claudius, who had usually six hundred guests at his feasts, died of an indigestion of mushrooms, facilitated, it is said, by a poisoned feather applied to his throat. Tiberius is also said to have met his death through an asphyxia of poisonous mushrooms, seconded by suffocation on the part of his favourite Macro, who in turn was put to death by Caligula. Caligula was noted for the fabulous sums spent upon[44] his suppers, while Cæsar is credited with a four months' supper bill of more than five millions sterling. The present of this monarch, during one of his table debauches, of a sum equivalent to eighty thousand dollars to his charioteer Eutychus is the largest table present recorded of the Romans. Seneca states that one of his suppers cost nearly half a million, and he also it was who gave his charger Incitatus barley mixed with wine in a vase of gold. Vitellius spent not less than fifteen thousand dollars for each of his repasts, the composition of his favourite dishes requiring that vessels should constantly ply between the Gulf of Venice and the Straits of Cadiz. The flocks of flamingos placidly feeding in the Pontine marshes dreaded his fowlers—he had dishes made of their tongues. Later on, their haunts were invaded by Heliogabalus, who preferred their brains.[7] The life and reign of Vitellius were a continuous orgy, and his name was bequeathed to a multitude of dishes. According to Suetonius, Tiberius, who was inordinately fond of fig-peckers and mushrooms, presented Sabinus the author with eight thousand dollars for having composed a dialogue in which the fig-pecker, mushroom, oyster, and thrush were the dramatis personæ. As the author and the poet are proverbially scantily remunerated, it is easy to imagine the wealth that a competent chef could command in the days when the haughty mistress of the world, sated with conquest and exultant with victory, lapsed into luxury and sensuality, while a constant stream of riches[45] flowed into her treasury from tributary rulers and oppressed and spoliated nations.

The truffle and the snail were well known to the ancients. The speckled trout, of which there appears to be no mention by the recorders, seems to have been a neglected dainty. How Lucullus would have rejoiced at the sight of the pompano—that ruby of the salt-sea wave—and Apicius have been transported at the apparition of a puff-paste pâté of oyster-crabs! The brilliant iridescent hues of the rainbow-trout would have held a Roman epicure spellbound, while a dish of terrapin or a celery-fed Chesapeake canvasback might have decided the destinies of an empire. What a burst of applause a platter of roast ruffed-grouse would have commanded from a senate! Were the soft-shell crab a denizen of Baiæ, or the whitefish, as he attains supreme perfection in Lake Ontario, a habitant of an Italian tarn, one can fancy how a feast of Heliogabalus would have been prolonged. That there are still as good fish in the sea as ever were caught seems an anomaly, in view of the voracity of the old Latins for this form of food.

History has recorded less of the excesses of the table during the reigns of Trajan, Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Septimius Severus, and even during the dissolute monarchies of Commodus and Caracalla. It would be wrong, however, to assume that these excesses were renounced, even where the rulers did not themselves set the example, or that they did not continue in a flagrant form. The unbridled lust and gluttony of Commodus were scarcely equalled save by Heliogabalus. Septimius Severus, unable to en[46]dure the tortures he experienced in all his members, especially in his feet, in place of the poison that was refused him eagerly devoured a quantity of rich viands and died of indigestion. Gout and kindred maladies were notoriously common with both men and women, and upon this subject Seneca has descanted at length: "Is it necessary to enumerate the multitude of maladies that are the punishment of our luxury? The multiplicity of viands has produced a multiplicity of maladies. The greatest of physicians, the founder of medicine, has said that women do not become bald or subject to gout. Now they are both bald and gouty. Woman has not changed since in her nature, but in her mode of life, and, imitating man in his excesses, she shares his infirmities. Where is the lake, the sea, the forest, the spot of land that is not ransacked to gratify our palates? Our infirmities are the price of the pleasures to which we have abandoned ourselves beyond all measure and restraint. Are you astounded at the innumerable diseases?—count the number of our cooks!"

The favourite garum of the old Romans of itself were enough to have invited all the diseases that indigestion is heir to. This was a liquid, and was thus prepared: The insides of large fish and a variety of smaller fish were placed in a vessel and well salted, and then exposed to the sun till they became putrid. In a short time a liquor was produced, which, being strained off, was the garum or liquamen.

With the advent of Heliogabalus upon the throne, gluttony and extravagance reigned supreme. By this youthful monarch, during his brief reign of four[47] years, the tyranny of Nero, and Caligula, the lust of Claudius and Commodus, the prodigality of Vitellius, the saturnalia and riotous living of Verres and Domitian were trebly exceeded. Entering Rome from Syria in a chariot drawn by naked women, surrounded with eunuchs, courtesans, and buffoons, wearing the tiara of the priests of the sun-god, dressed as a female in stuffs of silk and gold, and accompanied by a historiographer whose sole function it was to describe his orgies, he at once eclipsed all his predecessors. The Sardanapalus of Rome, his daily feasts are said to have consisted of over twoscore courses, and to have cost not less than ten thousand dollars each.

As related by Lampridius, his table-couches were stuffed with hares' down or partridges' feathers, his beds adorned with coverlets of gold, and in his kitchens none but richly chased utensils of silver were employed. The invention of a new sauce was royally rewarded by him, but if it was not relished the inventor was confined, to partake of nothing else until he had produced another more agreeable to the imperial palate. The liver of the priceless mullet seeming too paltry to Heliogabalus, he was served with large dishes completely filled with the gills. He brought the soft roe of the rare sea-eel into disrepute by maintaining a fleet of fishing craft for their capture, and ordering that the peasants of the Mediterranean should be gorged with them. Resides countless dishes, each of which was worth the price of a king's ransom, he was the inventor of coloured decorations at table. "In the summer," says Lampridius, "Helio[48]gabalus gave feasts at which the service was composed of different colours, constantly varied throughout the season." The brains of partridges and ostriches were among his favourite dainties. Frequently the brains of six hundred ostriches were served at a single repast, as well as the heads of innumerable parrots, pheasants, and peacocks. He had cockscombs served in pâtés, and was therefore the inventor of vol au vent à la financière. The tongues of nightingales and thrushes he had likewise served in pâtés, and hearing that a strange bird, the phœnix, existed in Lydia, he offered two hundred pieces of gold to him who would procure it. In the course of his reign of four years he had depleted the treasury of an empire largely through gluttony, and died, anticipating the assassination of his soldiers, by his own hand.

It were superfluous to follow the subject to the decadence of the Empire, when, with wars and contentions and invasions of conquering hordes, came the decline of cookery, literature, and the arts. Nor does history record a resumption of gastronomy until towards the Renaissance—when Dante and Petrarch had touched their lyres, and Donatello and Robbia wrought their bassi-rilievi; when the Medici and the Este became the patrons of art; when Leonardo, Raffaello, Titian, and Guido stamped their genius upon the canvas; when Michelangelo created his "David," and Cellini his "Perseus"; when Giorgio fashioned his gorgeous lustres, and Orazio his glorious vasques.

Or, rather, with the revival of cookery we find the revival of literature and the arts, and mark the Muses resume their sway.


Facsimile of the title-page of the edition of 1545


THE RENAISSANCE OF COOKERY "Le malheur de toutes les cuisines excepté de la cuisine française, c'est d'avoir l'air d'une cuisine de hasard. La cuisine française est seule raisonnée, savante, chimique."—Alexandre Dumas: Le Caucase.

It is not unnatural that cookery as an art should finally have been resumed in the land where it had once attained its greatest development. First among Italian treatises on the subject was the volume of Bartolomeo Platina, "De Honesta Voluptate et Valitudine," which was written in Latin and printed at Venice in 1474, a year or two after the introduction of printing into that city. Many editions of this appeared subsequently, as also translations in French and German. Other Italian treatises of the sixteenth century were Rosselli's "Opera Nova chiamata Epulario" (Venice, 1516); a work by Christoforo di Messisbugo, chef to the Cardinal of Ferrara[50] (Ferrara, 1549); a manual by Bartolomeo Scappi, privy cook to Pope Pius V (Venice, 1570); and works by Vincenzo Cervio, Domenico Romoli, and Gio. Battista Rossetti—Cervio and Romoli having been respectively carver and cook to Cardinal Farnese. The two most important Italian culinary publications of the seventeenth century were those of Vittorio Lancioletti (Rome, 1627) and Antonio Frugoli (Rome, 1632). In addition to these was the old Roman treatise "De re Culinaria" of Cœlius Apicius, published in 1498, as well as many works relating to wines and the hygiene of gastronomy.

Glancing for a moment across the Mediterranean, from Italy to Spain, we find record of but one Spanish cook-book of any note during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries—that of Ruberto de Nola (Toledo, 1525). While Spanish cookery is far from meriting a place among the fine arts, one must yet thank Spain for at least two things—the dulcet Spanish onion and the poignant Spanish omelette—as one should be grateful to Mexico for the tamale and to Russia for its caviare. But the Spaniard boils his partridge (perdrix à l'Espagnol), as the Hollander boils his chicken, with rice or vermicelli. The Spanish "olla podrida"—the Alhambra of the national cuisine, wherein garlic, onion, and red peppers are by no means forgotten—is well known to all travellers beyond the Pyrenees; but, on account of the many native ingredients it contains, it is difficult to be obtained in perfection outside its original country. Its best form is the olla en grande, which requires two pots to brew it in—the rich olla that Don Quixote[51] says is eaten only by canons and presidents of colleges. With virgin oil and a pianissimo touch, so far as the garlic is concerned, the aristocratic guisado is both an excellent and accommodating dish, inasmuch as a fowl, pheasant, rabbit, or hare may serve as its base; and for those who wish to try a dish with a Spanish name, prepared somewhat on the order of the French civet of hare, the recipe may be given: "Dress and prepare a fowl, pheasant, rabbit, or hare—whichever is most easily obtainable—taking care to preserve the liver, giblets, and blood. Cut it up in pieces and dry, without washing, on a cloth. Brown a few slices of onion in a gill of boiling fat, turn them with the pieces of meat into an earthenware pan, add a seasoning of herbs, garlic, onions, a few chillies, salt and pepper, put in also a few slices of bacon, and pour over all sufficient red wine and rich stock in equal proportions to moisten. Place the pan over the fire and bring the liquor slowly to the boiling-point, skim and stir frequently, and let it simmer until the meat is quite tender. About half an hour before serving, put in the liver, giblets, and blood. When ready, turn the whole into a hot dish and serve quickly."

But Spain for its bull-fights, and France for its cuisine! With the revival of cookery in Italy, the art gradually advanced to the home of the Gaul, where, at a subsequent epoch, it was destined to attain its highest development. The early cooks of France were Italians, and the reader will recall Montaigne's picturesque passage where the author would fain possess part of the skill which some cooks have "who can so curiously season and temper strange odours with the[52] savour and relish of their meats." In this allusion special reference was made to the artist in the service of the King of Tunis, whose viands were "so exquisitely farced and so sumptuously seasoned with sweet odoriferous drugs and aromaticall spices, that it was found on his booke of accompt the dressing of one peacocke and two fesants amounted to one hundred duckets."

While there is a flavour of pagan Rome in the price of these dishes, they were still considerably less expensive than the boars stuffed with fig-peckers of Trimalchio, or the flamingos' brains of Heliogabalus, and were doubtless as well prepared; for the author adds that after they had passed through the carver's hands their savour flooded not only the dining-chambers, but all the rooms of the palace, and even the streets round about it were filled with an "exceeding odoriferous and aromaticall vapour which continued a long time after." Such an aroma, at a later era, the passer-by might inhale daily from the ovens of the Rocher de Cancale, Véry, Voisin, Hardy, and Riche.

These, as well as other references, would indicate that during the latter part of the sixteenth century cookery had already made considerable progress. To be still more explicit, it received its impetus in France with the advent of Catherine de' Medici at the court of Francis I, the youthful bride of the Duc d'Orléans bringing her cooks with her from her native country. About this period the father of Ronsard the poet was maître d'hôtel of the king. The first physician of Francis I—Johann Gonthier of Andernach—is also credited with having given a great stimulus to cookery, chemistry, and surgery. The first French treatise on[53] cookery, originally written in 1375, had appeared in the latter part of the fifteenth century. This was the "Viandier" of Guillaume Tirel, termed Taillevent, premier queux of Charles V—the initial volume of the "Cuisinières Bourgeoises," type of all the succeeding manuals of recipes. At least sixteen editions of this work are known to have been published, the first dated one being that of 1545. In 1349 the author was queux de bouche of Philippe de Valois, in 1361 queux of the Duc de Normandie, and in 1373 he became premier queux of the king. The frontispiece of one of the earlier editions depicts a personage conversing with a hunchback, who is carrying two ducks in his left hand and a laden hamper in his right. On the left, in a dormer-window, appears the head of a woman who is seemingly listening to the conversation.

With better wines than Italy could boast, added to a natural aptitude for cookery, France soon made material strides in the art of dining, the science continuing to improve during the reigns of Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III. The Gaul's taste was delicate, and his touch was true. For the garlic of the Italians he gradually substituted the onion and shallot, or at least employed garlic more sparingly; and in place of the heavy viands formerly in use evolved the more delicate entrée, salmis, and entremets.

Louis XIII was accustomed not only to kill his game, but frequently to prepare it for the table. In larding a piece of meat he vied with the most skilful practitioners, being led to do so and to put his general knowledge of cookery to account from his fear of[54] being poisoned. But his kitchen, nevertheless, was a parsimonious one; and though he personally superintended all his gardening operations and prided himself on raising spring vegetables earlier in the season than any market-gardener, he ignobly disposed of his produce to the wealthy Seigneur de Montauron, whose table far outrivalled that of his royal green-grocer. To Montauron, counsellor of the king and first president of the Bureau of Finance, as well as to the Duc de Montausier,[8] who was first to introduce large silver spoons and forks, cookery is indebted for maintaining its prestige during the reign of the thirteenth Louis. Whether at home or absent on official duties, it was the habit of Montauron to keep open house all the year round for princes and distinguished personages. So great a benefice was it considered to secure a position among the numerous serving-men of the household that the chief steward had always a long waiting-list to draw from to supply any vacancy, the fortunate applicant on whom his choice fell readily paying him his customary fee of ten louis d'or.

In his munificence and hospitality, Montauron anticipated Fouquet, but, like the princely Marquis de Belle-Isle, whose hospitality was so illy rewarded by Louis XIV, his name remains unhonoured by an entrée or a sauce. Richelieu, who was a distinguished gastronome, fared better, and has had his memory perpetuated by many a savoury dish.

Thus the way was paved for the notable strides under Louis XIV and Béchamel, Condé and Vatel—[55]the Grand Monarque and his maître d'hôtel, the great Condé and the equally renowned Vatel. The suppers and entertainments of Louis XIV were in accord with the magnificence of his court; the monarch who commanded Leveau and Mansard to render Versailles a pleasure-house worthy of his fame, who stocked the parks of his vast demesnes with game, and who was a passionate lover of the chase, being naturally exacting as to the renown of his table. It was his motto—"One eats well who works well." While Lebrun and Poussin were decorating his regal château, and Le Nôtre was embellishing its parks, Béchamel superintended the royal ranges and discovered new sauces, La Quintinie presiding over his vast vegetable-gardens to provide superior varieties of fruits and esculents. So great was the reputation of La Quintinie that he was also called upon to establish the splendid vegetable-gardens of the Duc de Montausier at Rambouillet, of Fouquet at Vaux, and of Colbert at Sceaux.

Saint-Simon has left a minute account of the daily life of Louis XIV, from his ceremonious levee to his soirée late in the evening. It was his habit to rise at eight and partake of a simple breakfast of bread and wine mixed with water. He dined alone, at one, at a square table in his own chamber, where several soups, three courses, and a dessert were regularly served, under the direction of his princely attendants. At a quarter after ten, supper, his favourite meal, was served in state in the Salon du Grand Couvert, in company with the royal family and the princes of the blood.


If not the most reliable, the most graphic account of one of his suppers is that given by Dumas in the "Vicomte de Bragelonne," when the formidable Porthos was among his guests and charmed him with his marvellous appetite, at the same time contributing his recipe for serving a sheep whole, which elicited this encomium from his Majesty:

"It is impossible that a gentleman who sups so well and eats with such splendid teeth should not be the most honest man in my kingdom."

The rejoinder of Porthos to a previous sally of his host is equally worthy of recording:

"You have a lovely appetite, Monsieur du Vallon," said the king, "and you are a delightful table companion."

"Ah! faith, sire, if your Majesty ever came to Pierrefonds we would dispose of a sheep between us, for I perceive you are not lacking in appetite, either."

D'Artagnan touched the foot of Porthos under the table.

Porthos coloured.

"At the happy age of your Majesty," continued Porthos, in order to retrieve himself, "I belonged to the musketeers, and nothing could appease me. Your Majesty has a superb appetite, as I had the honour of observing, but chooses with too much delicacy to be termed a great eater."

It will be remembered that few were as competent as Dumas to treat of the subject of dining. To quote the appreciation of a French writer, "Alexandre Dumas was a fine eater as well as a fine story-teller."

But the Grand Monarque, after all, was a ravenous[57] rather than a distinguished eater. As is not unfrequently the case with such persons, he used alcoholic beverages in comparative moderation. He was, however, fond of hippocras, a drink composed of white or red wine, honey, and aromatics, borrowed from the ancients; and in his advanced age, as is well known, cordials were invented to solace his declining years. Champagne was his favourite wine. "Sire," said the president of a deputation bringing specimens of the various productions of Rheims to the monarch when he visited the city in 1666, "we offer you our wine, our pears, our gingerbread, our biscuits, and our hearts!" The king proved loyal to the wine of the Marne until Burgundy, largely diluted, was prescribed by his last physician, Fagon, whom Molière satirised as Dr. Purgon in "Le Malade Imaginaire"—a physician who, during the old age of the king, rendered his life miserable by cutting him off one by one from his favourite dishes. That he needed to be restrained, despite his robust constitution and open-air life, is apparent from the statement of the Duchesse d'Orléans that she had frequently seen him consume four plates of different soups, a whole pheasant, a partridge, a large plate of salad, a large portion of mutton, two good slices of ham, a plateful of sweetmeats, and fruit and preserves.

Thus, while Louis himself is not entitled to distinction as an epicure, and his personal example failed to furnish inspiration for his cooks, his table was always maintained on a scale befitting his station. There were, besides, dainty entremets to be supplied to La Vallière, Montespan, Fontanges, and Mainte[58]non, and new surprises must perforce be placed before his numerous guests of distinction. Among such dishes was the famous cod, or morue à la crême, which immortalised the Marquis de Béchamel. Like Lucullus and Apicius, moreover, Condé and Fouquet, with their princely revenues and luxurious tastes, appeared to stimulate the art and further the pleasures of the table.

Madame de Montespan, with her temper, naturally proved a good cook, and did not disdain an occasional séance with the stew-pans. She is credited with having invented a sauce and encouraging every art that ministered to the service of the table, even to expending a sum of nine thousand livres for a wine-cooler. Fouquet's table, over which Vatel presided, and subsequently that of Condé under the same artist, to say nothing of the splendidly equipped establishment of Fouquet's successor Colbert, were scarcely less renowned than the kitchens of Versailles. The grand fête in honour of the king given by Fouquet, Marquis of Belle-Isle, at Vaux, will be remembered, as also the jealousy of his Majesty at the lavish hospitality of his superintendent of finance.

Equally sumptuous were the entertainments of the Prince de Condé, in whose cuisine during certain seasons there were regularly consumed as many as a hundred and fifty pheasants a week.

Meanwhile, Molière and Boileau had sung the praises of gastronomy, but not to that degree which was to charm France during the consulate and the empire, when its harp had been touched by the facile fingers of Berchoux.


Numerous cook-books had already appeared and exerted their influence since the "Viandier" first pointed out the way. He who would give a dinner à la Louis XIV should consult "Les Délices de la Campagne," a volume published in 1654, of which many editions were afterwards issued, the author being Nicolas de Bonnefons, valet de chambre of the king. From this treatise one may form an idea of the variety and profusion of the dishes then in vogue, and to what perfection and luxury the science had attained.[9] In the previous year appeared the celebrated "Pastissier François," the Amsterdam edition of which is among the most famous of the Elzevirs—a copy originally priced at a few sous having been sold for ten thousand francs, which would seem a rather exorbitant price to pay for instructions in seventeenth-century pastry-making and preparing eggs for fat and lean days.

The tragic death of Vatel by his own hand, owing to the non-arrival of the sea-fish at Chantilly, is too well known to need narrating. Vatel, the victim of his art, was also an author, having contributed an illustrated treatise on carving entitled "l'Escuyer Tranchant," an accomplishment which he states could scarcely be acquired without the ministration and the precepts of the master—sans la voye et les preceptes du maistre. A paragraph will serve to show the nature and scope of his contribution to culinary literature:


"A carver should be well bred, inasmuch as he should maintain a first rank among the servants of his master. Pleasing, civil, amiable, and well disposed, he should present himself at table with his sword at his side, his mantle on his shoulder, and his napkin on his left arm, though some are in the habit of placing it on the guard of their sword in an unobjectionable manner. He should make his obeisance when approaching the table, proceed to carve the viands, and divide them understandingly according to the number of the guests. Ordinarily he should station himself by the side of his master, carving with knives suitable to the size of the meats. A carver should be very scrupulous in his deportment, his carriage should be grave and dignified, his appearance cheerful, his eye serene, his head erect and well combed, abstaining as much as possible from sneezing, yawning, or twisting his mouth, speaking very little and directly, without being too near or too far from the table."

Assuredly, one who observed such nicety in his carving must have been extremely painstaking in compounding his liaisons. Indeed, the conscientiousness manifest throughout the pages of his manual easily enables one to foresee how his chagrin at the absence of the roast at two of the tables and his not having received the fish at the fête of Condé so preyed upon his mind as to lead him, during a moment of despair, to fall upon his own sword.[10] With his sense of the proprieties so highly keyed, one can also fancy how he must have been shocked on hearing of the prince's awkwardness at a tavern where Condé, after proclaim[61]ing his ability as a cook before a number of companions, ignominiously overturned an omelette into the fire, and was compelled to return the spider to the more skilful hands of the hostess. A similar gaucherie is related of Napoleon I when, one day at the Tuileries, insisting on taking the place of the Empress Marie-Louise, who was making an omelette herself in her own apartments, he awkwardly flipped it on the floor, and was obliged to confess his inaptitude and allow the empress to proceed with her cooking.

During the regency of Philippe d'Orléans, attention became directed to the chemistry of cooking, the dinners of the regent being celebrated for their combination of refinement and art—"for splendidly larded viands, matelotes of the most tempting quality, and turkeys superbly stuffed."

Louis XV, who was himself a practitioner of remarkable skill, continued, with the aid of his cooks—Moustier and Vincent de la Chapelle—to foster the development which his predecessors had promoted. "Who could enumerate," says Mercier, "all the dishes of the new cuisine? It is an absolutely new idiom. I have tasted viands prepared in so many ways and fashioned with such art that I could not imagine what they were." "Louis XV ate astoundingly," says Barbier; "although his stomach was extremely elastic, he forced it to such an extent that his indigestions were of great frequency, and called for constant medication. Already at an early age he became a great drinker of champagne, and set the mode for cold pâtés of larks. The table was the only serious occupation of his life." On hunting-days it was a fre[62]quent practice of the king to give a dinner for his courtiers at which each was called upon to prepare a dish. De la Gorse mentions a dinner given at St. Hubert where all the dishes were prepared by the Prince de Beaufremont, the Marquis de Polignac, and the Ducs de Gontaut, d'Ayen, de Coigny, and de la Vallière, the king on his part contributing the poulets au basilic.

At this period there appeared, among innumerable cook-books, a work of four volumes entitled, "Suppers of the Court," a treatise which has been pronounced one of the best and most complete of its kind.[11] To Louis XV belongs the invention of tables volantes, or, to speak more truly, the revival of tables à la Trimalchio—like those devised during the times of the old Romans—which descended after each course through the floor, to appear reladen with new surprises. It was to this monarch, who insisted that women could not rise to the sublime heights of the cuisine, that Madame du Barry gave the successful supper from which, it was said, originated the order of the cordon bleu for accomplished artisans of her sex. This was the menu, as elaborated by the best cuisinière that the reigning favourite could procure: Coulis de faisan, petites croustades de foie de lottes, salmis de bécassines, pain de volaille à la suprème, poularde au cresson, écrevisses au vin de sauterne, biscuits de pêches au noyau, crême de cerneaux, and fraises au marasquin. Lady Morgan asserts, however, that this title was first given to Marie, a celebrated cuisinière[63] of the tax-gatherer who built the palace of l'Elysée Bourbon. Still another explanation of the term is that it originated with Madame de Maintenon, who established a school at St. Cyr for the education of the orphan daughters of ennobled officers. The pupils were carefully instructed in the culinary art, and to those who excelled a blue ribbon was presented as a badge of reward.

Again, if we accept a reference of Albert Glatigny in one of his two airy poems on old Versailles, the term would appear to concern the Marquise de Montespan, who, as has already been stated, was a cook of no little merit:

"Parfois le soir, au bras d'un militaire Vêtu d'azur, arrogant comme un paon, Un cordon-bleu passait avec mystère, Et l'on disait, 'Louis et Montespan!'" (Sometimes at eve, on arm of cavalier Bedight in blue, like some proud peacock's van, A cordon-bleu pass'd by with mystic air, The while one said, "Louis and Montespan!") In order to captivate the affections of her royal master more readily, the Duchesse de Châteauroux secured the most versatile kitchener who was to be found; and the wily and beautiful Marquise de Pompadour, thinking that the surest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, created filets de volaille à la bellevue, palais de bœuf à la Pompadour, and tendrons d'aigneau à la soleil. But the Louis were proverbially fickle—there were fillettes as well as filets;[64] and while these culinary novelties appealed to the jaded royal palate for the time, they failed to retain the royal affections or wrest the monarch from his life of dissipation.

The refinements of the science were lost upon Louis XVI, whose robust appetite needed only to be appeased by "pieces of resistance"—the art, nevertheless, continuing to flourish under the nobility, the wealthy financiers, and the ecclesiastics. New discoveries continued to be made, and the relation of cookery to man's psychical nature—the affinity of the spirit with the stomach—became more and more apparent. Thus it was observed by the Maréchal de Mouchy, who so valiantly defended the king when the palace was attacked by a mob, that the flesh of the pigeon possesses especial sedative or consoling virtues. It was accordingly his wont, whenever he had lost a relative or a friend, to say to his cook:

"You will serve me with two roast pigeons for dinner; I have noticed that after eating a brace of pigeons I arise from the table feeling much more resigned."

During the Revolution, when the court had ceased to exist and private establishments were no longer maintained, cookery necessarily languished for a period—to blossom anew in that familiar feature of the French capital, the restaurant. Internal dissension, in closing the hôtels of the wealthy, was thus the means of throwing numbers of master-cooks out of employment, who subsequently turned restaurateurs, and not a few of whom became millionaires. With the restaurants, the dealers in delicacies and provi[65]sions increased proportionately, and dining and good living advanced apace.

A striking example of a gastronomer philanthropist is that of the Vicomte de Barras, surnamed le beau, who flourished during the Directory, and who was celebrated for his dinners, his prodigality, and his gallantry. During his later years he continued to entertain sumptuously, although obliged to confine himself to a single dish—a large plate of rusk moistened with the juice of an underdone leg of mutton. At his banquets a lackey was always stationed back of the chair of each guest to see that he was never obliged to wait. Among the countless menus of his entertainments, the following, signed by himself and accompanied by a note in his own handwriting, will show the excellence of his dinners and his solicitude for his guests. It will be noted that, apart from the lavish provision made for the gentler sex in the dessert, the menu was one of quality as opposed to mere quantity:

Carte Dinatoire

Pour La Table Du Citoyen Directeur et Général

Barras, Le Décadi 30 Floréal.

Douze personnes.

1 potage. 2 plats de rôt. 1 relevé. 6 entremets. 6 entrées. 1 salade. 24 plats de dessert.

Le potage aux petits oignons à la ci-devant minime.

Le relevé, un troncon d'esturgeon à la broche.

Les Six Entrées:

1 d'un sauté de filets de turbot à l'homme de confiance, ci-devant [66]maître-d'hôtel.

1 d'anguilles à la tartare.

1 de concombres farcis à la moelle.

1 vol-au-vent de blanc de volaille à la Béchamel.

1 d'un ci-devant St. Pierre sauce aux câpres.

1 de filets de perdrix en anneaux.

Les Deux Plats de Rôt:

1 de goujons du département.

1 d'une carpe au court-bouillon.

Les Six Entremets:

1 d'œufs à la neige.

1 betteraves blanches sautés au jambon.

1 d'une gelée au vin de Madère.

1 de beignets de crême à la fleur d'oranger.

1 de lentilles à la ci-devant reine à la crême au blond de veau.

1 de culs d'artichauts à la ravigote.

1 salade céleri en rémoulade.

Beneath the bill of fare were these remarks, signed "Barras":

"There is too much fish. Leave out the gudgeons; the rest is all right. Do not forget to place cushions on the chairs of the citoyennes Tallien, Talma, Beauharnais, Hainguerlot, and Mirande. And for five o'clock precisely. Have the ices sent from Veloni's; I don't want any others."

The first restaurant is generally said to have been established in Paris about the middle of the eighteenth century (1765) by a cook named Boulanger, in the rue des Poulies, with this device to herald its purpose: Venite omnes qui stomacho laboratis, et ego restaurato vos—"Come all ye that labour with the stomach, and I will restore you." Grimod de la Reynière, however, mentions a certain Champ d'Oiseau as the first[67] of his calling, his establishment being in the rue des Poulies and dating from 1770. The Marquis de Cussy, in turn, who is also a good authority, has credited the signboard of the first Parisian restaurant to a man named Lamy.

The motto and signboard were a conspicuous part of the olden tavern, restaurant, and inn, as well as other shops devoted to retail trade, and one views with regret, both on the Continent and in Great Britain, the increasing disappearance of this picturesque feature. At one time the signboard was obligatory on every landlord and vender of wines and liquors, and scarce a century ago few public places that provided for the entertainment of man and beast were without their illuminated indices.

Among the most common in France was that of La Truie qui file, or the Spinning Pig, in vogue among merchants of provisions. A la Marmite de Gargantua and Aux Moutons de Panurge were favourite signs of restaurants. The frequent Lion d'Or of hotels and taverns often represented a traveller asleep—au lit on dort. Au Cheval blanc, a very popular title, was usually accompanied by the traditional phrase, Ici on loge à pied et à cheval. The traveller who has visited the smaller towns of France and who remembers his dinners will associate many an excellent table d'hôte with the shield of the white charger. Au bon Coign was a sign in favour with wine-shops situated at a corner of a street, while Au Saint Jean-Baptiste was a common device of linen-merchants. A wine-merchant opposite Père-Lachaise had these words printed on his ensign, Ici on est mieux qu'en[68] face. A not unfrequent Parisian signboard was that of an ox dressed with bonnet, veil, and shawl, to signify bœuf à la mode. A pastry-cook's manifesto depicted a little girl climbing up to reach some cakes in a pantry, with the title, A la petite Gourmande. A corset-maker's sign was accompanied by a large corsage, with this explanation of its office, Je soutiens les faibles, je comprime les forts, je ramène les égarés. The emblem of a stocking-maker represented a grisette trying on a new pair of hose and exhibiting her nether charms to an admirer—with the motto, A la belle occasion. Among the wittiest of old enseignes was that of a Paris boot-maker named Nicque, who had for his device a splendid bouquet of flowers, with the inscription Aux Amateurs de la Botte à Nicque. Representations of the sun and the moon were among the oldest and most common signs both on the Continent and in England, the sixteenth-century French poet Désiré Arthus writing in his "Loyaulté Consciencieuse des Taverniers":

"Sur les chemins des grands villes et champs, Ne trouverez de douze maisons l'une, Qui n'ait enseigne d'un soleil, d'une lune. Tous vendant vin, chascun à son quartier." (On roads that wind through town and field, Not one in twelve but flaunts the shield Of sun or moon, whose beams benign Proclaim an inn dispensing wine.) Early in 1800 the rue Vivienne was celebrated for its numerous artistic signs, some of which were sus[69]pended from the lintels, and others painted on the door-posts and window-frames. These, with the picturesque street-criers and the olden sun-dials, have gradually become more and more a thing of the past in the French capital, though they still add to the charm and quaintness of some of the old provincial towns, where modern ways have been more slow to intrude. How, of a gusty day or on the rising of the wind, the old signs creak on their rusty hinges in the dark vaulted streets, telling of the roysterings that have been held within—of the flashing of rapiers and clash of swords, the draining of bumpers and clink of louis d'or!


Facsimile of an old French plate

Previous to the restaurants, the kitchens of the inns, which were usually poor, and the tables d'hôte of some of the hotels had meagrely provided for the wants of those who were unable to provide for themselves in houses of their own. Towards the end of the century the restaurant of Beauvilliers and others were flourishing, that of Beauvilliers closing in 1793 to be reopened with less success at the termination of the Revolution. Robert, former chef of a fermier-général, the distinguished Méot and his scholars Véry, Riche, Hardy, and Roze, were among notable masters of the time. The "Manuel des Amphitryons" (1808) pronounced Robert the elder "the greatest cook of the present age."

About the beginning of the century the table of the great Cambacères was the most renowned in Paris, and M. d'Aigrefeuille was considered the most eminent epicure. The Prince de Talleyrand was also a most distinguished amateur, having been termed "the[70] first fork of his time." At the advanced age of eighty, it was his custom to spend nearly an hour every morning with his cook, discussing the dishes which were to compose the dinner, his only repast. It had long been one of his tenets that a careful and healthful cuisine, presided over by the best artist he could procure, would tend to preserve his health and forefend serious maladies far better than a staff of physicians. For a period of twelve years Carême was his culinary director, with carte blanche to exercise his subtlest skill. Two things, Talleyrand used to say, are essential in life—to give good dinners and keep well with women, a precept he always followed. An axiom of diplomatists and statesmen goes still farther—that poor dinners are conducive to poor diplomacy, and bad ministerial dinners are equivalent to bad laws and bad negotiations.

The first volume of the "Almanach des Gourmands" (1804) is dedicated to M. d'Aigrefeuille, whom the author adjudged most worthy of such pre-eminence—"a connoisseur who is the most erudite arbiter of refined alimentary combinations, and who understands most thoroughly the difficult and little known art of extracting the greatest possible part from an excellent repast." Besides referring to him as setting daily the finest table in Paris, he is extolled as "the guest best adapted to honour an opulent table by his delightful manners, his profound knowledge of the world, and the constantly varied charm of his inexhaustible appetite and conversation."

Beauvilliers, once chef of Monsieur, brother of the king, was also the author of a cook-book which[71] achieved marked success,[12] the writer carrying out in cookery the precept that Délille had applied to gardening:

"Mais ce grand art exige un artiste qui pense, Prodigue de génie et non pas de dépense." (But this grand art demands an artist of taste— Prodigal of genius and devoid of all waste.) In his fluent dedication to the Marquis de Voppalière, the writer says:

"I have not been unmindful of economy, either in the manipulation or the preservation of foods.... I have sought to teach how, with little outlay, one may have exquisite viands, and at the same time derive both health and pleasure. Good living is at once the luxury which costs the least; and perhaps of all pleasures it is the most innocent.... You have always held, monsieur, that Wisdom itself should strew flowers in the midst of the thorns that are inseparable from existence. Often at a banquet Wisdom may renew its moral forces. The bonds of society become narrowed, and rivals or enemies are merged into friends or guests. Persons who are entire strangers to each other share in the intimacy of the family, differences of rank become obliterated, weakness is united to power, manners are polished, and the mind takes a fresh flight (l'esprit électrisé prend un nouvel essor). It is perchance in the midst of banquets in the best society of Paris and Versailles that you have acquired that urbanity which characterises you, that familiarity with the grand monde which is enabled to pronounce on everything at a glance."


Every great cook should be able to say with him, "I have inaugurated reforms, improvements, in order to advance from what is good to what is better." Already, "l'Art du Cuisinier" draws attention to the fact that "new dishes," to a large extent, are not new dishes—a chef supplies some new decoration to a plat, adds to or leaves off some ingredient, and christens it with a different name.

The treatise of Beauvilliers has been pronounced by authorities one of the best on the subject. The style is direct, his menu varied and yet not over-ornate, and his formularies, founded on long experience, even yet denote a superior hand. There can be comparatively little trouble in following many of his recipes, they are so precise—save some of his sauces and certain grand dishes, these calling for preparatory Espagnoles, veloutés, Béchamels, and Allemandes, and a larder beyond the reach of the ordinary cook. There are numerous dishes, of course, that one may not procure at home, however deft the presiding genius. One cannot have a constant stock of elaborate preparatory sauces, truffles, cockscombs, Chablis, or champagne to draw from for a single dish, when desired, without very considerable outlay or waste. A grand sauce, a salmon à la Chambord, or an elaborate entrée requires the appurtenances of a restaurant or a club where cookery is conducted on an extensive scale by a professional, though this by no means implies that a dinner beyond criticism may not be served at one's own home.

Early in the nineteenth century Berchoux published his "Gastronomie," and Grimod de la Reynière ap[73]peared as the versatile author of the "Almanach des Gourmands." By this time cookery was fully able to take care of itself, irrespective of royalty or titled patrons, and the "Almanach" became its greatest oracle and promoter.

Before referring to the "Almanach," which claims a chapter by itself, a word should be said of Berchoux's poetical treatise, the first edition of which appeared in 1801. Recalling Gentil Bernard's "l'Art d'Aimer" in its scope and spirit, this tribute to the tenth muse has been termed one of the most ingenious productions of light French poetry. Free from the grossness that characterises so many French works on the subject, it touches lightly, comprehensively, and entertainingly upon the theme. It was soon translated into numerous languages, and many of its precepts have become proverbial. The advice throughout is excellent, but, as it was observed to the author at the time, "You are all alike, messieurs the poets, you say admirable things; but it is impossible to carry them out."

After passing in review the table of the ancients, and censuring their intemperance and gluttony, the author advises the reader who would live contentedly to choose his residence in Auvergne or La Bresse, under whose favourable skies he may procure everything that ministers to the pleasures of the table:

"Voulez-vous réussir dans l'art que je professe? Ayez un bon château dans l'Auvergne ou La Bresse, Ou près des lieux charmants d'où Lyon voit passer Deux fleuves amoureux tout prêts à s'embrasser.[74] Vous vous procurerez, sous ce ciel favorable, Tout ce qui peut servir aux douceurs de la table." A good cook at once becomes the great desideratum—an artist whom one may bless after having partaken of the courses he has served, an officer who will cause one's table to be envied by all who have shared its good cheer, a seneschal of grave mien and imposing presence, conscientious in his work, prolific in resources, and proud of his art,—

"... qui d'un air important, Auprès de son fourneau que la flamme illumine, Donne avec dignité des lois dans sa cuisine." The interior of the kitchen while the dinner is being prepared is next portrayed with the skill of an Ostade. The charcoal glows, the spits turn merrily, the lustrous copper of the saucepans and kettles catches the ruddy light of the flames. The gravies simmer, and the fowls take on a golden hue. All is excitement, but an excitement tempered by perfect order and harmony. In the midst, surrounded by his subalterns, to whom he issues his commands, stands the chef—impassible, majestic, serene—like a general on the eve of a decisive battle:

"Tel on voit, au moment d'une sanglante affaire, Un prudent général mesurer la carrière. Son courage tranquille et sa noble fierté Commandent l'espérance et la sécurité. La foule l'environne et presse son armure, D'un trouble involontaire il entend le murmure; Peut-être un peu d'effroi s'est glissé dans son sein, Mais son visage est calme, et son front serein." [75]

The pictures he has drawn of the dinner and its service, and his counsels regarding moderation and sobriety, are equally felicitous. Though he himself was no Sybarite, but, like Savarin, was only a gourmand when he had his pen in hand, he is none the less severe on the dietarians:

"En se privant de tout, ils pensent se guérir, Et se donnent la mort par la peur de mourir." Nor has he failed to extol the virtues of exercise, that most potent abettor of health and aid to enjoyment:

"D'un noble appétit munissez-vous d'avance, Sans lui vous gémirez au sein de l'abondance; II est un moyen sûr d'acquérir ce tresor: L'exercise, messieurs, et l'exercise encore: Allez tous les matins sur les pas de Diane, Armés d'un long fusil ou d'une sarbacane, Epier le canard au bord de vos marais; Allez lancer la biche au milieu des forêts; Poursuivez le chevreuil s'élançant dans la plaine; Suivez vos chiens ardents que leur courage entraîne. Partagez sans rougir de champêtres travaux, Et ne dédaignez pas ou la bêche ou la faux." It were in vain to look for a better dining-room motto than his precept:

"Rien ne doit déranger l'honnête homme qui dîne;"[13] or his hygienic maxim:

"Jouissez lentement, et que rien ne vous presse." [76]

Like good wine, his canto has not lost its fragrance through age, and those who read it will almost be inclined to doubt the truth of the concluding line:

"Un poème ne valut jamais un dîner—" unless it be a dîner sans façon, which he has not failed to condemn.

Of other tributes in verse to gastronomy, Colnet's "l'Art de Dîner en Ville"[14] is the next important, but this is by no means to be compared with the canto of Berchoux. And though the language abounds in minor poems on the subject, few of these may be considered seriously, while nearly all offend by their grossness or their halting measures.

Napoleon Bonaparte was not an epicure, though he enjoined upon all the great functionaries of the empire to set a good table. He was in constant dread of growing obese as he became old, was proverbially irregular in his hours of eating, and rushed his food as he would a battalion on the battle-field. His repasts concerned him little so long as they were served the instant his appetite craved, and were accompanied by his favourite Chambertin.

Differing from Napoleon, the eighteenth Louis proved himself a fin mangeur and a worthy gastronomic successor to Louis XV. It was his custom, for instance, to have his chops and cutlets broiled not only on the grill, but between two other cutlets, in order to preserve their juices. His ortolans and small birds[77] were also cooked inside of partridges stuffed with truffles, so that he often hesitated in choosing between the delicate bird and the fragrant esculent. The ortolan was termed by him la bouchée du gourmand, as it was never to be eaten in two mouthfuls. He had even established a testing-jury for the fruit that was served at the royal table, M. Petit-Radel, librarian of the Institute, being the tester of peaches and nectarines.

One day a new variety of peach produced by a gardener of Montreuil having matured, the raiser was anxious to submit it to the king. To do this, however, it was necessary to pass the Jury dégustateur. Accordingly, he presented himself at the library of the Institute, and, holding in his hand a plate of four magnificent peaches, he inquired for the librarian. On being informed that he was busily engaged on some very important work, the gardener insisted, asking only that he be allowed to pass the plate, the fruit, and his arm through the door. Arrested by the partial opening of the door, M. Petit-Radel raised his eyes from a Gothic manuscript he was studying, to discover the peaches and to exclaim twice, with emphasis, "Come in! Come in!"

Then, explaining the object of his visit, the gardener asked for a silver knife, and, quartering a peach, offered one of the portions to the tester, with these words:

"Taste the juice."

With half-shut eyes and impassible features, M. Radel tasted the juice.

"Good, very good, my friend," was his only remark, after a minute's silence.


Whereupon the gardener tendered him the second quarter, saying in a more assured tone:

"Taste the flesh."

Again the judge proceeded with his testing, maintaining a similar silence, until, with an inclination of his head, he remarked:

"Ah! very good! very good!"

"Now savour the aroma," said the gardener.

On this being found worthy of the juices and the flesh, the gardener presented the last morsel.

"Now," said he, "taste all!"

Then, with eyes humid with emotion and a radiant smile upon his lips, M. Radel advanced towards his visitor, and, seizing his hands with the same fervour that he would have manifested in the ease of a great artist, he exclaimed:

"Ah, my friend, the peach is perfection itself! You are to be profoundly complimented, and after to-morrow your peaches will be served at the royal table."

And, carefully removing its three companions from the plate, the gardener was ushered out and the peaches placed by the side of the Gothic manuscript.

During the last years of the reign of Louis XVIII, it was with regret that he perceived signs of the decadence of cookery. "Gastronomy is passing," were his words to Dr. Corvisart, "and with it the last remains of the old civilisation. It belongs to organised bodies, such as physicians, to direct all their energies towards preventing the disruption of society. Formerly France was filled with gastronomers because it numbered so many corporations, the members of which have been annihilated or dispersed. There are now[79] no more farmer-generals, no more abbés, no more monks: the life of gastronomy resides in physicians like you, who are epicures by predestination. It is for you to hear with still greater firmness the weight with which you are laden by destiny. May you wipe out the fate of the Spartans at the pass of Thermopylae!"

But the cry of the decadence of cookery is an ancient one, and occurs periodically, like that of the failure of vintages. It has always existed, and always will exist. It is the old burden, with Ronsard's modification:

"Le temps s'en va, le temps s'en va, ma dame; Las! le temps non, mais nous nous en-allons." (Time hast'neth on, time hast'neth on, my dear; Nay, Time doth stay, and we the journeyers here.) Age and circumstances, surroundings and lack of hygienic observances, may dull the susceptibility of the most appreciative palate; the sense of taste also has its decrepitude. Celebrated chefs pass away, and with them passes the celebrity of famous restaurants. But other artists appear, and fresh successes are achieved—

"Thus times do shift, each thing his turn does hold; New things succeed as former things grow old."[15] [80]

OLD ENGLISH DISHES "In the olde time,

 *    *    *    *    *

When Beefe, Bread & Beere, Was honest mens cheere, and welcome and spare not; And John and his Joane, Did live of their owne, full merily, though but all meanely." Cobbes Prophecies, His Signes and Tokens, 1614. The main attraction of the very early English cook-book, it must be confessed, is its rarity, to which may be added its quaint title-page and foreword, and sometimes its frontispiece and woodcuts. No new salads will be discovered in its repertory to tempt the epicure, or few dishes that will provoke his appetite. The text is usually difficult to interpret, and, beyond singular alimentary mixtures which attest the remarkable receptive qualities of our forefathers, it contains little to interest the aver[81]age reader. In this respect it differs largely from the olden works on gardening, through whose leaves still wantons the breeze of June, and chaffinch, cushat, and throstle sing. The fact is, it requires a master to render even a modern culinary treatise entertaining; the majority of ancient cook-books are for the most part mere curiosities. There is no Andrew Marvell of eating, or Parkinson of dining. "The reflection that appreciates, applied to the science that improves," as M. de Borose has aptly defined gastronomy, is a comparatively recent product, an outcome of advancement and civilising influences, and therefore it is hardly to be looked for in primitive compilations.


From the engraving after A. Cooper, R.A.

A poetical cook-book might have been composed by Walton had he devoted as much attention to the saucepans as he did to the rod; for the "Compleat Angler" shows him to have been fond of a good repast as it was then understood, even to preparing the fish himself with the limited conveniences available at the Thatched House. As it is, some of his numerous recipes and his allusions to barley-wine are poetical in an eminent degree, and cause one to regret that he is not also the author of a "Compleat Housewife." No modern, it is true, would wish to experiment with his prescripts for cooking trout and chavender, unless by proxy; like most of the recipes of the olden school, they are infinitely more amusing to read than they would prove pleasing to savour.

Earliest of the English works on cookery is Alexander Neckam's "De Utensilibus, or Treatise on Utensils," written at the close of the twelfth century, two hundred years anterior to the introduction of[82] parsley in flavouring. In this treatise, which purports to instruct young housekeepers in maintaining a well-ordered establishment, Latin and Norman French are the languages almost exclusively employed. Of other very old works may be enumerated "The Forme of Cury," with its one hundred and ninety-six recipes, compiled by the chief cooks of Richard II; the "Liber Cure Cocorum"; the "Kalendare de Potages dyuers and Leche Metys," dating about 1430; John Russell's "Boke of Nurture," composed about 1450; "The Noble Boke of Cookry," first printed in 1500; "The Boke of Keruynge," or Book of Carving, a small manual printed by Wynkyn de Worde in 1508; and the "Via Recta ad Vitam Longam," or The Right Way to Long Life, of Tobias Venner, a physician of Shakespeare's time. Over any and all of these, some of which exist only in manuscript, the student may burn the midnight oil; black-letter Chaucer being easy sailing compared with the breakers of old cookery books. Much of the so-called scientific cookery of early England was French, though many of the French titles become strangely perverted and are frequently difficult to recognise; as, for instance, "let" for lait, "vyaunt" for viande, "fryit," for froide, "sauke" for sauce, etc. The first works that may be termed English date only from the latter half of the seventeenth century.

The English, four and five hundred years ago, had four meals daily,—breakfast at seven, dinner at ten, supper at four, and livery at eight. Since then, from an early hour in the morning the principal daily meal has advanced equally in France and England through[83] every hour from ten in the forenoon until ten at night. In France in the thirteenth century nine in the morning was the dinner-hour. Henry VII dined at eleven. In Cromwell's time, one o'clock had come to be the fashionable hour, and in Addison's day two o'clock, which gradually became adjourned until four. Pope found fault with Lady Suffolk for dining so late as four, saying young people might become inured to such things, but as for himself, if she would adopt such unreasonable practices he must absent himself from Marble Hill. Four and five continued to be the popular dining-hour among the better classes until the second decade of the century, when dinner was further postponed, from which period it has steadily continued to encroach upon the evening.

The strong stomach of the early Briton, fortified by abundant out-of-door exercise, was proof against dyspepsia, and was enabled to digest the coarsest and most strongly seasoned foods. Whale, porpoise, seal, and grampus were common dishes. Besides such seasonings as ginger, cinnamon, galingale, cloves, garlic, and vinegar, copiously used in preparations where they would seem most incongruous, ale was generously employed. Almond-milk was also a common ingredient, while marrow was in great favour. Of breadstuffs the fifteenth century had an abundant variety,—pain-main, or bread of very fine flour, wheat-bread, barley-meal bread, bran-bread, pease-bread, oat-bread or oat-cakes, hard-bread, and unleavened bread. The poor often used a mixture of rye, lentils, and oatmeal, varied according to the season and district.

The author of the "Book of Nurture" describes him[84]self as usher and marshal to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, delighting in his work and desirous of training worthy successors in the mysteries of managing a well-appointed household:

"An vsshere y Am | ye may beholde | to a prynce of highe degre, that enioyethe to informe & teche | alle tho that will thrive & thee." This exordium is followed by minute directions for carving meats, fish, and fowls; rules for general behaviour; a disquisition on wines, meats, soups, and sauces; a recipe for hippocras; hints to the chamberlain, butler, taster, dinner arranger, etc. The work is both ambitious and elaborate, thoroughly covering the subject as it was comprehended by the writer's predecessors and his own inventive genius. A passage or two from the chapters headed "Diuerce Sawces" and "Sawce for Fische" will give one an idea of the style of his treatise:

"Also to know youre sawces for flesche conveniently, hit provokithe a fyne apetide if sawce youre meat be bie; to the lust of youre lord look that ye haue ther redy suche sawce as hym likethe | to make him glad & mery. "Mustard is meete for brawne | beef or powdred motoun; verdius to boyled capoun | veel | chiken | or bakon; And to signet | & swan, convenyant is the chawdon, Roost beeff | & goos | with garlek, vinegre, or pepur, in conclusioun.[85] "Gynger sawce to lambe, to kyd | pigge, or fawn | in fere; to feysand, partriche, or cony | mustard with the sugure; Sawce gamelyn to heyron-sewe | egret | crane | & plovere; also | brewe | Curlew | sugre & salt | with watere of the ryvere...." It will be seen from this brief extract that Russell's larder was in no wise wanting for the gustatory entertainment of his lordship, his resources being yet more apparent in the chapter relative to the proper sauces for fish:

"Yowre sawces to make y shalle geue yow lerynge: Mustard | is metest with alle maner salt herynge, Salt fysche, salt Congur, samoun, with sparlynge, Salt ele, salt makerelle, & also withe merlynge. "Vynegur is good to salt purpose & torrentyne, Salt sturgeon, salt swyrd-fysche savery & fyne. Salt Thurlepolle, salt whale, is good with egre wyne, Withe powdur put ther-on shalle cawse oon welle to dyne. "Playce with wyne; & pike withe his reffett; the galantyne for the lamprey | where they may be gete; verdius to roche | darce | breme | soles | & molett; Baase, flowndurs | Carpe | Cheven | Synamome ye ther-to sett...." In like manner, the first page or introduction to "The Boke of Keruynge" will present at a glance many of the forms of food that were in use at the time, especial reference being made to the terms employed by the English carver. The writer attacks his subject boldly—much as an old angling-master[86] describes a trout rushing for the palmer-fly at night—and is apparently thoroughly acquainted with his important function:

¶ Here begynneth the boke of Keruynge and sewynge | and all the feestes in the yere, for the seruyce of a prynce or ony other estate, as ye shall fynde eche offyce, the seruyce accordynge, in this boke folowynge.

¶ Terms of a Keruer

Breke that dere lesche yt brawne rere that goose lyft that swanne sauce that capo spoyle that henne frusshe that chekyn vnbrace that malarde vnlace that cony dysmember that heron dysplaye that crane dysfygure that pecocke vnioynt that bytture vntache that curlewe alaye that fesande wynge that partryche wynge that quayle mynce that plouer thye that pegyon border that pasty thye that wodcocke thye all maner of small byrdes tymbre that fyre tyere that egge chyne that samon strynge that lampraye splatte that pyke sauce that playce sauce that tenche splay that breme syde that haddocke tuske that barbell culpon that troute fynne that cheuen traussene that ele traunche that sturgyon vndertraunche yt purpos tayme that crabbe barbe that lopster ¶ Here hendeth the goodly termes. ¶ Here begynneth Butler and Panter. On the title-page of the volume is a picture of two ladies and two gentlemen at dinner, with an attendant[87] bringing a dish, two servants at a side-table, and a jester. The dish was doubtless well spiced with ginger, and washed down with malmsey, clarrey, or renysshe wine, if not with ypocras or some other potent liquid accompaniment.

The expressions "vnbrace that malarde" and "dysmember that heron" assure one that a wild fowl, however coriaceous, must have quickly succumbed to the manipulation of his glittering steel. In no form of carving, whether of meats, poultry, or game, does the skill of the carver appear to greater advantage than in disjointing wild fowl. This indeed calls for a trenchant blade and a thoroughly competent practitioner. Witness the artist who follows every joint and ligament as a stream follows its varying curves, and who lays out the rosy breast just as if it had stopped beating in its flight. The ghosts of many a mallard, broad-bill, and teal must quake in horror when they remember the fate that awaited their earthly lot after their course had been checked by the fowler and they fell into hands unworthy to conduct their post-mortem. But the duck has been avenged by an anonymous bard who has execrated the ruthless matador as he deserves:

"We all look on with anxious eyes When father carves the duck, And mother almost always sighs When father carves the duck. Then all of us prepare to rise And hold our bibs before our eyes And be prepared for some surprise When father carves the duck.[88] "He braces up and grabs a fork Whene'er he carves a duck, And won't allow a soul to talk Until he's carved the duck. The fork is jabbed into the sides, Across the breast the knife he slides, And every careful person hides From flying chips of duck. "The platter always seems to slip When father carves a duck, And how it makes the dishes skip, Potatoes fly amuck— The squash and cabbage leap in space, We get some gravy on our face, And father mutters Hindu grace Whene'er he carves a duck. "We thus have learned to walk around The dining-room, and pluck From off the window-sills and walls Our share of father's duck; While father growls and blows and jaws, And swears the knife was full of flaws, And mother jaws at him because He couldn't carve a duck." In the "Kalendare de Potages dyuers" appears this recipe for A goos in hogepotte: "Take a Goos, & make hure clene, & hacke hyre to gobettys, & put yn a potte, & Water to, & sethe togederys; than take Pepir & Brennyd brede or Blode y-boylyd, & grynd y-fere Gyngere & Galyngale & Comyn, & temper vppe with Ale, and putte it ther-to; & mynce Oynonys, & frye[89] hem in freysshe grece, & do ther-to a porcyon of Wyne."

A strange entremets was one termed Vyolette, accompanied by these directions: "Take Flourys of Vyolet, boyle hem, presse hem, bray hem smal, temper hem vppe with Almaunde mylke, or gode Cowe Mylke, a-lye it with Amyndown or Flowre of Rys; take Sugre y-now, an putte ther-to, or hony in defaute; coloure it with the same that the flowrys be on y'peynted a-boue."

That excellent dish civet of hare was termed Harys in Cyueye, saffron, ale, and vinegar being then utilised in its preparation. Pain perdu figured as Payn pur-dew, and may have been as useful then as now for a simple dessert where a saving of time and material entered into consideration, the olden recipe being not unlike that of modern times. Oysters are presented as Oystres in cevey, Oystres in grauey bastard, and Oystres in bruette. There are also Fylettys en Galentyne, Lange Wortys de chare, Blamanger of Fysshe, Ruschewys of Marw, Pety permantes, Chawettys a-forsed, Flathonys, and similar curious compounds. Meat-and fish-pies were known by the French appellation "crustade," the favourite English pork-pie being apparently unfamiliar to very olden writers, or else so disguised as to be unrecognisable.

Boar-pies were known, however, in Elizabeth's era, when they were esteemed a great dainty. A consignment of these, it is related, was sent by Sir Robert Sydney, while governor of Flushing in The Hague, to his wife as a bait to propitiate the ministers to grant him a leave of absence. The pies were duly presented[90] by Lady Sydney to Lord Essex and my Lord Treasurer, and proved so excellent that the next time the petition of Sir Robert was presented to her Majesty the secretary knelt down, beseeching her to hear him in behalf of her homesick ambassador, and to license his return for six weeks. It is probable that the queen herself did not share in the presents, inasmuch as she remained obdurate to the pleadings of the ministers and the ladies of the court.

Under the rule of Elizabeth, fish formed an important article of diet, statute laws being established for their consumption, with heavy penalties to the offender—a measure adopted for the better maintenance of shipping interests and the lesser consumption of flesh food. Besides the usual Lenten obligations to Neptune, Friday and Saturday of each week were additionally set apart for fish days, an alimentary compulsion which soon became extremely distasteful.

Numerous bills of fare of banquets are given in the "Kalendare," including that of the coronation of Henry IV and the banquet of his second marriage in 1404. It would appear that the ecclesiasts were among the most princely entertainers, as evidenced by the bills of fare of the feast of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln; a dinner given by John Chandler, Bishop of Salisbury; an entertainment held in 1424 on the occasion of the funeral of Nicholas Budwith, Bishop of Bath and Wells; and several others. In point of variety these feasts might rank with those of ancient Rome. Venison, boar's head, veal, oxen, and various pieces of roast figure in the courses. Among the birds and wild fowl were capons, herons,[91] cranes, peacocks, swans, pheasants, and wild geese, together with innumerable smaller kinds, such as plover, fieldfares, partridges, quail, snipe, teal, curlew, woodcock, and larks. But the elaborate banquet where as many as a hundred and four peacocks dressed in their plumage were included among the "subtleties" was by no means a common occurrence, and the accounts of these entertainments, together with the lavish festivities of Christmas, should not be accepted as a criterion of the usual mode of English living among the wealthy. The division line between the rich and the poor, besides, was far more marked than at present, and it is questionable whether even the higher classes, despite their occasional excessive prodigality, maintained the same luxurious state of service the year round as their modern successors.

The many carols on the boar's head and on ale which have come down to us from old MSS. show in what request the one stood as a viand and the other as a beverage. At certain seasons it was the habitual custom to serve a particular dish first, as a boar's head at Christmas,—

"Furst set forthe mustard & brawne of boore, the wild swyne,"— a goose at Michaelmas, and a gammon of bacon at Easter. The boar's head was set upon its neck upon the platter, with an apple or a lemon in its mouth and sprigs of rosemary in its ears and nose, the platter being additionally decorated with garlands. Thus garnished and heralded by trumpets, it was borne to the king's table on a salver of gold or silver by the[92] server, followed by a procession of nobles, knights, and ladies. In Scotland it was sometimes brought to table surrounded by banners displaying the colours and achievements of the baron at whose board it was served. From time immemorial the double loin or baron of beef has been a royal dish, and one especially selected is always sent from Windsor to Osborne to appear at the dinner-table, accompanied by that other Christmas dish, the boar's head, sent of late from Germany. The oldest carol on the boar's head is probably that of the Balliol MS., of which there are numerous versions:

"Caput Apri Refero Resonens laudes domino. The boris hed In hondis I brynge with garlondis gay & byrdis syngynge: I pray you all helpe me to synge, Qui estis in convinio. "The boris hede, I understonde, ys cheffe seruyce in all this londe: wher-so-ever it may be fonde, Scruitur cum sinapio. "The boris hede, I dare well say, anon after the xijth day he taketh his leve and goth a-way. Exiuit tunc de patria." An olden Christmas feast wherein the wild boar forms the pièce de résistance is also figured in King's "Art of Cookery," the only English work except[93] "The Philosopher's Banquet," by "W. B.," that has discoursed on gastronomy to any considerable extent in verse:

"At Christmas time be careful of your fame; See the old tenant's table be the same. Then if you would send up the brawner's head, Sweet rosemary and bays around it spread! His foaming tusks let some large pippin grace, Or midst those thund'ring spears an orange place, Sauce like himself, offensive to its foes, The roguish mustard, dang'rous to the nose. Sack and the well spiced Hippocras the wine, Wassail the bowl with ancient ribbands fine, Porridge with plumbs, and turkeys with the chine." The seventeenth century was prolific of cook-books, most of which continued to republish the ancient recipes, with but slight augmentations or changes. Many of the old-fashioned dishes still appear in "The Art of Cookery Refined and Augmented," a treatise published in 1654 by Joseph Cooper, former kitchener of Charles I. These indigestibilities abound in "The English Housewife" of Gervaise Markham, an early production of the century, which reached its eighth edition in 1675, "much augmented, purged, and made most profitable and necessary for all men, and the general good of this Nation."[16]

It may be assumed that Markham's recipes were not original with him, but were compiled mostly from anterior works; we have no knowledge of his having[94] been a practical cook. For that matter, he states in his dedication to the Countess Dowager of Exeter that he does not "assume to himself the full invention and scope of the work, for it is true that much of it was a manuscript which many years agone belonged to an Honourable Countess, one of the greatest Glories of our Kingdom." The material, therefore, is due mainly to a member of the gentler sex, while Markham is responsible for the liaison. A voluminous author, he did not hesitate to appropriate whatever material he could find on any topic, more especially on husbandry and angling, and send it out as his own. It is well known, for example, that his "Art of Fishing" in his "Country Contentments" is only a prose rendition of Dennys' attractive poem "The Secrets of Angling." He has been spoken of as the first hack writer of England, all subjects seeming to have been alike to him. So that "The English Housewife," which also includes much interesting information on physics, the dairy, etc., may be regarded as virtually a work of the Elizabethan period.


Facsimile of title page

In Markham's treatise there is a sauce for green-geese and one for stubble-geese, a sauce for pigeons and stock-doves, a gallantine for bitterns, bustards, and herns. A quelquechose was a fricassee or a mixture of many ingredients, and meats broiled upon the coals were termed carbonadoes. Verjuice was made from crab-apples, to which damask-rose leaves were added previous to fermentation. Vinegar was frequently made from ale placed in the sun to sour, and flavoured with leaves of damask roses. A recipe for hippocras is naturally given, together with directions [95]for the manufacture of all manner of wines and beverages. Puddings, pies, and tarts were still more familiar then than now. Of pies there was an infinite assortment—from Olave, marrow-bone, hare, chicken, bacon, herring, ling, and calves'-foot to oyster, chewet, Warden, pippin, Codlin, and minc'd. Markham's recipe for "A Herring Pye" will serve as well as any to illustrate the character of the amalgams that passed under the names of pies, puddings, and tarts:

"A Herring Pye:—Take white pickled Herrings of one night's watering, and boyl them a little, then take off the skin, and take only the backs of them, and pick the fish clean from the bones; then take good store of Raisins of the sun, and stone them; and put them to the Fish; then take a Warden or two, and pare it, and slice it in small slices from the core, and put it likewise to the fish; then with a very sharp shredding Knife shred all as small and fine as may be: then put to it good store of Currants, Sugar, Cinnamon, slic't Dates, and so put it into the coffin, with good store of sweet Butter, and so cover it, and leave onely a round vent-hole on the top of the lid, and so bake it like Pies of that nature. When it is sufficiently bak't, draw it out, and take Claret Wine, and a little Verjuyce, Sugar, Cinnamon, and sweet Butter, and boyl them together: then put it in at the vent-hole, and shake the Pye a little, and put it again into the Oven for a little space, and so serve it up, the lid being candied over with Sugar, and the sides of the dish trimmed with Sugar."

But many recipes are given in the cook-books, both in the old and the new, which the wise reader will avoid, and perchance Markham's herring-pie was among the number. It were pleasanter, at any rate,[96] to take John Fletcher's prescription for some contemporaneous dishes, where, after he would have "the pig turn merrily, merrily, ah! and let the fat goose swim," he exclaims:

"The stewed cock shall crow, cock-a-loodle loo, A loud cock-a-loodle shall he crow; The duck and the drake shall swim in a lake Of onions and claret below." The wines and beverages of old corresponded to many of the dishes themselves; which of these was most productive of indigestion it were difficult to state. Hippocras, so generously indulged in, not to mention posset, mead, metheglin, and perry, must have been a potent factor in fomenting the uric-acid diathesis. When to these common beverages are added the fiery, heavy, sweet, and mixed wines that were in general use, it is scarcely surprising that the seeds of gout were sown broadcast, and that the indiscretions of the fathers were visited upon the children unto the existing generation. Even Milton did not escape, while Spenser, Sir William Temple, and a host of worthies who were supposed to be abstemious in their diet were victims to arthritic complaints. How Shakespeare eluded the malady seems a miracle, in view of the existing viands and beverages and the necessary lack of exercise attendant on his literary pursuits. Alexander Neckham, in his twelfth-century treatise, mentions claré and nectar as proper to be found in the cellar or in the storehouse. Claré was a mixture of clear red wine, the best of which came from Guyenne, with honey, sugar, and spices, as distinguished from[97] piment or nectar, a similar compound, but with more substance, founded on the red wine of Burgundy, Dauphiné, etc.

In ancient days the taste was for "strong, sharp, and full-flavoured" wines. Bordeaux, or "claret," as it is now made was unknown. Vitification and vinification were then undeveloped compared with the present time. In place of the existing delicate growths of the Médoc were the fiery wines of Guyenne and Gascony and the heavy products of Provence and Languedoc. It is to be supposed, likewise, that the Rhenish wines at that time were totally different from those of the Rheingau and the Bavarian Palatinate now. But the kinds mostly in vogue were sack and malmsey, muscadel and canary, and "bastard" or malaga, port as yet not having been introduced into England.

The punch-bowl or wassail-bowl, the goddard, caudle-cup and posset-pot, were all in use in England in olden days—punch, or "pauch," however, being a drink of Indian origin, the word meaning five, and so named from its five ingredients: arrack, tea, sugar, lemon-juice, and water. Grog is an English beverage of later introduction. Admiral Vernon, in 1745, having put an end to the use by the English navy of ale, substituted for it rum diluted with water. The admiral was dubbed by the sailors "Old Grog," because of an old cloak of grogram which he always wore in foul weather, and hence it came naturally about that the new potation of the high seas acquired its present name.

Mead, the favourite tipple of Queen Bess, was made[98] by boiling honey and water together, with quantities of spices, herbs, and lemons; when it had stood for three months, the liquor was bottled and was ready to drink six weeks afterwards. Butler, in "The Feminine Monarchy, or History of Bees," draws a distinction between mead and metheglin, making hydromel the generic term. In the old cookery books and "Housewives" we find directions how to make strong Mead and small White Mead. Artificial Frontignac wine was made by boiling water, sugar, and raisins together, adding elder-flowers, syrup of lemons, and ale yeast. "English Champagne" was composed of water, sugar, and currants boiled, with the addition of balm; and, when bottled, a small lump of double-refined sugar was used to impart effervescence. In a somewhat similar manner numerous other forms of wine were compounded, as Saragossa or English Sack, Quince, Mountain, Plum, Birch, and Sage. Perhaps the most bizarre of all ancient concoctions is one termed "Cock Ale," for which this recipe is presented in E. Smith's "Compleat Housewife" (1736):

"To make Cock Ale:—Take ten gallons of ale, and a large cock, the older the better, parboil the cock, flea him, and stamp him in a stone mortar till his bones are broken, (you must craw and gut him when you flea him), put the cock into two quarts of sack, and put to it three pounds of raisins of the sun stoned, some blades of mace, and a few cloves; put all these into a canvas bag, and a little before you find the ale has done working, put the ale and bag together into a vessel; in a week or nine days' time bottle it up, fill the bottles but just above the necks, and leave the same time to ripen as other ale."


A notable advance in the art was accomplished during the latter part of the reign of Charles II, who was somewhat of a cook as well as an epicure. The sirloin of beef is said to owe its name to this monarch, who, dining upon a loin of beef with which he was particularly pleased, inquired the name of the joint, saying its merit was so great that it deserved to be knighted, and that thenceforth it should be called Sir-Loin. The Parisian school soon became fashionable, and numerous works on cookery made their appearance. But, like the fifteenth Louis when intent upon his pleasures at the Parc aux Cerfs, the second Charles, amid his dissolute court and its frail beauties whom Sir Peter Lely has drawn for us, had other matters to engage his serious attention than presiding at the range or posing as a patron of culinary authors. Pies, tarts, and pasties now met with increased favour, and "The Accomplisht Cook, or The Art and Mystery of Cookery" of Robert May, the first edition of which appeared in 1665, became the oracle of feasting and dining. "God and his own conscience," the author states, would not permit him "to bury his experiences with his silver hairs in the grave."

From Pepys' "Diary" one may obtain much information regarding the mode of living at the time. That the English appetite had suffered no decline is apparent from nearly any one of his entries relating to the subject. John and Joan may have continued to live "meanely," but such can scarcely be said of the better classes. Thus, under date of January 26, 1659, Pepys speaks of coming home from his office to my lord's lodgings, where his wife had "got ready a very[100] fine dinner, viz.: a dish of marrow-bones, a leg of mutton, a loin of veal, a dish of fowl, three pullets, and a dozen of larks all in a dish; a great tart, a neat's-tongue, a dish of anchovies, a dish of prawns, and cheese." On March 26, 1660, having guests to dine with him, he says: "I had a pretty dinner for them, viz.: a brace of stewed carps, six roasted chickens, and a jowle of salmon hot for the first course: a tansy, a kind of sweet dish made of eggs, cream, etc., flavoured with the juice of tansy; and two neat's-tongues and cheese, the second. We had a man cook to dress dinner to-day. Merry all the afternoon, talking, singing, and piping on the flageolet."

On another occasion, April 4, 1662, he states that he "was very merry before and after dinner, and the more for that my dinner was great, and most neatly dressed by our own only mayde. We had a fricassee of rabbits and chickens, a leg of mutton boiled, three carps in a dish, a great dish of a side of lamb, a dish of roasted pigeons, a dish of four lobsters, three tarts, a lamprey-pie, a most rare pie, a dish of anchovies, good wine of several sorts, and all things mighty noble, and to my great content." Another of his dinners consisted of "a ham of French bacon boiled with pigeons, and a roasted swan, both excellent dishes." Dining at Sir William Penn's on his wedding anniversary, he mentions, besides a good chine of beef and other good cheer, eighteen mince-pies in a dish—the number of years his host had been married. Again, he speaks of drinking great quantities of claret, and of eating botargo, a sausage made of eggs and the blood of a sea-mullet, with bread and butter; as also[101] of dining on a haunch of venison "powdered and boiled, and a powdered leg of pork; also a fine salmon-pie."

It will be noted how meat, game, and fish-pies prevail, with tarts, marrow-bones, and neat's-tongues as secondary dishes. The roast swan, if a cygnet, may have been rather appetising, but one would feel more secure to leave the lamprey-pie untasted, and allow the "botargo" to be passed on to a neighbour. The salmon-pie, likewise, has an indigestible sound, especially as there are no signs of any Chablis or hock to serve as an antidote. Of course, the virtues of the carp would depend entirely on the sauce, and carp sauces of those days must have been anything but assuring. The "Diary" of Mr. Pepys says nothing of the mornings after his dinners—the true test of a generous repast. It is just as well, therefore, for the reader who has the welfare of his stomach to consider, not to dream of having dined with Pepys or his friends, or to attempt to vie with him in "claret" and "good cheer."

Far more simple, though by no means meagre, was the diet of the rural population. In place of lobsters and fricassees with sack and muscadel, bread, the roast of beef, mutton, and veal, and sound home-brewed ale went to the making of strength and endurance. In the country, the hay-harvest, sheep-shearing, and the wheat-harvest were always occasions for special festivity, where master and men jointly celebrated the fruits of their toil in the fields. Of all such celebrations the Hock-Cart or Harvest-Home, when the last sheaf of wheat had been garnered, was the most pro[102]lific of feasting and merrymaking—a festival which is well described by Herrick, with its attendant bill of fare:

"Come, sons of summer, by whose toil, We are the lords of wine and oil; By whose tough labours and rough hands, We rip up first, then reap our lands. Crowned with the ears of corn, now come, And to the pipe sing harvest home. Come forth, my lord, and see the cart Dressed up with all the country art.... Well on, brave boys, to your lord's hearth, Glitt'ring with fire, where, for your mirth, Ye shall see first the large and chief Foundation of your feast, fat beef; With upper stories, mutton, veal, And bacon which makes full the meal, With several dishes standing by, As here a custard, there a pie, And here all-tempting frumenty. And for to make the merry cheer, If smirking wine be wanting here, There's that which drowns all care, stout beer, Which freely drink to your lord's health, Then to the plough (the commonwealth), Next to your flails, your fans, your vats; Then to the maids with wheaten hats; To the rough sickle, and the crook'd scythe, Drink, frolic boys, till all be blythe...." The era of Queen Anne, a noted gourmande, who achieved the feminine distinction of acquiring the gout, was marked by the appearance of a work on "Royal Cookery, or the Complete Court Book"[103] (1710), by Patrick Lamb, Esq., chef to her Majesty, who had previously served Charles II, James II, and William and Mary. Pope's description in the "Dunciad" would indicate that cookery was in a flourishing state under the last of the Stuarts:

"On some a priest succinct in amice white Attends; all flesh is nothing in his sight! Beeves, at his touch, at once to jelly turn, And the huge boar is shrunk into an urn; The board with specious miracles he loads, Turns hares to larks, and pigeons into toads. Another (for in all what one can shine?) Explains the sève and verdeur of the wine." In 1730 appeared "The Compleat Practical Cook, or A new System of the whole Art and Mystery of Cooking," a work with sixty curious copperplates of courses, written by Charles Carter, cook to the Duke of Argyll, the Earl of Pontefract, and Lord Cornwallis. In the preface to his "City and Country Cook" the author says: "What I have published is almost the only book, one or two excepted, which of late years has come into the world, that has been the result of the author's own practice and experience; for though very few eminent practical Cooks have ever cared to publish what they knew of the art, yet they have been prevailed on, for a small premium from a Bookseller, to lend their names to performances in this art, unworthy their owning."

The titles of many of the early cook-books are not wanting in quaintness or directness, as the case may be, however devoid of practical worth their contents.[104] Thus we find the following among a host of other English works relating to the subject:

The Good Husive's Handmaid, 1550. The Householder's Philosophie, 1588. The Good Housewife's Closet of Provision, 1589. Butte's Dyets Dry Dinner, 1599. Dawson's Good Huswife's Jewel and rare Conceits in Cookry, 1610. The Book of Carving and Serving, 1613. A Closet of Delights for Ladies, 1630. A Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1630. Murrell's Cookerie and Manner of making Kickshawes, etc., 1630. The Philosopher's Banquet, 1633. The Schoolmaster, or Teacher of Table Philosophy, 1652. The Ladies' Companion, 1653. The Treasury of Commodious Conceits and Hidden Secrets, 1653. The Ladies' Cabinet Opened, 1655. Nature unembowelled, or 1720 Receipts, 1655. The True Gentlewoman's Delight, 1671. The Gentlewoman's Cabinet Unlocked, 1675. The Queen-Like Closet, or Rich Cabinet, 1675. The School of Grace, or A Book of Nurture, 1680. Rose's School for the Officers of the Mouth, 1682. The Queen's Closet Opened, 1683. Hannah Wooley's Rare Receipts, 1684. The Accomplisht Ladies' Delight, 1686. The Kitchen Physician, 1688. The Cupboard Door Opened, 1689. The Queen's Cookery, 1709.[105] Incomperable Secrets in Cookery, 1710. Cookery and Pastry Cards, 1720. The Young Lady's Companion, 1734. E. Smith's Compleat Housewife, 1736. The Family Piece, 1741. Adam's Luxury and Eve's Cookery, 1744. Sarah Jackson's Cook Director, 1755. The Cook's Cookery, and Comments on Mrs. Glasse, 1758. Mary Smith's Compleat Housekeeper, 1772. Sarah Harrison's Housekeeper's Pocket-Book, 1777. Mrs. Fisher's Prudent Housewife, 1788. Dr. Stark's Dietetical Experiments, 1788. Mrs. Carter's Frugal Housewife, 1810. Mrs. Powel's Art of Cookery, 1811. Mrs. Price's New Book of Cookery, 1813. The School of Good Living, 1814. Young's Epicure, 1815. Haslehurst's Family Friend, 1816. Chamber's Ladies' Best Companion, 1820. Here are manuals enough, in all conscience, to have produced a progressive cuisine, were not the majority a repetition of the crudities and barbarisms of their antecedents, where one heresy was passed on to be augmented by another author, and by him transmitted to his successors. Essentially differing from France, England was unblessed with originality, and not until the influence of the splendid restaurants of the Parisian capital had extended across the Channel did the Briton awaken from his lethargy and cease to see through Mrs. Glasse and Mrs. Smith darkly. Then[106] Ude and Kitchener, Francatelli, Walker, and Soyer appeared, to pave the way for a better condition of cookery in the kingdom.

That the works referred to, where one has the facilities of consulting them and the patience to peruse them, are not entirely lacking in wit will be obvious if only from the repetition—in her "Compleat Housewife," by Mrs. Smith, who professes "to serve the publick in what she may"—of Ray's proverb, "God sends meat and the devil sends cooks," as well as from her namesake's rendition in the "Compleat Housekeeper" of sauce Robert as "Roe-Boat sauce," omelette as "Hamlet," and soupe à la reine as "Soup a la Rain." Neither should a really witty quatrain from "The Philosopher's Banquet," whose aroma almost suggests the spikenards, musks, and galbanums of the "Hesperides," be allowed to pass unnoticed:

"If Leekes you like, but do their smelle dis-leeke, Eat Onyons, and you shall not smelle the Leeke; If you of Onyons would the scente expelle, Eat Garlicke, that shall drowne the Onyons' smelle." It has been said of garlic that every one knows its odour save he who has eaten it, and who wonders why every one flies at his approach. But the onion tribe is prophylactic and highly invigorating, and even more necessary to cookery than parsley itself. What were a salad without the onion, whey-cheese without chives, a bouillabaisse, or a brandade of cod without garlic, certain soups and ragoûts without leeks, and a bordelaise sauce without shallots! And if every one eat them, how shall they offend? "All Italy is in the fine,[107] penetrating smell; and all Provence; and all Spain. An onion-or garlic-scented atmosphere hovers alike over the narrow calli of Venice, the cool courts of Cordova, and the thronged amphitheatre of Arles. It is only the atmosphere breathed by the Latin peoples of the South, so that ever must it suggest blue skies and endless sunshine, cypress groves, and olive orchards. For the traveller it is interwoven with memories of the golden canvases of Titian, the song of Dante, the music of Mascagni."[17] In like manner, the wild leek that strews the woodland carpet with its cool, fresh greens and pale, nodding flowers is associated with one's first spring rambles, while yet the snowbanks linger amid the sheltered hollows and the summons of the first flicker resounds through the awakening groves. Decidedly, life were devoid of a great portion of its fragrance if deprived of the resources of the Allium. It is the salt of flavourings, and its rich pungency belongs to it alone.

Most famous among culinary treatises of the eighteenth century is that of Mrs. Glasse, first printed in 1747, and republished as late as 1803.[18] For a long period this was the vade mecum of the kitchen, and was fondled as fervently by housewives as was ever Addison by the literarian, or Herbert by the pietist. From the original thin folio it gradually broadened through numerous editions into a thick octavo. The authorship of the work is in doubt, it having been vari[108]ously attributed to Dr. Hill and Dr. Hunter, London physicians, and Mrs. Hannah Glasse of Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, habit-maker to the royal family. Careful perusal, nevertheless, would indicate a feminine instead of a masculine hand. The first edition of 1747 is said to be almost as rare as the first folio of Shakespeare, being quoted, "in the original sheep binding with rough leaves in a red morocco case," as high as £31 10s. in a recent catalogue of a London bookseller.

It is stated in the preface that the work has not been written in the "high-polite style," and that the ends the manual was intended for were to "improve the servants and save the ladies a great deal of trouble." The book owes its reputation, no doubt, more to the remark erroneously credited to the author—"First catch your hare"—than to any other cause. Certainly its recipes have little to recommend it. Mace, cloves, nutmeg, and similar spices—ingredients that require the nicest discrimination in their employment—are still prescribed in cyclopean quantities, and under her régime cookery continued to remain much in the condition described by Goldsmith:

"For palates grown callous almost to disease, Who peppers the highest is surest to please." Many of the old dishes, with others slightly modified, find place in her pages, together with new dishes of singular titles: as, for instance, "Bombarded Veal," "How to fricassee Skirrets," "to prepare an Oxford John," "to make a Cheese-Curd Florendine," "to stew[109] Beef Gobbets," "to make a Pellaw the Indian way," "to make a Frangas Incopades," "to French a Hind-Saddle of Mutton," "to make a Hedge-Hog," and "an Hottentot Pie," "to make an excellent Sack-Posset," etc. But the recipes will speak best for themselves, like the following for making "A Good Brown Gravy":

"Take a half a pint of small beer, or ale that is not bitter, and half a pint of water, an onion cut small, a little bit of lemon-peel cut small, three cloves, a blade of mace, some whole pepper, a spoonful of walnut pickle, a spoonful of catchup, and an anchovy; first put a piece of butter into a saucepan, as big as a hen's egg, when it is melted shake in a little flour, and let it be a little brown; then by degrees stir in the above ingredients, and let it boil a quarter of an hour, then strain it, and it is fit for fish or roots."

The directions for "A Liver-Pudding boiled" call for additional skill and thorough familiarity with the art of the charcutier:

"Get the liver of the sheep, when you kill one, and cut it as thin as you can, and chop it; mix it with as much suet shred fine, half as many crumbs of bread or biscuit grated, season it with some sweet herbs shred fine, a little nutmeg grated, a little beaten pepper, and an anchovy shred fine; mix all together with a little salt, or the anchovy liquor, with a piece of butter, fill the crust and close it; boil three hours."

In Mrs. Smith's "Compleat Housewife" (1736) we find these instructions, entitled "To Collar A Pig":

"Cut off the head of your pig; then cut the body asunder; bone it, and cut two collars off each side...."


In Mrs. Glasse's injunctions for roasting a pig, the author is yet more colourful:

"Stick your pig just above the breast-bone, and run your knife to the heart...."

It will be immediately evident that injustice has been done to this noble and worthy companion of man—that of confounding him with the hare, whose only practical use is in a civet or a pie, and in furnishing amusement in coursing. For neither in "The Art of Cookery" nor in her "Compleat Confectioner" does Mrs. Glasse utter the axiom, "First catch your hare," but, as we have seen, "First stick your pig"! It was Beauvilliers who said, in presenting his recipe for hare-pie: "Ayez un lièvre."

Among the dishes presented in "The Art of Cookery" which will be appreciated by the feminine reader is one termed "A Bride's Pie," which no doubt was considered fully worthy the appellation of an old culinary writer—"a darling dainty":

"Boil two calves' feet, pick the meat from the bones, and chop it very fine, shred small one pound of beef suet, and a pound of apples, wash and pick one pound of currants very small, dry them before the fire, stone and chop a quarter of a pound of jar raisins, a quarter of an ounce of cinnamon, the same of mace and nutmeg, two ounces of candied citron, two ounces of candied lemon cut thin, a glass of brandy and one of Champagne, put them in a china dish with a rich puff paste over it, roll another lid and cut it in leaves, flowers, figures, and put a glass ring in it."


It may have been some of Mrs. Glasse's compounds that prompted Johnson's remark, "Women can spin very well, but they cannot make a good book of cookery." Many other works during the eighteenth century succeeded "The Art of Cookery," though none achieved its marked popularity. Sufficient has been said of ancient English manuals, however, to present some idea of their quality and enable the reader to judge of the culinary science as it was understood by former generations. Far more slow to develop than in France, English cookery has still much to attain among both the middle and well-to-do classes, and even in the case of most of the restaurants and hotels; the era has not yet dawned in Great Britain when, on arising from the dinner-table, one may truly exclaim:

"Fate cannot harm me, I have dined to-day!"


L'ALMANACH DES GOURMANDS[19] "Tout s'arrange en dinant dans le siècle où nous sommes, Et c'est par des dîners qu'on gouverne les hommes." Cassimir Delavigne: Les Comédiens. Reasoning from the standpoint that the stomach is the great motor of vital energy, it may justly be adduced that everything which contributes to a perfect balance of its mechanism is of inestimable importance. As, moreover, the true function of improved cookery is to second hygiene and to replace medicaments by ingenious combinations of natural products, it will be readily apparent that a [113]good cook and a good writer on cookery—a cook who can compose and a writer who can suggest and stimulate—at once become of even greater value than a college of physicians.


A. B. L. Grimod de Reynière, né à Paris le 20 9bre, 1756

From an old print

These desirable qualifications belong preëminently to the French, as brewing belongs to the Germans, weaving to the Orientals, sculpture to the Italians, and mechanical invention to the Americans. The same facilities present themselves in many countries—it has remained for France to perfect them and create a literature on the subject distinctively its own. The Frenchman may keep on his hat during the entr'actes of a play and be forever wrangling with his mode of government, but he has taught the world how to dine. "Let me have books!" cries Horace; "Let us have cooks!" exclaims the Gaul. And with the cooks come the cook-books—the meditations, codes, almanacs, physiologies, manuals, and guides.

In considering those works that have treated most pleasingly of the art with which mankind is so directly concerned thrice a day, that of Brillat-Savarin stands foremost. He is the Addison of the dinner-table, as instructive as he is diverting, and his brilliant disquisition will remain a classic so long as dinners endure. But Grimod de la Reynière, whose contributions Savarin passed by in silence, had preceded him and had first enlightened the past century in regard to what Molière has termed la science des bons morçeaux. Let justice be rendered where justice is due—the "Physiology of Taste" is indebted in no little degree to the "Almanac of the Epicures." Had La Reynière possessed as much refinement as Savarin, had he[114] observed greater concentration, and had he refrained from the frequent puffery of mercantile establishments, the "Almanach" might not be numbered to-day among unjustly forgotten books. But he is not alone in his references to the tradesmen: even Savarin is guilty of shop-puffery to a limited extent—a trait almost universal among French writers on gastronomy, though none have vied with La Reynière in immortalising a maker of pâtés or in elevating a vender of truffles to the dignity of a minister of state.

The fact that he was afflicted with a deformity of his hands, and that his numerous volumes and contributions to the press were written with an artificial member, renders his literary labours the more surprising. A fluent writer, whose humour and verve sparkle from every page of his subject proper, it is to be regretted that he is so little known by the present generation, for the eight rare little volumes which comprise the "Almanach des Gourmands" may be classed among the most sprightly and learned dissertations relating to the pleasures of the table. Numerous almanacs have succeeded his. But these are like harmonicas compared with a Stradivarius, or the "Confessions of Rousseau" contrasted with the "Life of Cellini." A veritable storehouse of epicurean lore, his unique treatise should be republished, with its eulogiums left out, and its finer fancies and wealth of culinary teachings retained to instruct and charm anew. In a revision of the work, these allusions to the fournisseurs could be omitted to advantage, and thus a most useful treatise be presented in a much more concise form.


It should be stated, in justice to the author, that his references to alimentary dealers and wine-merchants were not all of a laudatory character. His pills were not wholly sugar-coated; any delinquent who merited censure was summarily dealt with. The "Almanach" wielded a powerful influence, and could make or mar. From the very first year of its appearance it asserted its sway, a supremacy that no one ventured to contest. Its decrees were inexorable, and woe to the restaurateur who failed in a matelote, the dealer who was lacking in courtesy, the merchant who was guilty of over-charging, or the purveyor whose wares were found wanting. The editor's caustic pen was as dreaded as it was respected. A paragraph rendered a furnisher famous, a disparaging line caused a shop to be avoided. Its edicts were a Vehmgericht from which there was no appeal. Thus it maintained a surveillance and an influence that were not without their excellent results—a censorship that would be invaluable in the present days of adulterations.

Written in a more serious vein is the "Manuel des Amphitryons," a large octavo dealing with the art of carving, bills of fare for each season, and table proprieties.[20]

This volume is valuable chiefly for the great variety of its menus—the joint production of the author and the presiding genius of the Rocher de Cancale when[116] Parisian cookery had attained its greatest distinction. The menus, each of which is commented upon at length, are remarkable for their elaborateness and diversity, and illustrate the great inventive resources of the period. Any one of those that are designed for sixty covers would seem sufficient, with judicious selection and by the substitution of a few dishes, according to the season, to serve throughout the year. The last division of the volume, relating to table usages, is covered in the "Almanach," as is also some of the matter of the first division.

It is in the "Manuel" that we find the gifted author in his most serious mood and most impressed with his responsibilities. To guide the capricious stomachs of a great capital in the right way, to instruct unerringly in the grand art du savoir vivre, to give a new impetus to a refinement that the Jacobins and the Directory had well nigh relegated to oblivion, was a task that might not be entered upon lightly or undertaken without a grave sense of its importance.

The bills of fare are veritable morsels to turn over on the tongue. For if, as La Fontaine avers, le changement de mets réjouit l'homme—how important that man's daily change be an appetising one! And yet one may well rejoice that he lives in an age when a good dinner may be composed of a simple soup, a perfectly cooked fish, an entrée, a bird, and a salad, with a good wine served at its proper temperature. Cookery has changed with time, and the "manual" of a host of to-day differs as much as does his costume from that of a century ago. This is not saying that on a stimulating winter's day it were not worth a walk[117] of many a league to dine where the menu had been superintended by the author of the "Manuel" and executed by the Rocher—if that were possible at present.

Alexandre-Balthazar-Laurent Grimod de la Reynière was born in Paris, November 20, 1758. His early life was an adventurous one, and after first identifying himself with belles-lettres he studied and practised law, besides engaging in various artistic, literary, and mercantile pursuits. In his thirty-ninth year he became enamoured of an actress—Mlle. Mézeray—to which circumstance the world is largely indebted for the "Almanach" and the "Manuel des Amphitryons." On declaring his passion with all the fervour of a highly impressionable nature, only to meet with a repulse, he determined to look to gastronomy for consolation, a resolve he at once expressed in poetic form under the title "My Abnegation," the poem being addressed to "A Celebrated Actress" and published in a dramatic journal of which he was the editor. A stanza may be cited:

"De vrais amis, un doux asile, Des dîners fins et délicats: Voilà pour mon âme tranquille, Qui vaut mieux que des hélas!" (True friends a few, a nice abode, And dinners fine and recherchés— Far better such for peace of mind Than Love's refrain, "Ah, lack-a-day!") This sentiment would show him to have been a true philosopher, accepting the situation placidly, and rec[118]ognising that in love there is always one who kisses and the other who extends the cheek. "Fine and delicate dinners!"—therein, of a truth, may be found a marvellous panacea for lacerated affections and the buffets of the world. To be sure, he had already belonged for many years to a society known as the Société des Mercredis, composed of seventeen members, who were in the habit of dining weekly at the Rocher de Cancale, then the most celebrated restaurant of Paris. But it was not until Cupid frowned, in the person of Mlle. Mézeray, that he turned seriously to gastronomy and made it a profession. The fact that he had already been married for ten years in no wise detracts from the value of his recipe—a medication for melancholy that has been overlooked in the "Anatomy." The key-note of his verses on the occasion was emphasised by a postscript extolling the pleasures of the table, a paragraph that appeared subsequently in an amended form in the "Almanach." Already in this ebullition of a misogynist for the moment, we detect the redundant fancy and familiarity with his theme which marked the great gastronomer who was soon to wield his facile pen in the interests of the science of which he became the exponent-in-chief:

"The author of this abnegation, who some day intends publishing a panegyric of gastronomy, has always regarded the pleasures of good cheer as the first of the mind and the senses. It will be acknowledged that these are the first one enjoys, and those that may be most often multiplied. Who may say as much of the rest? Is there a woman, however beautiful, who is worth these admirable red partridges of Languedoc or Cévennes; these pâtés de foie of geese and ducks which[119] will forever celebrate the cities of Toulouse, Auch, and Strassburg; these stuffed tongues of Troyes; these sausages of Arles that render the pig so estimable and so precious? Can one compare a pretty, simpering face with these splendid sheep of Ganges and the Ardennes whose flesh fairly melts in one's mouth? What comparison can be made between a piquante face and these pullets of Bresse, these capons of Mans?... Who would oppose to these delights the caprices of a woman, her poutings, her vagaries, her refusals, and even her favours?"

In quite a different strain, a few years later, we shall hear him compare a peach—ripe, rosy, juicy, and melting—to lovely femininity, and in the amended form of the note that accompanied his renunciation perceive his greater delicacy of touch, as well as mark his conversion to the doctrine of Désaugiers:

"Pour être aimé des belles, Aimons; Un beau jour changent-elles, Changeons!" (To win the favours of the fair, Be bold; If then they lack in debonnaire, Be cold!) a postulate that may have its drawbacks, but nevertheless offers its advantages.

It is with an author's work, however, and not with his personal traits that the public is mainly concerned, and of La Reynière's literary productions the "Almanach" constitutes his greatest claim to distinction.[120] So closely is this associated with the famous Jury dégustateur, of which he was the founder, secretary, and mainspring, that one may scarcely be considered without the other—the "Almanach" was the jury, and the jury was the "Almanach."

The tribunal, which was formed for the purpose of influencing and ameliorating the provisions and food products of the Parisian market, was composed of an indefinite number of jurors, though these never exceeded twelve or were less than five. Each of the judges was a tried epicure, eating and drinking whatever he was asked to pass upon, without knowing the names of the contributors, in order that everything submitted might be estimated in strict accordance with its merits. Dr. Gastaldy, an eminent physician, was chosen president, La Reynière preferring the secretaryship, with its more arduous duties. The president is described as one who added to the finest palate and the most practised tact the largest experience, and who combined all the advantages that might result from profound theory and active practice. It is related of him that on a certain occasion, when reminded by a lady that he was taking a large portion of macaroni after a very plenteous repast, he observed: "Madame, macaroni is heavy, it is true, but it is like the Doge of Venice: when he arrives one must make room for him—every one stands aside." The Marquis de Cussy, who declared, "Roasting is at once nothing and the infinite," and whom La Reynière termed the first gastronomer of the age, was a no less distinguished member. He was also an entertaining writer on gastronomy, and contributed some articles anony[121]mously to the "Almanach," his greatest literary fame resting on his "Art Culinaire."


Frontispiece of the fifth year of the "Almanach des Gourmands"

The meetings of the society took place weekly at the residence of the secretary, the sittings occupying five hours. That these séances were of a philanthropic as well as a sybaritic nature is apparent from the preface to the second year of the "Almanach," where the editor states that he will regret neither the pains nor the indigestions his duties entail, if the national glory in every branch of the alimentary art be only impelled to renewed progress.

It was the secretary's place to take note of all controversies and decisions, which he afterward drew up and elaborated, submitting his reports to the president at the following meeting for verification. An extract of these decisions, duly collated, was sent to the interested persons. All forms of eatables and drinkables constituted part of the jury's deliberations, and of these contributions only a single sample was passed upon at a time. When the judgments were unfavourable to the artist whose handiwork had been submitted, he was advised accordingly, in order that he might correct and that at a subsequent test of the same object he might prove that he had profited by the disinterested verdict. If he refused to do so, the decision was printed in the following "Almanach" as it originally stood. It was noted that many merchants and culinary artists lived on their reputations, taking advantage of a formerly celebrated name to deceive the public and abuse its confidence long after they had ceased to merit it, whilst, on the other hand, an obscure person endowed perchance with great talent and zeal[122]ous in his art was not unfrequently the inventor of productions worthy of the greatest masters. It was the purpose of the jury and its exponent to expose the former and rescue the latter from oblivion.

Naturally, these attacks on the manufacturers and venders often brought their rejoinders, some of which were by no means devoid of interest, as, for instance, a letter from a certain M. Grec, a merchant who had sold a spoiled pate to a customer and refused to take it back in exchange for other merchandise:

"I am at a loss to comprehend, Monsieur, why you should have attached an infamous note to my name in the fifth year of your 'Almanach.' A lawyer who is not without reputation wished me to attack you in return, telling me I could lead you a merry chase (que je pourrais vous mener loin). I did not care to follow his advice, because I reflected that your book and its author are far from being makers of reputations, either for good or for bad; perhaps the public, which appreciates you at your true value, has formed an opinion directly contrary to that you express.

"On this hypothesis, far from having to complain of you, I owe you my thanks. To this end, I have even thought of offering substantial proof by sending you a fine truffled turkey whose aroma, penetrating your olfactories, would exercise its benign influence, and inspire a good word for me in the future. But I restrain myself, for the reasons I have just stated and the fact that any good you might say might have the effect of injuring me in the eyes of the public.

"All things considered, I will keep my turkey to eat with my friends and with the person who was kind enough to lend me his pen; for as a stranger and a simple merchant, I do not pride myself on writing, but on honestly conducting my busi[123]ness. Besides, have no fears, we will drink to your health and to the preservation of one of the most useful men of the state."

The fine irony throughout the letter will assuredly commend itself to the reader, as it undoubtedly nettled the editor. The reference to the truffled turkey—and this was to have been a dinde truffée—was notably the stroke of a master, artfully designed to hit the recipient in a tender spot, an under-thrust that could not have failed to tell. But however great the editor's disappointment,—for one remembers his appetising essay, "Des Dindes Braisées," wherein he specifies that the turkey should be well perfumed with truffles,—he was more than equal to the occasion by retaliating that the lawyer could hardly proceed as far as the pâté if it still remained in the shop of M. Grec, and had been left to itself; for it had already begun to march of its own accord. The writer's decision to keep the turkey is referred to as in excellent taste withal, in comparison with the fate of the pâté.

Nor was an exposé of a guest who had served a large and inferior pâté at a rural outing, furnished by a vulgar artist—claiming it as one of the incomparable productions of a celebrated maker—less merited and severe. The pâté was pompously announced as coming from the fragrant ovens of a certain M. Le Sage.

"At the mention of this revered name" [says the editor], "the attention of all the guests was directed to the piece, the opening of which was eagerly awaited.

"This pâté was at first sight very inviting, but no sooner[124] was the crust removed than we perceived from the enormous void that it could not have been made by M. Le Sage, whose pâtés are always well filled, and are garnished in addition with a blond of veal that renders them easily distinguishable.

"The one in question, which was presented as a pâté of ham of Bayonne, offered merely an indigestible mixture of ordinary ham, dried and spoiled, interspersed with chunks of tough veal; the crust corresponded to the interior, and the stuffing to the whole.

"We indignantly protested that such a pâté could not emanate from the manufactory of M. Le Sage; but the donor insisting stoutly that he had himself purchased it from him, he was believed, in spite of the fact that he was a man of the law.

"We had our doubts, notwithstanding; for it is less rare to find a lying knave than a detestable pâté emanating from M. Le Sage, who, through the assertion made, found himself dishonoured in the estimation of thirty people."

The result of the author's conviction was a letter to the injured party, the latter's prompt appearance at the office of the offender, a written apology by the culprit, and a promise to the editor of the "Almanach" that he would atone for his crime by producing a pâté whose authenticity could not be questioned,—"which still remains for him to do," adds the editor, no doubt with a sigh of disappointment. In view of these denunciations, one may readily understand that the products submitted to the jury must have been, almost without exception, of a very high order of merit. With such a rigid arbiter, few would care to incur his censure or render themselves subject to his lash. The frequent references to the venders, therefore,[125] served a treble purpose—that of stimulating the art of cookery, exposing knavery, and sumptuously regaling the table of the tribunal.

There is this besides to be said in extenuation of the frequent references to the pâtissiers and rôtisseurs—that, being specialists, they were more likely to advance an art than the average person, however familiar with the principles of cookery, who was not in possession of the mechanical accessories of the professional, or who was not accustomed daily to turn his hand to practical account.

To become a member of the jury, a unanimity of votes was necessary, rank or social status being a secondary consideration to gastronomic accomplishments and brilliancy of appetite and mind. Women were not excluded, and, strange to relate, among these was Mlle. Mézeray, a striking proof that time can cool the warmest love to friendship. But flounces and laces were allowed no voice in the solemn deliberations of the tribunal. It might be pleasant to see a pretty gourmande under arms, and have her join in the coup du milieu which was always obligatory, but how might petticoats decide upon the fate of a suprême or a truffled pâté! "Women," says La Reynière, "who sometimes assist at the séances, have no deliberative voice—one can readily understand the reason." With a palate vitiated by sweets, her discernment must prove unreliable, and there would always be the danger of her prejudicing a susceptible member through her allurements and coquetries.

The tribunal had its own codes and rules, which were as fixed as the stars. Among these was that no[126] one should speak ill of any one with whom he had dined, for a period proportionate to the importance of the dinner. Each guest was provided with a menu in advance, of which the contributions from outside sources to be adjudged formed only a part. The dinner proper was prepared by the cordon-bleu of La Reynière. In ease of inability to attend, an excuse was obligatory not later than twenty-four hours before the time specified, while a failure to be present after having accepted was punishable by a fine of five hundred francs. This rule was inflexible, as Mlle. Mézeray found to her cost when, having disregarded it, she was banished from the séances for three years, returning, at the expiration of her sentence, only in time to assist at the final meeting of the jury in May, 1812.

A quarter of an hour's grace was allowed with reference to the set time of the dinner—not a moment more: a rule the modern host would do well to imitate. Every minute after the prescribed hour for the repast that one is forced to wait for tardy guests becomes a penance to those who are punctual, besides the inconvenience it causes to the entertainer and the cook. La Reynière's fifteen minutes of grace is all-sufficient. During his reign, indeed, there were some who closed their doors to all comers that failed to appear at the precise hour. For the use and greater convenience of the jury, he invented the speaking-tube communicating from the dining-room to the kitchen; the table volante, as we have seen, was already in use, and the ascending and descending slide was known.

Let it not be inferred, however, that he considered[127] himself a gourmand in the strict sense of the term, despite the title of the work with which he is most closely associated, and the fact that the weekly sittings of the gustatory jury occupied five hours. He would doubtless have drawn the distinction between a gourmand and a gourmet most sharply had such a possibility entered his mind as a dinner of innumerable courses and water, compared with an extended repast of scientifically prepared dishes and their complementary wines. In the former case he could scarcely have projected, much less have completed, the "Almanach," to say nothing of having overtaken his eightieth year. For that matter, he is careful to state, in a letter to the Marquis de Cussy, touching upon the light in which he was placed before the public, that with pen in hand he was always a gourmand, but when the fork took the place of the pen it was quite another matter.

It will prove interesting to know how the word "gourmand" was defined by one who was most capable of interpreting it, the differentiation "gourmet" being then much less marked than at present:

"The Gourmand is not only the being whom nature has endowed with an excellent stomach and a vast appetite—all robust and well-constituted men are in this category—but also he who adds to these advantages an enlightened taste, whose first characteristic resides in a singularly delicate palate cultivated by long experience. With him all the senses should be in constant accord with that of the taste, inasmuch as he should criticise his dishes even before they approach his lips. It is sufficient to say that his vision should be penetrating, his ear alert, his touch fine, and his tongue capable. Thus the[128] gourmand whom the Academy paints for us as a gross being is, on the contrary, by profession a person gifted with extreme delicacy; with him health alone should be vigorous."

Again, he says:

"It only requires a voracious appetite to be a glutton. It demands an exquisite judgment, a profound knowledge of every branch of the culinary art, a sensual and delicate palate, and a thousand other qualities very difficult to combine, in order to merit the title of Gourmand."

In still another reference to the epicure he would have him possess, in addition, that jovial humour without which the best of repasts is but a sad and solemn function—a person well equipped with anecdotes and amusing stories with which he may fill up the spaces between the services, so that the sober guests may forgive him his appetite.

Some may deem his definition includes more than the qualities usually assigned to an amateur of dining, and that it touches too closely on the realm of Gargantua. But it must not be lost sight of that his cardinal mission was that of improving all manner of food preparations and bringing the table to its acme of perfection. Without such appreciative votaries, cookery must necessarily languish, and dining prove merely an obligatory routine; it is to such as he that the art owes its present superiority, and to whom mankind should be duly thankful. As he has defined it, "gastronomy is an immense book ever open to him who may read it aright, whose pages present a series of mobile pictures, and whose horizon extends beyond one's view."


All the products of the animal and vegetable world were pronounced upon by this supreme judge of succulencies, whose palate and appetite never failed, and whose pen responded to the most delicate and fugitive sensations of taste. The "Almanach" numbers eight small volumes, each containing a characteristic dedication. Each volume also includes a quaint and carefully engraved frontispiece executed under the direction of the author, the subjects representing "The Library of a Gourmand of the Nineteenth Century," "The Audiences of a Gourmand," "A Séance of the Testing Jury," "The Meditations of a Gourmand," "The First Duty of a Host," "The Dreams of a Gourmand," "The Levee of a Gourmand," and "The Most Mortal Enemy of the Dinner."

The first volume is dedicated to M. Camerani, whose name is attached to a famous soup of his own invention, and whom La Reynière terms one of the most erudite epicures of France.

The second is inscribed to M. d'Aigrefeuille, than whom none could better appreciate the merits of an artistic repast, and whose charms of appetite and conversation were equally balanced.

The third is sacred to the memory of Carlin Bertinazzi, dernier Arlequin of the Comédie Italienne of Paris, an actor whose distinguished talents served for forty years as the best of digestives for all epicures.

The fourth is consecrated to the members of the Société des Mercredis, who, by the finesse of their taste and the extent of their appetite, have given such an impetus to the first of the arts, and whose admirable tact has proved a stimulus to the greatest cooks.


The fifth has for its tribute the souvenir of Dr. Gastaldy, Président-perpétuel of the Jury dégustateur, who united in the highest degree all those qualities that combine to form the most intrepid gastronomer, but who was finally vanquished by apoplexy while attacking a pâté de foie gras.

The sixth immortalises Grimod de Verneuil, the worthy successor of Dr. Gastaldy both in appetite and experience, whose head had never been turned by the most copious libations of the finest wines of the world.

The seventh is dedicated to the memory of Albouis d'Azincourt, a member of the Jury dégustateur and a founder of the Société des Mercredis—always equally honoured as host or guest.

The eighth and concluding volume pays a feeling panegyric to Vatel, in whom the alimentary art recognises one of its greatest and most unselfish masters.

Beginning with a dissertation on the various alimentary products created for the delectation of man, each succeeding issue treats of the subject in some of its numerous phases until the suspension of the register in 1812. A great charm of the work consists in its magisterial tone, as well as in its unbounded enthusiasm, humour, and originality. The artistic presentation of a subject and the importance with which it invests some seemingly trifling detail that in other hands might have been unnoticed is also a characteristic feature, as, for instance, the admirable references to hors d'œuvres and "The Distractions of the Table." Other topics, such as "Rural Hosts," "Indigestions,"[131] "Epicurean Visits," "Town Dinners," "Kitchen Utensils," "Of Wines," "Of Hosts," "On the Placing of Guests at Table," etc., are handled with an address and a comprehensiveness no less striking than the scenes which form the frontispieces.

While no doubt the author understood the theory of the cuisine, we have no reason to suppose that, like Dumas, he was a thoroughly practical cook, or took pleasure in surprising his friends with some appetising dish of his own preparation. It was his province to criticise the productions of others, and to do this it was unnecessary to assume the functions of a chef. The wine-taster who is most competent to judge of the merits of a vintage does not need to be a viniculturist, nor does the gastronomer necessarily require to be a practical cook. In many branches of art the best teachers are frequently the poorest practitioners. The most able critic of painting may never have held a brush, and the maestro capable of evolving a Mario may often be lacking in voice. Though a master of but a single instrument, the leader of a great orchestra understands and guides all the vehicles of sound under his command—from the plectrum of the harp and plaint of the oboe to the diapason of viols and concord of horns—so intuitive is his sense of harmonious accord. The virtuoso is such from his inherent superiority—of sight, taste, touch, smell, or hearing, as the case may be—aided by years of study and cultivation in his especial craft. The epicure is he who, gifted with a hyper-susceptivity of taste and its complementary sense, smell, as well as long familiarity with viands and wines, may detect savours[132] unappreciated by the ordinary palate, and thus understandingly and authoritatively pronounce upon the merits or demerits of a dish. "The 'Almanach,'" says the editor, "does not profess to be a cook-book—its duty is to try to stimulate the appetite of its readers; upon the artists of the kitchen devolves the duty of satisfying it."

The home kitchen of the author, while not elaborate, was most carefully looked after by a cordon-bleu. Its excellence is attested by Dumas, who declares that one of the best dinners he ever had was when, in company with Count d'Orsay, he dined impromptu with La Reynière a short time previous to his death.

The frontispiece of the fourth year, entitled "Meditations of a Gourmand," represents La Reynière in person seated at a writing-table in his robe de chambre. He has evidently just suspended his labours to reconsider the materials which are to form the subjects of his homilies. The different objects of his contemplation are ranged around him on various stands: a stuffed calf's head, a roasted capon, a matelote of La Râpée, a Strassburg pâté de foie gras, a plate of biscuits of Abbeville, etc., his attention being engrossed for the moment by the calf's head. Various treatises on the alimentary art are scattered about him, such as "La Pâtisserie de Santé," "Les Dons de Comus," and "Le Confiseur Moderne." Upon the edicts he is to pronounce hangs the fate of many a purveyor. Is his appetite keyed to the requirements of his task? Will the samples to be tested respond to the exactions of his critical palate? Or must his fealty be paid for [133]by an indigestion that may postpone his labours in behalf of the noblest of the arts?


Frontispiece of the fourth year of the "Almanach des Gourmands"

His mien is solemn and his attitude one of intense absorption, like that of a great statesman pondering some weighty coup d'état. At the end of the cabinet stands a tall buffet with numerous shelves laden with savoury viands and appetising beverages: a boar's head of Troyes, a timbale of red partridges aux truffes, eels of Melun, a cake of Savoy, a mortadelle of Lyons, a truffled turkey of Périgord, an Italian cheese and sausages, a ham of Bayonne, a pâté of Périgueux, various dainties of Provence, pastries and apple-jelly of Rouen, with numerous varieties of wines and liqueurs. All of these articles, gravely observes the editor in his explanation of the plate, are to be successively passed in review by the gourmand, inasmuch as they are the subjects of his literary work—no other objects of art decorate the cabinet, as nothing should be allowed to distract the critic.

It would appear at first sight to the uninitiated that such a task must prove beyond the capacities of the ordinary mortal. But this contingency he has already explained at length in a chapter on "Indigestion." "It is often much less to excess of eating than to the quality of aliments that indigestion is due. One person may have eaten ten times more than another without inconvenience, and another find himself seriously disturbed from having partaken of a single dish that did not agree. It is the place of the epicure to study the nature of his stomach, in order to supply it with only such aliments as are homogeneous. Milk foods, hot pastries, etc., which usually agree with[134] women, do not always agree with robust stomachs which may be able to digest an ox, but quail before a little pot of cream. But where through repeated experiences one has obtained a perfect knowledge of his temperament he may trust to his appetite without fear."

Lack of sufficient variety in alimentation also counts for much in stomachic derangements. "Hasty pudding and milk," Artemus Ward used to say, "are a harmless diet if eaten moderately, but if you eat it incessantly for six consecutive weeks it will produce instant death."

As the frontispiece of the fifth volume exhibits a splendidly appointed kitchen, with its ranges and saucepans in full play, and the amphitryon receiving the menu for the dinner from the Washington of his kitchen, it may be assumed that the distinguished critic proved equal to the occasion just described.

As, moreover, there is seen suspended from the chimney three hams of Bayonne from the shops of M. Pouillan and M. de la Rouille, and on the spits a chine of veal from Mme. Simon, sirloins from M. de Launey, legs of mutton from M. Darras, venison from Mme. Chevet, fowls from Mme. Biennet, etc., it may be further concluded that he had lost none of his appetite and still remained a spur to the noble emprise of the Jury dégustateur. That there are no wines visible on the pantry shelves need not trouble the reader. No one who has scanned a volume of the "Almanach" will doubt for a moment that the chef had an abundance for himself, his aid, and the sauces that simmer in his pans, or that numerous hampers of[135] fine vintages from M. Tailleur were wanting to wash down any repast at which the editor officiated.[21]

But these laudations, which form so notable a feature of the work under consideration, were a part and portion of its inspiration and existence. Without them it never would have been written, or at any rate its career would have been greatly shortened. After all, who would not envy the author his glorious appetite; or, with his exquisite appreciation, who would censure his fondness for pâtés and his rigour in maintaining their high standard?

With reference to the remarks on the testing of dishes, it may be observed that it is comparatively easy to decide upon the respective merits of two different alimentary preparations. It is far more difficult to pronounce on wines of fine quality and compare those that are closely allied. For here the sense of smell in particular is called upon to exercise its most critical functions; and this sense, after several essays at comparison or attempts to place the special aromas and ethers that are evolved in the bouquet and sève of a vintage, becomes rapidly cloyed. Many other conditions also frequently arise to interfere with absolute judgment. The temperature of the wine and mood of the atmosphere, one's surroundings at the time, the state of one's stomach and consequently of the palate, the nature of the viands that accompany the wine—aye, the very glass in which its gold or rubies are imprisoned—all exert their influence, and it is best not[136] to assert one's self too decisively in the case of a single testing or comparison.

Concerning a highly important topic—"The Health of Cooks"—the "Almanach" discourses at length with its accustomed force and originality:

"The index of a good cook should ply without ceasing from the saucepans to the mouth, and it is only by thus momentarily tasting his ragoûts that he may determine their precise point. His palate, therefore, must be extremely delicate, virginal, as it were, so that the least thing may stimulate it and advise it of its faults.

"But the constant fumes of the fires, the necessity of drinking frequently, and often poor wine, to moisten a parched throat, the vapours of the charcoal, humours and biliousness, all tend to impair the organs of taste. The palate becomes crusted, as it were; it has no longer either that tact or finesse, that exquisite sensibility on which depends the susceptibility of the taste; it finally becomes excoriated and as insensible as the conscience of an old judge.

"Le seul moyen de lui rendre cette fleur qu'il a perdue, de lui faire reprendre sa souplesse, ses forces et sa délicatesse, c'est de purger le Cuisinier, telle résistance qu'il y oppose; car il en est qui, sourds à la voix de la gloire, ne voient aucune nécessité de prendre une médecine lorsqu'ils se portent bien."

Supplementing his essays on the health and the duties of the chef and the requirements of the cuisinière is his treatise on the maître-d'hôtel, wherein the qualifications of a steward are most minutely set forth. Of all those whose labours have for their object the satisfaction of our appetite and promotion of the culinary art, the profession of the steward, he insists, calls for the greatest number of virtues and the widest know[137]ledge. A good maître-d'hôtel should be at once an excellent cook, a fine dégustateur, a clever purveyor, a skilful servitor, an exact calculator, a good conversationalist, and an efficient and polished agent. He should be familiar not only with the theory of the cuisine in all its ramifications, but, if necessary, be able to turn his knowledge to practical account. For how may he command the respect of the cook who is under his orders if he does not thoroughly understand his art? How may he regulate the conduct of the chef, control his ragoûts, and direct his work according to the principles of the art and the special tastes of his employer if he is not a very fine critic?

Equal competency is demanded with reference to his purchases, the varying of his menus, anticipating the complaints of a jealous cook, maintaining his authority over the other servants, and regulating the financial part of the kitchen and household,—truly a difficult combination to procure. As to his probity, the author reasons that one may scarcely expect to find the phœnix, and that to the victor naturally belong the spoils—that it is better to have a competent officer, who can buy to advantage, than a novice who, gaining nothing on his purchases, is imposed upon by the venders and cannot control his household expenditures. "What difference does it make to the employer if his steward help himself a little in serving him, provided he look after his interests sufficiently and charge him only with the market price of a commodity?"

Upon a good commissary in particular depends the success of a club or a restaurant. Without a competent purchaser who combines most of the qualities[138] enumerated in the "Almanach," the chef must labour at a disadvantage; and, in the case of a club, a house committee bear the odium of a poor cuisine and the maledictions of the members.

The "Almanach" abounds in piquant aphorisms, some of which perhaps will better serve to illustrate the spirit of the work than a more lengthy abstract of many of the essays themselves:

"The kitchen is a country in which there are always discoveries to be made.

"It is the entrées that cooks usually invest with their greatest cunning, and it is principally through these that they expect to be judged.

"An overturned salt-cellar is to be feared solely when it is overturned in a good dish.

"The table is a magnet which not only draws to itself, but joins together all those who approach it.

"It is as necessary that the master of the house should understand how to carve well as it is for a young girl to dance in order to secure a husband.

"Digestion is the business of the stomach, and indigestion that of the doctors.

"The stomach of a true gourmand, like the casemates of a besieged city, should be proof against bombs.

"Thirteen at table is a number to be dreaded when there is only enough to go round for twelve.

"A good pastry-maker is as rare as a grand orator.

"It is especially at table that one should attend carefully to the matter in hand and consider what one is about.

"True gourmands have always finished their dinner before the dessert; that which is eaten after the roast is done only out of pure politeness.

"Pastry is to the cuisine what figures of rhetoric are to dis[139]course. An oration without figures and a dinner without pastry are equally insipid.

"There is a precise moment at which every dish should be savoured, previous to which or after which it causes only an imperfect sensation.

"Wine is the milk of the old, the balm of adults, and the vehicle of the gourmand.

"Without sauces a dinner were as bare as a house that has been levied on by the officers of the sheriff.

"The etymology of the word faisander sufficiently proclaims that the pheasant should be waited for as long as a pension from the government by a man of letters who has never known how to flatter any one.

"It is notorious that a dinner, however generous, has never disturbed a person who has preceded or followed it by a walk of five or six leagues; and that indigestions are virtually unknown to great pedestrians.

"With many people a stomach that is proof against everything is the principle of happiness, and with everybody this organ exercises a greater influence than one imagines on the acts of life.

"Life is so brief that we should not glance either too far backwards or forwards in order to be happy. Let us therefore study how to fix our happiness in our glass and on our plate.

"Un Amphitryon délicat no doit pas souffrir que la galanterie dégénère chez lui en scandale; et s'il invite de jeunes et jolies femmes ce doit toujours être avec leurs maris, et jamais avec leurs amants."

Unfortunately, no menus of the Jury dégustateur have been preserved, though one is presented of the celebrated restaurant, the Rocher de Cancale—a dinner of twenty-four covers, served November 28, 1809,[140] at a cost of one thousand francs. Considering the elaborateness of the bill of fare, the price was assuredly extremely moderate, including, as it did, four soups, four relevés, twelve entrées, four large pieces, four roasts, and eight entremets, all served in the highest style of the art.

In many of the best Parisian restaurants to-day no figures are attached to the carte, so that one may dine without disturbing his digestion by thinking of the expense. The awakening comes later, with the addition, when, if one be an epicure with a partiality for rare vintages, he will be apt to recall Béranger's "Voyage au Pays de Cocagne" and its dénouement:

" * * * * * Mais qui vient détruire Ce rêve enchanteur? Amis, j'en ai honte, C'est quelqu'un qui monte Apporter le compte Du restaurateur." (But who would dispel This dream all-divine? Friends, to my shame, 'Tis the restaurant's claim— The bill of the entrées And score of the wine.) The menu of the dinner at the Rocher will prove attractive reading—in marked contrast to the average bill of fare, which is so often made up for the eye and is generally without originality or distinction. What an embarrassment of riches in the entrées! how imposing the large pieces! what a pageant of delectable entremets! How majestically the bisque of crabs leads off the fête, and pike and turbot proudly stem the tide! The comparative absence of vegetables need not be criticised, as these naturally figure as garnishes of several of the dishes.[141] The asparagus, too, would take the place of a salad which is not included; and with so varied a programme oysters may well have been dispensed with for lack of sufficient space. That each individual dish was a triumph we may rest assured, or some word of depreciation for future guidance would certainly have appeared in the "Almanach."

Menu de 24 Couverts, pour le Jeudi

28 Novembre, 1809.

4 Potages.

Une bisque d'écrevisses.

Un potage à la Reine au lait d'amandes, avec biscotes.

Une Julienne aux pointes d'asperges.

Un consommé de volaille.

4 Relevés de Potages.

Un brochet à la Chambord.

Une dinde aux truffes.

Un turbot.

Une culotte de bœuf au vin de Madère, garnie de légumes.

12 Entrées.

Un aspic de filets mignons de perdreaux.

Une jardinière.

Des filets de poularde, piqués aux truffes.

Des perdreaux rouges au fumet.

Des filets de mauviette sautés.

Des scaloppes de poularde, au velouté.

Des filets de lapereaux, en turban.

Un vol au vent à la financière.

Des ailerons piqués, à la chicorée.

Deux poulets de grains au beurre d'écrevisse.

Des scaloppes de saumon, à l'espagnole.

Des filets mignons, piqués de truffes.


Second Service.

4 grosses Pièces.

Une truite.

Une pâté de foies gras.

Des écrevisses.

Un jambon glacé.

4 Plats de Rôt.

Un faisan.

Des éperlans.

Des bécassines.

Des soles.

8 Entremêts.

Une jatte de blancmanger.

Un miroton de pommes.

Des asperges en branche.

Des truffes à la serviette.

Une jatte de gelée d'orange.

Un soufflé à la vanille.

Des cardons à la moelle.

Des truffes à la serviette.

This menu, which was termed "illustrious and astounding" by La Reynière, tells its own story too well, as he observes, to need any comment. It is only to be regretted that there is no record of the accompanying wines or of the previous training of the guests who sat down to the feast. The item un faisan will be understood in the plural, there having been twenty-four persons present, and among that number it is to be presumed that more than two or three would stand ready to attack a well-hung pheasant resplendent in his tail-feathers. Still, there are only two poulets de grains specified in the list, which would indicate that the menu was strictly one of quality, not of quantity—a thing[143] to coquet and flirt with, rather than to charge upon with no thought of the penalty of the morrow. As the mention of truffles à la serviette occurs twice at the end of the lecture, it may be assumed that this was considered a doubly important entremets—the last to leave its perfume in the mouth and accentuate the sève diffused by the final glass of Château Lafite or Clos-Vougeot. On the restaurateur and the chef the editor enjoins continued efforts looking to the advancement of the grand art of dining, exhorting them that to cease their exertions would mean to recede, and that to maintain their exalted reputation they should labour daily as if it were yet to be won.

Altogether, the "Almanach" will be found most remunerative reading by those who peruse it with a proper sense of its important aim. We may not hope to equal the appetite of the author, it is true, but its attentive study will assuredly stimulate appetite and amply instruct us in the æsthetics and delights of the table. The only dietetic heresy that presents itself to the writer is the eulogy of the strawberry as an article of diet, for which Linnæus the botanist and Dr. Boteler are originally responsible, it being well known that this fruit in gout and rheumatism—two frequent colleagues of good cheer—is often as deadly as port. Preserved Wiesbaden or Bar-le-Duc strawberries, safely tucked in the folds of an omelette, are less pernicious, and may be partaken of occasionally if convoyed by the right wine. The raw fruit should always be sparingly indulged in by the epicure; boys and women alone may eat it with comparative impunity.[144] To this one exception has been chronicled—"Strawberries and cream render me sad," said Mme. du Deffand; and, remembering Malherbe's praise of women and melons, madame wisely left them alone.

Finally, among all those who have discoursed upon the theme, it may be said that La Reynière comes the nearest perhaps in illustrating Montaigne's expression, l'art de la gueule. And, despite the laudations of the venders with which it is so generously interlarded, the "Almanach" well merits a full morocco binding by Ruban, with dentelle borders à l'oiseau, and a pâté stamped on its covers in gold.


From a print after an old Dutch master


A GERMAN SPEISEKARTE "Beim vollen Humpen zechen wir, wir kräftigen Germanen, Und trinken von dem edlen Bier wie weiland unsere Ahnen; Denn in dem edlen Gerstensaft, da sprudelt noch die alte Kraft."[22] By the French the Germans are charged with having no cuisine that is worthy of the name, and having produced no poet of gastronomy or no work on the subject that merits serious attention. Dining at midday, and fond of Pumpernickel, what can they be but "barbarians," and how may they be expected to comprehend the finesse of an art which has been created for the elect among mankind? "Surely," argues [146]De Quincey, "of the rabid animal who is caught dining at noonday, the homo ferus who affronts the meridian sun by his inhuman meals, we are entitled to say that he has a maw, but nothing resembling a stomach. A nation must be barbarous which dined in the morning." As with day's decline the sun illumes with fairest hues the western sky, and Nature gradually prepares for sleep by the restful hour of twilight, so it would seem that man, in like manner, after the cark and care of the day should refresh himself by the solace that waits upon the evening dinner and pleasant companionship ere he too retires for the slumbers that are to fit him for the exigencies of the morrow.

But habit is everything, and it is well not to accept these aspersions too seriously, and to remember that no nation surpasses the Germans in the important art of baking, including all forms of breadstuffs and pastry. From her inviting Bäckereis and Conditoreis floats an ambrosial fragrance that may not be equalled by the pâtisseries of Paris, the variety of her products being as great as their cheapness and wholesomeness. One is born a poet, saith the adage; it is equally true that the German is a born baker who has no superior in his sphere. Perchance German cook-books and gastronomical literature have been summarily passed upon, and are not uninteresting reading, after all. It should be recollected that Frederick the Great wrote a poem in praise of his cook, that Martin Schookius composed a book on cheese entitled "De Aversione Casei," and that still another old German work has for its theme the zest of a[147] lemon-peel—a topic that assuredly calls for consummate skill in its elaboration.

Since the latter half of the sixteenth century Germany has contributed her full share of manuals on cookery as compared with most countries. Already, about 1500, there appeared a work entitled "Ein nützlichs Buchlin von der Speis des Menschen." Among the more important treatises of the same century were "Ein neu Kochbuch" (1587), by Marx Rumpolt, cook to the Elector of Mainz and to the Queen of Denmark, and Frau Anna Wecker's "Neu Köstlich und nützliches Koch-Buch" (1597). It was about this period that Montaigne, after his travels through Italy and Germany, declared that even in the inns the Germans paid far better attention to the furbishing of their plates and dishes than was the case with the hostelries of France. Treatises relating to "wohl-schmeckenden Speisen" and "vornehme Tafeln" have since continued to multiply in the Fatherland, until Germany has become fully satisfied with her own mode of cookery and such modifications of certain French and Italian dishes as accord with her chosen ideas of nutrition.

Yet the German cook-book presents serious drawbacks. For, apart from the inevitable tendency of the Zeitwort to twine itself around the end of well-nigh interminable sentences, the characters of the language itself are so trying that a scientific treatise may be perused only at the risk of being compelled to resort to spectacles forever afterwards. The melodious measures of Goethe and Schiller, the cadences of Heine and Lenau, will be found less formidable, the[148] rhythm and flow carrying the eye over the typographical boulders with greater ease. A German cook-book, however, may well deter the most insatiable student from proceeding farther than the initial chapter. Think, for example, what the difficulties would be of absorbing a volume which presents such a title as this: "Die Feinere Kochkunst dargestellt nach den Erfordernissen unserer Zeit, mit Berücksichtigung der damit in Verbindung stehenden sonstigen Zweigen der Gastronomie."

Fancy endeavouring to solve the true inwardness of an ancient Nürnberg treatise which bears this explanation of its contents: "Vollständig vermehrtes Trincier-Buch, von Tafeldecken Trinciren, zeitigung der Mundkoste, Schauessen und Schaugerichten, benebens xxiv Gast oder Tischfragen."

And when we reflect that the German author who undertakes to elucidate a given theme probes it to the very bottom as far as human understanding and science can fathom it, we may readily conclude that to master the literature of German gastronomy would call for stupendous patience on the part of an alien.

Yet Germany has contributed a volume in the French language respecting a province of the nation under consideration, wherein the table manners, customs, alimentation, and the public and private life of the old Germans are most picturesquely and minutely set forth.[23] The ancient province of Alsace, where forty-two varieties of pâtés and countless varieties of[149] cakes have been in use for several centuries, has ever been noted for the excellence of its cooks and its fondness for good cheer. In the tenth century Bishop Uthon of Strassburg viewed with alarm the table excesses of the priests of his diocese, which he attempted to check by establishing monastic schools. In the fourteenth century, on the other hand, Bishop de Lyne, who was termed Kappen-Esser, was charged with gross intemperance by the clergy, who averred he thought only of the pleasures of the table—gulæ ebrietatique deditus—and that he was unable to hold morning audiences without having previously partaken of a rich soup and a fat capon.

Dating from early times, Alsace became known as the wine-cellar, granary, and larder of the surrounding countries—a paradise and a garden eminently favourable for good living. Charles Gérard has proved the local Dumas, and his volume, besides its erudite presentation of the resources and olden customs of the country, contains many interesting gastronomical anecdotes, such as "Favourite dishes of celebrated personages," "Influence of a Rhein carp on a financier of the school of Fouquet," "Frying, its nature and effect on manners," etc. Assuredly should a nation be credited with a natural aptitude for gastronomy which in the early part of 1700 could devise an omelette of brook-trout (Forellen Eyerkuchen) and cold pâtés of trout (Forellen Kalte Pasteten), to say nothing of a certain pâté of fish (Pâté de langues de carpes et foies de lottes) composed of the tongues of carp, eels' livers, and the tails of crawfish—the invention of a Strassburg Koch, which he served to the[150] Cardinal de Rohan, and which M. Gérard defines as the supreme limit of epularly eminence.

The researches of M. Gérard place the national dish, Sauerkraut, as an invention dating from beyond the middle ages and proclaim its origin as distinctly Alsatian. The date of the frog's leap into the frying-pan he places in the year 1280, and specifies Alsace as the discoverer of his edible qualities. The potage bisque or bisque d'écrevisses has long been known to the epicures of the province, while the merits of stuffed crabs were pointed out in the "Oberrheinisches Koch-Buch" of Frau Spörlin, wife of a Protestant minister of Mulhausen. Among the strange customs described is that appertaining to the olden festival called Hirztag, at which time women and maids alone had the right to appear in the inns and liquid dispensaries and avail themselves of the privileges extended to men in eating and drinking. On these occasions any of the male sex who was brave enough to appear was seized, stripped of his hat and coat, and obliged to pay forfeit by a round of wine—a usage thus described by the poet Moscherosch:

"Spitze Schue und Knöpflein dran, Die Frau ist Meister und nicht der Mann." (With jaunty button'd and pointed shoe, Gretschen will riot it over you.) No work on cookery in the German language, it is true, has obtained a great reputation outside of its own country. But although the Teuton is a midday diner, a custom that must prove inimical to gastro[151]nomical perfection and thereby the highest social evolution, it were extremely unjust to charge him with a lack of understanding in eating. On the contrary, no one, not even the Gaul, enjoys eating and drinking more than he, or eats and drinks amid pleasanter surroundings during a large portion of the year. The open-air restaurants and beer-gardens are a feature, and a most delightful feature, of German life. In the shaded bowers of the Wirthshaus, under the umbrage of horse-chestnuts and limes, to the plash of fountains in suburban Gasthof gardens, amid the consonance of viols and reeds in the attractive temples of Gambrinus, do the Germans voice the refrain,

"Isz, trink, sei fröhlich hier auf Erd', Und denk nicht dass es besser wird." (Eat, drink, be merry, seize the present hour, Deem not the future holds a fairer flower.) It must not be forgotten that in the course of time the cookery of every nation gradually becomes complementary to the national beverages. Conversant with the popular drinks of a people, one may promptly form an opinion of their alimentation and characteristics. The cookery of Germany has become subservient to, and, as it were, revolves around Münchner and Pilsener, Hochheimer and Deidesheimer. If, therefore, one cannot appreciate its innumerable brews and the juices of the Riesling and the Traminer, its forms of nutrition will naturally prove distasteful, in the same manner that the virtues of French entrées would be found wanting if deprived of the[152] ruby pressings of the Sauvignon and Pinot. The rosy Schweinerippchen, after its bath in saltpetre, and also Sauerkraut would be impossible without their syncretic accompaniment, beer or a German white wine; and it is only since the general use of beer in the United States that the last-named dish, from being considered a vulgar one has become so popular, notwithstanding it is usually but a shade of its original as one knows it in its own home. The same may be said of sausages, in the compounding of which the Teuton is master of the world. Different nations, like different individuals, enjoy things in their own way, and who shall determine whether the Gaul or the Teuton makes the most of the fleeting hour, which necessarily includes the pleasures attendant upon the daily nourishment of man?

Who that has visited the land of the three fluvial graces—the Rhein, the Neckar, and the Donau—does not retain pleasant memories of some native dish partaken of amid picturesque surroundings?—a Hasenbraten, a Pfannkuchen, a duck, a Bockwurst, Knackwurst, or a Wienerwürstle that fairly melts in one's mouth. How lovely those trout which were served at the Wolfsbrunnen at Heidelberg, which you savoured in the cool of the evening after seeing them caught fresh from the spring itself! The Spätzle and Nudeln and sour sauce, too, which rival the national dish of Italy; the veal cutlets and sautéd potatoes, which one never meets as perfect as in southern Germany, and that attain their supreme excellence in a summer Gasthof garden, must likewise ever be held in grateful remembrance. How golden the landscape looked[153] through your Rhein wine Römer, how drowsily the clouds floated over the Odenwald, and how delightfully the evening breeze awoke the responsive chords of the beeches! In whatever direction one may turn, there is always a haven for the hungry and the thirsty. No hill is too high, no valley too remote for its font of refreshment, where the tap is invariably fresh and the shrine of more substantial "restoration" is seldom to be despised. On every hand one may find the welcome of an inn, as hearty as Shenstone's, and, where the nature of the surroundings will allow, one may readily verify the lines of the old poet:

"Nun kommt der grüne Berg wo selbsten auch nichts fehlt, Von dem was das Gemüth ermuntert und erfreuet; Deshalb wird er auch vielfältiglich erwählet, Er hat den schönsten Stof zur grösten Fröhlichkeit." (Well stored with all that gladd'neth man, The green hill rises, cool and fair; And many a pilgrim, spent and wan, Doth quaff from font of Münchner there.) Clearly, the Gemüthlichkeit of the Germans, a word for which an equivalent scarcely exists in any other language, may be traced to the national beverages and an alimentation with which they harmonise—with golden opportunities to cultivate it in the Wirthshaus, Gasthof, restaurant, and beer-garden.

In many of the larger restaurants and beer-gardens which are conducted on a scale that is well defined by the favourite term, "kolossal," the great Speisekarte, ornately decorated and rubricated in the olden style, is grandly in evidence. A typical index to good cheer[154] may be taken from almost any of the vast breweries of Munich, with their long lists of Braten, Wildpret, Pfannengerichte, Eierspeisen, Salat and Compots. On some of these appears an epitome of the corps of assistants, including the white-aproned waitresses with their names and characteristics, and the great array of help that is necessary to slake the thirst and appease the hunger of a German multitude. The conclusion of the Speisekarte of the Löwenbräukeller may be cited as an example:

Gesammt-Personal der Restauration Löwenbräukeller München

Concert-Saal oder Garten

 1 Ursula, die Oberkellnerin, 18[24]		
 2 Therese, die Schwarze, 8		
 3 Grethi, die Dicke, 13		
 4 Marie, die Schwarze		
 5 Marie, die Tirolerin, 17		
 6 Anna, die Schwiegermutter, 13		
 7 Gertraud, die Schlanke, 9		
 8 Leni, die Durstige, 7		
 9 Marie, 6		

10 Marie, die Dicke, 6 11 Pepi 12 Lina 13 Kathi, die Schwabingerin 14 Marie, die Freundliche 15 Therese 16 Marie, die Schöne 17 Veronika 18 Anna, die Stille 19 Babette 20 Anna, die Brave 21 Emilie, die Stramme 22 Marie, die Schwäbin 23 Röschen 24 Hildegard

25 Marie, die Blonde

26 Marie, die Schwarze

big right bracket Gallerie 31 Thekla—Spiel oder 1 Thurmzimmer 32 Paula

33 Amanda

34 Lucie

35 Rosa

big right bracket II. Nebensaal 36 Hulda

37 Emmy

big right bracket Löwenterrasse 38 Louise

39 Martha

40 Gusti

[155] big right bracket untere Terrasse 41 Cäcilie

42 Hanna

43 Adelheid

big right bracket obere Terrasse 44 Grethi, die Kleine 45 Therese, die Schwarze 46 Elise, die Große 47 Anna, die Schlanke 48 Cenzi, die Hübsche 49 Toni, die Sanfte 50 Marie, die Dicke 50 Kellnerinnen

1 Geschäftsführer 1 erster Cassier 2 zweite Cassiere 2 Ceremoniers 2 Billeteurs, 2 Controleurs 1 Programm-Verkäufer 4 Postkarten-Verkäufer 1 Garderobier 2 Garderobe-Cassiere 8 Garderobe-Gehilfen 1 Velociped-Aufbewahrer 1 erster Metzger 2 zweiter Metzger 1 Lehrjunge (Piccolo) 6 Schenkkassiere 6 Einschenker 1 Hausmeister 1 Hausschreiner 1 Monteur für electrische Beleuchtung 1 Hausgärtner 1 Hausknecht (Bieraufzieher) 1 Laufbursche 2 Besteckputzer 1 Buchhalterin und 1 Buffetdame 4 Buffetdamen 1 erste und 1 zweite Küchenbeschließerin[156] 1 Weißzeugbeschließerin 1 Ober-Köchin (chef de cuisine) 1 erste Köchin (für Braten, Geflügel u. Wildpret) 1 zweite Köchin (für Pfannengerichte u. Ragouts) 1 dritte Köchin (für Gemüse und Eierspeisen) 1 vierte Köchin (für Spieß- und Rostbraterei) 4 Kochpraktikantinnen (Kochfräulein) 1 erste und 1 zweite Küchenmagd 1 Kupferputzerin 1 Mädchen für Speiseaufzug im Bräustübel 1 Mädchen für Speiseaufzug im großen Saal 1 Mädchen f. Speiseaufzug f. Gallerie u. Nebensaal 3 Biermädchen 1 Zimmermädchen 1 Waschmagd 6 Hausmägde 135 Personen

The cookery of Germany is, on the whole, both appetising and wholesome. In the better class of restaurants and hotels it has absorbed many modes of preparation from France, combining these with its own. Where cookery has stood still in the latter country, it has advanced in the former; and one may dine as well, perhaps, in many of its smaller towns as in most provincial hostelries beyond its borders. Its private cookery remains more distinct and preserves its local flavour. If the French are more successful with the chicken, the Germans may be relied upon to do full justice to the goose and duck. Nowhere does the fowl which saved Rome rise to the sublime heights that it does in the district of the Vosges, not only as a roast with "Compot," but in its more ethereal perfection—the goose-liver "Pastete," or pâté de foie gras.

If one desires a roast goose after the German mode,[157] let him proceed after the following manner: Rub a young dressed goose overnight with salt, pepper, sage, thyme, and sweet marjoram inside and out; in the morning prepare a dressing as follows—a large handful of stoned raisins and Zante currants, bread crumbs, a couple of sour apples chopped fine, and one mealy potato, with butter mixed in, and all well rolled together, but put no spices in the dressing. For the gravy, boil the giblets in a little water and mash the liver in a spoonful of flour, chop the gizzard, stir these in the liquid they were boiled in, add it to the gravy in the dripping-pan, sprinkle in a little thyme, sage, and sweet marjoram, and it is done. Serve the gravy separately. When cooked and served, garnish with sliced lemons and parsley. A "Compot" of some kind, like Hagenmark, cherries with Kirsch, or even applesauce, if not too tart, should complete the dish.

The duck may be similarly treated; but a goose or duck à l'Allemande would scarcely meet with favour in France, where the rules are laid down so strictly that even a slight deviation from accepted canons would be met by a hiss from parquet and gallery alike. Thus the "Almanach des Gourmands," in speaking of the young wild duck, or albran, which in October becomes a canardeau and in November a canard, mentions, among various ways of preparing it, that of serving it with turnips, adding that this honour belongs more strictly to monsieur son père. This gastronomic slip—that of serving turnips with a wild duck—on the part of La Reynière, who is rarely caught napping in anything relating to foods or food[158] preparations, aroused the ire of Savarin, who protests against it in these vigorous words: "The adjunction of such a vegetable as this to this noble game would be for a young wild duck an improper and even injurious proceeding, a monstrous alliance, a dishonourable degradation." On the other hand, Savarin himself was roundly denounced by M. de Courchamps for assigning a truffled turkey a place among the roasts instead of among the large pieces of the first service. This culinary heresy, he states, has lessened the esteem in which M. Brillat-Savarin has been held in other respects, and seriously hurt the reputation of his book. The ethics of gastronomy, it will be seen, are as marked as those of society, and the arrangement of a bill of fare calls for as much finesse as do the functions of a chaperon.

While the pâté de foie gras is a dish of modern times, the ancients nevertheless knew the secret of enlarging the liver of the goose; but with the relapse into barbarism the secret became lost, to remain undiscovered until the beginning of the seventeenth century. Alsace is the chosen home of the goose, and this fowl has rendered its capital more celebrated than the siege of 1870 or the marvellous façade and clock of its Münster. "My idea of heaven," said the Rev. Sydney Smith, referring to the Strassburg product, "is eating foies gras to the sound of trumpets!" For although the pâté is produced in numerous localities on the Continent, in no other place does it attain the superlative bloom and delicacy that it does in the more important manufactories of the historic city on the Ill. To think of Strassburg is to think of Doyen and his confrères[159] and their incomparable productions, around which rise the Gothic glories of the mediæval fane, the quaintly gabled houses embellished by the craft of the wood-carver, the statues of Gutenberg and Kleber, and the town's great girdles of fortifications and inner ramparts.

It is said the pâté de foie gras is the invention of a Norman cook named Close, who was in the employ of the Maréchal de Contades, military commandant of the province from 1762 to 1788. On the retirement of the maréchal, his cook remained in Strassburg, and began the manufacture of the dish which had rendered the table of his employer famous. There were truffles in the Wasgenwald, with trained dogs to hunt them; the goose everywhere stood ready for sacrifice; while the near-by vineyards of Neuwiller, Morsbrunn, and Westhausen contributed their wines in abundance as its fluid concomitant. But the pâté did not reach its highest excellence until some time afterwards, when Doyen, a pastry-cook of great genius, already celebrated for his chaussons of veal and inimitable apple-puffs, substituted the blacker, larger, and more fragrant truffle of Périgord, adding a bouquet-garni composed of numerous spices. Upon the proper blending of these depends to a large extent the success of the dish, just as the special flavour of a brand of champagne results from the precise adjustment of its liqueur.

All through Alsace, wherever ponds or streams exist, may be seen daily vast flocks of geese during the summer and autumn, screaming, splashing, and diving in the water. The landscape is white with them,[160] and the plain resounds with their clamour. Each flock, which often numbers a thousand, has its goose-herd and goose-dog. At dawn the herder sounds his reveille, beginning to assemble his charges from the most remote part of the village or hamlet. These take their place in the procession of their own accord, until the ranks are complete, and they eagerly wend their way to the coveted goal. Here they remain until evening, when, at a summons from the herder, the return journey is accomplished, each individual flock leaving the phalanx on arriving near its home. Less idyllic is the life of the town goose, when large ponds and succulent herbage are not readily accessible, the birds being confined in yards where, in place of a daily round of bathing and gossiping, they are compelled to watch the flight of the storks overhead and mark the monotonous passing of the hours as they are tolled from the Rathhaus tower. Nearly every other house or yard of the poorer classes has its geese, the young fowls alone being utilised for their livers. In late October or early November the fattening begins, a process lasting usually from two to three weeks, the prized livers—the true "golden egg" of the bird of St. Michael—then weighing from two to three pounds.


From the etching by Birket-Foster, R.A.

The humanitarian will protest against the cruelty of gorging the fowl to repletion, depriving it of drink, and imprisoning it in close cages to gratify the voracity of man. Yet it must be admitted that hitherto everything possible to the maintenance of the health and pleasure of the subject has been lavishly supplied, and that a brief span at most would elapse ere time must claim its victim. The fox and the goose [161]have always been closely associated, and what applies to one may well apply to the other. "Certainly," reasons Bulwer, "in the chase itself all my sympathies are on the side of the fox. But if all individuals are to give way to the happiness of the greatest number, we must set off against the painful fate of the fox the pleasurable sensation in the breasts of numbers which his fate has the honourable privilege to excite." Without the inconveniences that the Strassburg goose is compelled to undergo in behalf of the metamorphosis of its liver, the list of plats de prédilection were shorn of one of its greatest attractions, and a city now of world-wide fame must soon drag out a monotonous existence and be forgotten unless by the student of architecture—a fact duly set forth in the following stanza:

"Strasbourg tire vanité De ses pâtés de foie; Cette superbe cité Ne doit sa prospérité Qu'aux oies!" (Can roasted Philomel a liver Fit for a pie produce?— Fat pies that on the Rhein's sweet river Fair Strassburg bakes. Pray, who's the giver? A goose!)[25] [162]

One should taste a pâté in Strassburg itself on a crisp November day, after a protracted stroll through the sleepy town. Then one may saunter anew through its mediæval streets and labyrinthine corridors to view the Münster whose gargoyles glower so weirdly in the moonlight, ere pausing at the Luxhof or the Spaten, where cool fountains of Münchner continually flow.

That the pâté de foie gras is a factor of gout and a prolific cause of indigestion, as is commonly asserted, is true to the same extent that holds good with many other viands when inordinately indulged in or partaken of too frequently. It was never intended to be eaten by the "terrine," and much also depends upon its freshness and the source of its manufacture. A generous slice of a fresh authentic Strassburg pâté, eaten with bread, need hold no terrors for a healthy digestion, or prove other than a source of the most delightsome recollections. Savouring it, one may again summon the surroundings of its native land—the verdant meads of the Alsace plain, the herder tending his argent flocks, the soft contours of the Vosges outlined against the distant sky.

But the alimentary resources of Germany are nowhere revealed to greater advantage than in the innumerable forms of the sausage, and it may well be questioned whether the songs of the Lorelei are not, after all, inspired by the perfection of this product, rather than called forth by the beauties of the Lurlenberg or the merits of the vineyards of the Rheingau.

To become a connoisseur of sausages in all their protean phases is no simple task. Only a German may[163] analyse intelligently all the species and varieties, from the huge Cervelat of Braunschweig and goose-liver Trüffelwurst of Strassburg to the Salamis of Gotha and Blutwurst of Schwaben. And as the sausage is fashioned with a special view to its harmonious combination with beer, it is self-evident that one must be a beer-drinker of experience in order to pronounce upon the virtues of a given kind. "Wurst" and "Durst," Uhland long since pointed out, not only rhyme, but belong together in a material way. But by this he in no wise implied that one might choose a variety at random, with no thought of consonance as regards its liquid accompaniment, or even that one should be unmindful of climatic conditions. Thus the variety that blends best with the dark, potent Gerstensaft of Nürnberg as one quaffs it in great Seidels thick with its head of creamy foam in the Mohrenkeller, or in cool Steins in the Bratwurst-Glöcklein, would be entirely out of place as a complement to the amber Pilsener of Austria, the Weiss beer of Berlin, or even the many malt extracts of Württemberg. It is likewise equally easy to understand that a particular sausage which might appeal to one in Hanover might be utterly incongruous to the climate of the Elbe or the Neckarthal.

The delicate Bockwurst, composed of veal and pork, should be used with Bock beer, for which it was especially designed. The juicy Knackwurst, with its flavour of garlic, which belongs to the family of the Frankfurt and Wienerwurst, is eminently worthy its exalted place as a garnish to Sauerkraut, where the Mettwurst and the Schwartenmagen would sound a[164] discordant note. To determine the precise kind that should be taken with the Münchner Hof-Bräu, as it is dispensed in the Café and Garten of the Hotel Royal at Stuttgart, where the regal beer of Munich reaches its apotheosis, would require a more extended experience than might be contributed by the writer. A Knackwurst, possibly, may be suggested during the summer, and a Bratwurst in winter. And yet this would depend largely upon the hour of the evening, as well as on the recommendations of the Kellnerin. Not more dissimilar are the hams of the thick-jowled swine of Westphalia and those of the long-snouted brindled hogs of Rothenburg an der Tauber, than are the various sausages of different districts. Indeed, with the sausage alone Germany might form a rampart round the world, and float a navy upon her daily tide of beer.

Of the innumerable varieties, the well-known Cervelat is the largest, and of these the most colossal come from Braunschweig, which also produces the finest Knack-and Zungenwürste, the finest truffled geese-liver as well as calves'-liver sausages coming from Strassburg. Although the Plockwurst, the diminutive Wienerbrühwürstchen, the tiny Lübecker Saucisschen, the Schlackwurst, and very many other kinds are not included in the subjoined list relating to this specialty, its perusal will be found of absorbing interest by the connoisseur, and its study remind the too unobservant traveller who has sojourned in Germany of, alas! how many neglected opportunities. The quotations are given in marks and kilograms, the mark equalling twenty-five cents and the kilogram being[165] equivalent to a little over two pounds. The record being that of a north-German shop, southern Germany is only meagrely represented, and the list sounds its own praises too well to call for comment:

Preis Verzeichniss.

Per Kilo. Braunschweiger. M. Pf. Cervelatwurst 4. Mettwurst 3. 60 Trüffelleberwurst 4. Sardellenleberwurst 3. 60 Feine Leberwurst 3. Zungenblutwurst 3. 20 Blutwurst, geräuchert 2. 40 Frische Sulze in Blase Blut- und Leberwürste, Stück 25 Gothaer. Cervelatwurst I 3. 60 Cervelatwurst II Cervelatwurst homöopatische Cervelatwurst Grobschnitt Salamis 4. Mortadella gekocht 4. Göttinger. Mettwurst Colmar. Gänselebertrüffelwurst 7 Gothaer. Feine Leberwurst, geräuchert 3. 60 Knackwürste, Paar 35 Jagdwürste 65 Zungenblutwurst 3. 20 Blutwurst 2. 80 Paaszsülze 3. 60 Thüringer. Cervelatwurst Schwartenmagen 2. 80 Blutwurst, frische, haussch 2. 80 Knackwürste, Paar 40 Westfälischer. Schinkenroulade 4. Strassburger. Gänselebertrüffelwurst 7. Kalbslebertrüffelwurst 4. Salamis di Verona Mortadella di Bologna[166] Wiener. Selchwürstchen, Paar 25 Saucisschen 13 Frankfurter. Bratwürste, Paar 45 Janer'sche. Bratwürste, Paar 45 Regensburger. Wurst, Paar Berliner. Erbswurst, Stück 65 Schomberger. Delikatesswürstchen How they shine in their silken skins, these triumphs of the Metzgerei, seen through the plate-glass of a Delikatessen shop—ebon and bronze, russet and red, blonde and grey, mottled and veined, of all hues and all sizes: long and slender, plump and fat, curved like a crescent, round-barrelled and egg-shaped, as if their juices and spices were eager to be set free; some that gain in succulence by time; others that, like the rose, have but their hour in which to be plucked.

An essentially south-German dish is the Metzelsuppe—the "bouillabaisse" of Swabia—in which the sausage plays an important role, but which, to be appreciated, requires an essentially German taste as well as a digestion without limit. This consists of several preparations of freshly killed pork, including soup, bacon, and sausages with Sauerkraut, the sausages usually being the Leber and the Blutwurst. It has found its Thackeray in Uhland, whose poem has become a classic, although, with the possible exception of the bacon and Sauerkraut, the alien will find the poem preferable to the dish.


With a choice of a different soup for every day in the year, the German does not lack for variety in the stepping-stone of the dinner. With all of these the stranger may not be in sympathy, and in none of them will he find the equal, as an all-round preface to the principal repast, of a perfect Julienne. But the potato soup, the native pot-au-feu, and even the soup in which beer is an important ingredient, have their merits when well prepared. Nor is the boiled beef with horseradish sauce, which usually follows the soup, to be despised, notably in warm weather, when rich and heavy viands cloy. One would be equally lacking in appreciation were he to lose sight of another dish we owe to Germany, the "marinirte," or sour-spiced herring—that offset to Katzenjammer and noon-restorer of a jaded appetite and a parched tongue. The Schmierkäse, or whey-cheese, when cream is employed in its composition and the green of fresh chives enters as an adjunct to please the eye and the palate, surely requires no praises, whatever may be said to the contrary of the variety whose very name one thinks of in a whisper.

Such dishes as Szegediner Schwein's Goulash mit Sauerkraut, Paprica Schnitzel mit Ungarischem Kraut, and Ungarisches Goulash mit Spätzle—triumphs of the Hungarian and Viennese Kochkunst—seldom turn out satisfactory in alien hands. The Spätzle and Nudel are two farinaceous dishes that also call for a native cook to serve in perfection. The Spätzle is of south-German origin, and tastes best when it flanks a viand with a tart sauce and has a[168] Rhein wine to keep it company. This observation applies more strictly to its native home, the virtues of German dishes and German cigars being most apparent amid their natural atmosphere. Indeed, who shall say that the "Pfarrer von Kirchfeld" or the colourful strains of "Sataniel" would seem the same if transported oversea? Climate, the hour, the environment—all the conditions of the entourage exercise a marked influence on many things, especially on the pleasures of taste. The Zeller that seems so delicious with the chicken in a south-German restaurant is apt to prove a delusion elsewhere; and even the best of Affenthaler and Assmanshäuser, of which one may retain a pleasant remembrance, must fade before a good Bordeaux. The beer of Germany, when properly cared for and when allowed to rush swiftly from the wood, alone preserves a large portion of its delicious tonical freshness wherever partaken of. Like an omelette soufflé, beer has its moment, and once started towards the Seidel or Stein, its flow should be as uninterrupted as the course of a mountain brook that, with music and song and freighted with coolness, comes dancing down from the distant hills to slake the thirst of the vale below.

Of game, the hare and the partridge have always been held in great esteem by the Germans; and while the native Rebhuhn may not compare with our own prince of feathered game-birds, the ruffed grouse, the German hare has unquestionable merits when prepared as the favourite Hasenbraten, Hasenpfeffer, and Hasenrücken gespickt with Sahnen sauce. Even Goethe sounds a "Hoch!" when he thinks of the game[169] he has secured, and smacks his lips in anticipation of its appearance on the table.[26]

The mysteries of the sandwich in all its possibilities are unknown to Germany. But amends are made by the attractions of the Kalter Aufschnitt which takes its place, where slices of veal are surrounded by slices of Cervelat, ham, and tongue, and thin cuts of Leberwurst with pickles and hard-boiled eggs cut in rounds to form a frame, and rye bread and mustard à discretion. As for the Kuchen—light, wholesome, and inviting—its forms are legion, though these belong more strictly to the supper-table or to that phase of feminine entertainment termed "The Coffee." The common and often excessive use of the caraway-seed in cakes and breadstuffs is nevertheless to be deplored, however great its merits as a carminative.

Dumas tells the story of the excellent cake called madeleine, an entremets which all who have been in France will remember. Is it a flower of the Vosges, indigenous to Alsace, that has been transplanted across the border?—it must have been the invention of the German Kuchenkunst. This is the account of the madeleine as it appears in the "Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine":

"A tourist-friend who was at Strassburg, and who started out on his travels a little late, expecting to reach the next [170]village before dark, was unsuccessful in finding a shelter until nearly midnight, when he perceived the spire of a distant church, and soon afterwards the welcome rays of a light that seemed to emerge from some subterranean abode. Knocking at the door, a gruff voice demanded:

"'Who is it, and what do you want?'

"'I am a traveller, weary and worn, and well-nigh starved. For heaven's sake, let me in.'

"With this the door was unbarred by a man of savage aspect whose hair and beard were covered with flour, and who was naked to the waist.

"'Come in, and make haste,' he said in a cavernous voice; and a large room was disclosed to the traveller the interior of which was lighted by the fires of an immense oven. The door was then re-barred by the forbidding-looking occupant.

"'Pardon, Monsieur,' said the traveller, little at ease. 'I have just completed sixteen or eighteen leagues with scarcely a mouthful; cannot I buy something to appease my hunger, and have a couch to lie on?'

"'I have only my own bed,' replied the man, in his gruff voice; 'as to something to eat, that is not wanting—it remains to be seen if it will please you.'

"And opening a cupboard, he produced a basket containing a dozen or so of oval-shaped cakes of a fine golden hue.

"'Try these,' he said to the traveller, 'and tell me what you think of them.'

"When the basket was emptied, he asked, 'What do you think of my madeleines?'

"'Something to drink first,' muttered the traveller in a strangled voice.

"The cupboard was opened anew, and uncorking a bottle covered with dust, the baker filled two glasses, passing one to the stranger.

"'Drink,' he said; 'I don't wish my cakes to choke you.'


"The glass was emptied at a draught, when the visitor passed it to be refilled,—it was an excellent Bordeaux.

"'Your health, my friend; you have given me one of the most delicious repasts that I have ever had. But tell me what do you call these lovely cakes?'

"'What! don't you know the madeleines of Commercy?'

"'You mean to say I am at Commercy?'

"'Yes, and, without knowing it, you have eaten the best cakes in the world.'"

Se non è vero è ben trovato—the madeleine still remains to gladden the traveller. They bring it now in little boxes of a dozen—flat on the top and grooved like a shell underneath, the colour a rich golden brown—as the train halts for a moment at the town on the Meuse where Cardinal de Retz wrote his memoirs.

One of the earliest of German cook-books, published at Strassburg in 1516, and now of the utmost rarity, bears for its title "Kuchenmeisterey," or the mastery of cake-making. Perchance were one to turn its faded Gothic leaves, some forgotten master-stroke of the baker might reveal itself, to vie with the madeleine in popularity and add to the already endless list of farinaceous Leckerbissen and Frauenessen, wherein the Germans have no superiors.

The story of the madeleine suggests that of the Vienna roll, which, it is said, owes its origin to the investment of Vienna by the Turks. During the protracted siege of the city, when the town had become almost reduced to starvation and the position of the enemy was unknown, a baker was making his last batch of bread. His little son, who had been amusing himself with his marbles and drum, had gone to[172] bed, leaving a marble on the drum-head. The baker kept on with his baking and attending to his ovens, sitting down between times to meditate on his probable fate when the final loaf was gone, and gleaming cangiars and ferocious janizaries had begun their work of carnage. Suddenly his attentive ear was arrested by an unaccustomed vibratory sound proceeding from the drum, while his eye perceived a continuous dancing movement of the marble. Soon it became apparent to him that the vibration was caused by forces working on the fortifications without—the steady pounding of mattock and pickaxe—and that the undermining of the walls had begun almost at his door. At once his loaves were forgotten, and, hastening to spread the alarm, the enemy was attacked unawares and successfully routed. The following day the baker was summoned before the emperor.

"What reward do you claim for your services?—you have saved the city," said the emperor.

"I would serve the bread for the palace," replied the artist of the loaves, "and I would have my rolls shaped like the Crescent we have conquered."

A favourite convivial song of the Fatherland, with its rollicking strain, may not be omitted from a German Speisekarte. The words are by a former minister of education, von Muehler, of Prussia; the music that of the dance "La Madrilena." It should be sung in chorus and led by one who is light on his feet and a master of the side-step, with the sonorous instrumentation of viols and horns to lend it additional spirit and swing:




(Heinrich von Muehler, 1842. Bis 1872 Preussischer Cultusminister.)

Munter.Spanischer Tanz: La Madrilena. 1. Grad' aus dem Wirthshaus nun komm' ich her-aus;... Stra-sse, wie wun-der-lich siehst du mir aus!... Rech-ter Hand, lin-ker Hand, bei-des ver-tauscht: Stra-sse, ich mer-ke wohl, du bist be-rauscht! 2. Was für ein schief Gesicht, Mond, machst denn du? Ein Au-ge hat er auf, eins hat er zu?... Du wirst be-trun-ken sein, das seh' ich hell:... Schä-me dich, schäme dich, al-ter Ge-sell! 3. Und die La-ter-nen erst, was muss ich sehn! Die kön-nen al-le nicht gra-de mehr stehn;... Wa-ckeln und fa-ckeln die Kreuz und die Quer:... Schei-nen be-trun-ken mir al-le-sammt schwer! 4. Al-les im Stur-me rings, Gro-sses und Klein; Wag' ich dar-un-ter mich, nüch-tern al-lein?... Das scheint be-denk-lich mir ein Wa-ge-stück! Da geh' ich lie-ber in's Wirthshaus zu-rück! [174]

While the Germans have not yet adopted applesauce with green goose or cranberries with turkey, no fault can be found with their admirable choice of the "Compot" in general as an accessory and grace-note to the roast. One may even forgive them the taste which permits them to serve the noted hams of Westphalia uncooked, in view of the excellence of their beer, their admirable Kuchen, and the merits of their rolls and sweets. Besides cakes innumerable, the larder of the Hausfrau fairly groans with "Compots," some form of which is invariably served with roast meats, poultry, or game. And inasmuch as woman in Germany is created for the special purpose of ministering to the comforts, the tastes, and the selfish wishes of man, independent of her own inclinations, it may be assumed that her natural fondness for sweets is shared equally by the opposite sex.

One may or may not be impressed with the merits of the German Kochkunst in all its branches, which perhaps requires a native or a seasoned taste to be estimated at its just and proper worth. But that it comports with those whom it chiefly concerns, and that it is appreciated by all true sons of the Fatherland, will admit of little doubt when one considers the national Gemüthlichkeit, or views the profound deliberation that the perusal of a Speisekarte always evokes from the Gast, the Wirth, and the Herr Oberkellner.


Frontispiece of "Le Gastronome Français" (1828)


THE SCHOOL OF SAVARIN "Depuis longtemps j'avais un mot à dire de Brillat-Savarin. Cette figure, souriante plutôt que riante, ce demi-ventre, cet esprit et cet estomac de bon ton, me tentait."

Charles Monselet.

Most noted of literary tributes to the table is that of Brillat-Savarin, who has discoursed on gastronomy with all the knowledge and discursiveness, with all the verve and raciness displayed by Ninon de l'Enclos in descanting on love in her letters to the Marquis de Sévigné. He is at once the corypheus of good cheer and its most refined exponent. Few subjects are as difficult to treat without grossness as those relating to the gratification of the appetite, the pleasures of eating and drinking, which he has handled with such felicitous skill. Accompanying him along his alluring ambages, whose aisles are redo[176]lent of truffles and vol-au-vents in lieu of balsams and flowers, all other arts appear secondary to that of gastronomy; for through it alone, it becomes obviously manifest, may its sister arts receive their proper inspiration and man attain that hygienic beatitude which is essential to the greatest creative genius.

Whether he was as accomplished in reality as he appears upon the printed page, whether his practice was equal to his theory,—a question some of his contemporaries have disputed,—is of trivial moment in view of the abiding attractiveness of the "Physiologie du Goût." In his essay the distinction of a gourmand and a gourmet was first distinctly set forth, and throughout its length and breadth the topic is discussed with the dexterity that the author would observe in the preparation of his favourite fondue. Rarely has a subject found a writer whose qualities so eminently fitted him for its elaboration. With a touch light as gossamer, he has run the entire gamut of taste, investing his theme with new and subtle harmonies. The pheasant and the turkey have gained in savour since he has passed them under review, and the truffle derived an added flavour through the sixth Meditation.

In viewing the portrait of Savarin, we see before us a man of imposing presence, full-faced and florid, large, massive, robust, with bright eyes, rounded chin, and sensuous mouth. The high, broad forehead and protuberances above the eyebrows denote the reasoning and imaginative mind, while the full nostrils and lips point to a highly developed physical organism—to one who might be a lawyer, physician, banker, or[177] diplomat, but whose features in any event proclaim the genial companion, the ready raconteur, and one upon whom the pleasures of the senses exercise an important influence. It was this nice adjustment of the mental and physical, this happy balance of mind and being, that combined to produce a work which may justly be classed among the most original of the nineteenth century.

"To fulfil the task I propose to myself," observes the author in his preface, "it was necessary to be a physician, a physiologist, and even more or less of a classical scholar." To these qualifications he added those of a thorough man of the world, a natural epicure, a keen observer, a metaphysician, and a writer unusually gifted with style and sententiousness of expression. Impressed by his masterly grasp of his subject, La Reynière, on reading the volume for the first time, immediately proclaimed its supremacy, asserting that it should open the doors of the Academy if they were to be opened by a superior mind. Among the many recognitions of the writer's genius none is more appreciative than that of Balzac, whose "Physiology of Marriage" was inspired by the "Physiology of Taste." Treatises innumerable on gastronomy have since appeared, but few are worthy of serious consideration, the majority being more or less offensive or mere echoes of a familiar strain.

With Savarin gastronomy became an all-absorbing enthusiasm—a prolific vein that hitherto had been imperfectly explored. It was, above all, an art, a potent factor in the pleasures of life, a valuable auxiliary to health, a means of advancing the amenities of ex[178]istence—a finesse, in short, of which he was to be the analyst and interpreter, the La Bruyère and the Sainte-Beuve. Like the sprightly Ninon in her letters, who at eighty was still able to captivate and charm, Savarin might have written of the meditations of his advanced age: "We are not indulging in what is termed fine conversation—we are philosophising."

The reader who will look to the "Physiology" for practical directions on cookery will be disappointed. In place of a cook-book he will find a reflective dissertation on the æsthetics of the table, replete with wit, humour, and anecdote; a treatise dealing more with physical functions than the fashioning of sauces, and with the fork and wine-glass rather than with the chef and casserole.

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, or Brillat de Savarin, was born at Belley, in the department of the Ain, in 1755, the "Physiologie du Goût" appearing in 1825, a year previous to his death. The volume was the outcome of a lifetime of preparation for which his temperament and circumstances afforded abundant opportunity. Like La Reynière, he was a lawyer by profession, and, like him, he became an exile for a considerable period. He had received a careful education, the early part of his life being devoted to his legal practice, medical and chemical studies, and epicurean pleasures. He was fond of music, the fair sex, and good dinners, this triple penchant revealing itself frequently in his anecdotes. When thirty-eight years of age, he was elected mayor of Belley. Later, after sojourning in Switzerland, he visited the United[179] States for a period of three years to introduce to New England the fondue—a dish which he proclaims of Swiss origin and from which the "Welsh rarebit" was derived. On his return to France he became a commissary of the government in the department of Seine-et-Oise, afterwards being appointed a counsellor in the Court of Cassation, a position he occupied during the remainder of his life. While engaged in this tribunal, his volume was leisurely composed.

Lyons, celebrated for its cervelas, chestnuts, beer, and vin de Rivage, was but a short distance from his native place, and it may be assumed that when tired of home fare he availed himself occasionally of its numerous markets and restaurants, and enjoyed the hospitality of its bons-vivants. Game was abundant in the Ain, a region he describes as "a charming country of high mountains, hills, rivers, limpid brooks, and cascades." Nor were trout wanting in its crystal waters—a delicacy that often graced his table and furnished him with one of his most picturesque recipes. He is speaking in his oracular way to his chef, in the admirable Meditation entitled "The Theory of Frying," a chapter that every cook should learn by heart:

"I say nothing about choosing oils or fats, because the various cook-books which I have placed in your library give sufficient information on that hand. Do not forget, however, when you have any of those trout weighing scarcely more than a quarter of a pound and caught in running brooks that murmur far from the capital—do not forget, I say, to fry them in the very finest olive oil you have. This simple dish, properly sprinkled and served up with slices of lemon, is worthy of being offered to a cardinal."


One can almost hear the music of the stream as it purls over its pebbly bed and whispers to the overhanging alders, while one marks the leap and glitter of trout and their prompt transition to the basket and the frying-pan. And lest these lovely denizens of spring-fed waters be overlooked in a subsequent chapter, it will be well to attach at once the instructions as to their mode of cooking of another author, in whom one is sure of an admirable guide, philosopher, and friend:

"They are so perfumed, these little trout," says Baron Brisse, "that it is sufficient to cook them in a light court-bouillon, and as soon as they are perfectly cold to eat them au naturel; all seasonings detracting from their savour. Truites au court-bouillon. Clean the trout by the gills, dry them carefully, tie up the heads, then cook them in a court-bouillon made of white wine seasoned with slices of onion, sprigs of parsley, thyme, bay-leaf, and salt, adding a little bouillon; let them simmer until completely done, dry them, and serve on a napkin garnished with parsley. If a sauce is desired, mix a part of the court-bouillon with butter and flour, reduce one half on a lively fire, and serve. Truites à la Vosgienne. After dressing the trout, sprinkle with salt and let them stand an hour. Then place them on the fire with the necessary quantity of white wine for their cooking, seasoning with onions, cloves, a bouquet-garni, a clove of garlic, salt, pepper, and butter mixed with flour; cook on a lively fire, lay out the trout on a platter, and mask them with the sauce passed through a sieve."

These modes of preparation, all of which are delicious, will not interfere with preparing them à la matelote and au gratin, or the more common manner of[181] frying them in butter, with a thin slice or two of salt pork and a dash of lemon and sprinkling of chopped parsley added to the sauce of the cooking. The best of sauces, however, is the sauce of catching the trout one's self—to hear with one's own ear the cool lapse of streams "that murmur far from the capital," and view the rubies at first hand as they flash from the Salmo's roseate sides.

If, as was stated by the Marquis de Cussy, Brillat-Savarin "ate copiously and ill, chose little, talked dully, and was preoccupied at the end of a repast," no fault can be found by the most captious critic with the conversationalist and host of the "Physiology." There is not a dull line within its covers, or a page unmarked by brilliancy. Beginning with a dissertation on the senses in general, he proceeds with a most recondite analysis of the senses relating to taste. He explains that the empire of taste has its blind and its deaf, that the sensation of taste resides principally in the papillæ of the tongue, though every tongue has not the same number of papillæ, but that in some there are thrice as many as in others. Hence, with two persons sitting at the same table, one may be deliciously affected by the viands and wines, whereas the other will seem to partake of them with restraint. Taste, he maintains, is a sense that, all things considered, procures us the greatest number of enjoyments:

"1st. Because the pleasure of eating is the only one that, taken in moderation, is never followed by fatigue;

"2d. Because it belongs to all times, to all ages, and to all conditions;


"3d. Because it occurs necessarily at least once a day, and may be repeated without inconvenience two or three times in this space of time;

"4th. Because it may be combined with all our other pleasures and even console us for their absence;

"5th. Because the impressions it receives are at the same time more durable and more dependent on our will;

"6th. Because in eating we receive a certain indefinable and special comfort which arises from the intuitive consciousness that we repair our losses and prolong our existence by the food we eat.

"Lastly," he asserts, "the tongue of man, by the delicacy of its texture and the various membranes which environ it, sufficiently indicates the sublimity of the operations for which it is destined. It contains at least three movements unknown to animals, which he terms spication, rotation, and verrition. The first is when the tongue in a conical shape comes from between the lips that compress it; the second, when the tongue moves circularly in the space comprised between the interior of the cheeks and the palate; the third, when the tongue, curving upwards or downwards, gathers anything remaining in the semicircular canal formed by the lips and the gums."

Like the seasoned and thoroughbred hunter who is sure of his sinew and his stride, and before whom the stile, the ditch, and the five-barred gate present no obstacles, so may Savarin be freely allowed his head and be followed over the fragrant fields of taste, with no fear that anything appertaining to its province will prove impossible or difficult for him to surmount.

The influence of smell on taste is closely analysed:

"For myself, I am not only persuaded that without the participation of smell there is no perfect taste, but I am even[183] tempted to believe that smell and taste form only one sense, of which the mouth is the laboratory and the nose the chimney; or, to speak more exactly, that the tongue tastes tactile substances, and the nose gases. This theory may be vigorously defended.

"All sapid bodies must be necessarily odorous, which places them as well in the empire of smell as in the empire of taste.

"We eat nothing without smelling it with more or less consciousness; and for unknown foods the nose acts always as a sentinel, and cries, 'Who goes there?'

"When smell is interrupted, taste is paralysed. This is proved by three experiments, which any one may make successfully: First, when the nasal mucous membrane is irritated by a violent cold in the head, taste is entirely obliterated. In anything we swallow there is no taste. The tongue, nevertheless, remains in its normal state. Second, if we eat whilst holding tight our nose, we are much astonished to experience the sensation of taste only in an obscure and imperfect manner. By this means the most nauseous medicines are swallowed almost without tasting them. Third, we see the same effect if, at the moment we have swallowed, instead of bringing back the tongue to its usual place, we keep it close to the palate. In this case the circulation of the air is intercepted, the organs of smell are not affected, and taste does not occur. These different effects depend upon the same cause, the lack of coöperation of the smell, which makes the sapid body to be appreciated only on account of its juice, and not for the odoriferous gas that emanates from it.

"These principles being thus laid down, I regard it as certain that taste gives rise to sensations of three different orders, namely: direct sensation, complete sensation, and reflex sensation. Direct sensation is that first perception which arises from the immediate operation of the organs of the mouth, whilst the appreciable body is yet found on the point of the[184] tongue. Complete sensation is that which is composed of this first perception and of the impression which originates when the food abandons this first position, passes into the back part of the mouth, and impresses the whole organ with both taste and perfume. Reflex sensation is the judgment of the mind upon the impressions transmitted to it by the organ."

To no other writer may one turn so satisfactorily for an interpretation of the word "gastronomy," a word which belongs by right to him. Previous to his exegesis, gluttony and gastronomy had been more or less confounded. It is true that the poem of Berchoux is entitled "La Gastronomie," but the term was not defined by the poet, nor do the piquant pages of the "Almanach" refer to the art "of having excellent cheer" under that term. The true epicure, as distinguished from the gross eater, had long stood in need of the definition and distinction. "The gastronomer is nearly always a sage," it has been observed—a statement borne out by the "Dictionnaire de la Conversation," which characterises this science as "the art of living, of eating worthily, properly, as a man of taste, character, and judgment." It will prove of interest, therefore, to those who are unfamiliar with the "Physiology" to refer to the third Meditation, and note the French savant's elaborate analysis of the word:

"Gastronomy is the rational knowledge of all that relates to man as an eater.

"Its object is to watch over the preservation of men by means of the best nourishment possible.

"It arrives thereat by laying down certain principles to[185] direct those who look for, furnish, or prepare the things which may be converted into food.

"Thus it is gastronomy that sets in motion farmers, vine-growers, fishers, hunters, and the numerous family of cooks, whatever may be their title, or under whatever qualification they may disguise their occupation of preparing food.

"Gastronomy is connected—

"With natural history, by its classification of alimentary substances.

"With physics, by the investigation of their composition and their qualities;

"With chemistry, by the different analyses and decompositions which it makes them undergo;

"With cookery, by the art of preparing food and rendering it more agreeable to taste;

"With commerce, by the search for means to buy at the cheapest rate possible what is consumed by it, and selling to the greatest advantage that which is presented for sale;

"Lastly, with political economy, by the resources which it furnishes to the authorities for taxation, and by the means of exchange it establishes among nations.

"Some knowledge of gastronomy is needed by all men, since it tends to increase the allotted sum of human happiness; and the more easy a man's circumstances, the more advantages does he gain from such knowledge."

Summing up, he pronounces its material subject to be everything that may be eaten; its direct object, the preservation of individuals; and its means of execution, cultivation which produces, commerce which exchanges, industry which prepares, and experience which invents the means of turning everything to the best account.

It will thus be perceived how little understood, even[186] at this advanced age, is the term in question, and how few, comparatively, there are who comprehend the true significance of the pleasures of the table—pleasures where grossness does not enter, but where taste, refinement, the amenities, and hygiene assert their sway. Life is short at its longest; but who shall harvest its sweetnesses so fully as the accomplished gastronomer! The rustling forest glades, radiant in the pomp of October, may be summoned by the appearance of a finely larded grouse; the tinkle of liberated brooks be heard with the advent of the first April trout; the flute of the whitethroat be recalled by the floral tributes to the table; and all that is sunshine in nature be distilled when the cork sets free a noble vintage of the Médoc or the Marne.

If the term "gastronomy" was imperfectly understood until the definition in the "Physiology," as much may be said of the word gourmandise, which oftener served as a designation of gluttony than as a synonym of refined epicureanism.

Gourmandise, Savarin defines as "an impassioned, rational, and habitual preference for all objects which flatter the sense of taste. It is opposed to excess in eating and drinking. Physically, it is an indication of the wholesome state of the organs on which nutrition depends, and, morally, it marks implicit resignation to the commands of the Creator, who, in ordering man to eat that he may live, invites him to do so by appetite, encourages him by flavour, and rewards him by pleasure. It is, moreover, most favourable to beauty, imparting more brilliancy to the eye, freshness to the skin, more support to the muscles; and as [187]it is certain in physiology that it is the depression of muscles that causes wrinkles, those formidable enemies of beauty, it is equally true that, all things being equal, those who know how to eat are comparatively ten years younger than those ignorant of that science." It was also left for him to discover that gourmandise, when it is shared, has a marked influence on the happiness which may be found in the conjugal state.


Frontispiece of "Le Caveau Moderne" (1807)

Let us follow the accomplished chancellor farther in his physiological studies, and refer to the thirteenth Meditation, which treats of "gastronomic tests." In a previous chapter a famous bill of fare of the renowned Rocher de Cancale has been presented, which it may be well to compare with what approaches nearest to a menu or series of menus in the "Physiology." It will then be for the reader to decide whether he would rather have assisted at the feast of the Rocher alluded to, or at that prescribed by Savarin for an income of thirty thousand francs in the early part of the century. In both instances the list of accompanying wines is wanting, and therefore the menus are necessarily incomplete as a dinner chronicle of the times. Happily, the long and heavy dinners of former days have given place to repasts of a far more simple nature, as the heavy wines of Oporto and the South and the highly saccharine products of the vine have been replaced by lighter and more wholesome kinds. It is possible now to dine well and generously and escape a headache or an indigestion the following morning.

By "gastronomic tests," which the author claims as a personal discovery that will honour the nineteenth[188] century, he understands dishes of acknowledged flavour, of an excellence so undoubted that the mere sight of them ought to move, in a well-organised man, every faculty of taste; so that all those whose faces under such circumstances neither flash with desire nor beam with ecstasy may justly be noted as unworthy of the honours of the banquet and its attending pleasures. A test destined for a man of limited means, he explains, would have little reference to a head clerk, and would scarcely be perceived when a select few dine together at a capitalist's or a diplomatist's. Should such dishes as a truffled turkey seem out of keeping for an income of fifteen thousand francs, and the list of the "third series" appear too elaborate for an income of double that sum, due consideration should be taken of the value of the franc at the period to which the author refers. It is also to be presumed that such a bill of fare was not often served by any one person, and was therefore more highly prized and more easily digested.

Gastronomic Tests.

First Series.

For a Presumed Income of 5000 Francs a Year (Mediocrity).

A large fillet of veal, well larded with bacon, done in its own gravy.

A country-fed turkey stuffed with Lyons chestnuts.

Fattened pigeons larded and cooked to a turn.

Eggs dressed à la neige.


A dish of Sauerkraut bristling with sausages and crowned with Strassburg bacon.

Remarks.—"Bless me! that looks all right! Come on! let us do honour to it!"

Second Series.

For a Presumed Income of 15,000 Francs (Comfort).

A fillet of beef underdone in the middle, larded and done in its own gravy.

A haunch of venison, accompanied by a gherkin sauce.

A boiled turbot.

A leg of mutton présalé, done à la provençale.

A truffled turkey.

Early green peas.

Remarks.—"Ah, my dear friend, what a delightful sight! This is truly a wedding-feast."

Third Series.

For a Presumed Income of 30,000 Francs or more (Riches).

A fowl of about seven pounds stuffed with truffles till it becomes almost round.

An enormous Strassburg pâté de foie gras, in the shape of a bastion.

A large Rhein carp à la Chambord, richly dressed and decorated.

Truffled quails, with marrow, spread on buttered toast au basilic.

A river pike larded, stuffed, and smothered in a cream of crayfish secundum artem.

A pheasant done to perfection, with his tail-feathers stuck in, lying on toast à la Sainte-Alliance.


A hundred early asparagus, each half an inch thick, with sauce à l'osmazôme.

Two dozen ortolans à la provençale, as described in some of the cookery-books already mentioned.

A pyramid of vanilla and rose meringues—a test sometimes useless unless in the case of ladies and abbés.

Remarks.—"Ah, my dear sir (or my lord), what a genius that cook of yours is! It is only at your table that one meets such dishes."

In order that any test should produce its full effect, the author advises that it be served plenteously, the rarest of dishes losing its influence when not in abundant proportion, as the first impression it produces on the guests is naturally checked by the fear of being stingily served, or, in certain cases, of being obliged to refuse out of politeness—a conclusion one may see verified frequently at a European table-d'hôte when the parsimonious though perhaps extortionate landlord deals out the roast or the fish through the intermedium of the maligned garçon or Kellner. There are certain dishes, nevertheless, whose zest consists in their very daintiness and lack of exuberance, such as numerous entrées, in the savouring of which even the forks and knives should be small and the proportions of the dish be restricted rather than augmented. But the rules in the "Physiology" as to a perfect dinner still hold good in the main, and will well bear reiteration:

"Let the number of guests not exceed twelve, so that the conversation may be constantly general.

"Let them be so chosen that their occupations are various,[191] their tastes analogous, and with such points of contact that one need not have recourse to that odious formality of introductions.

"Let the dining-room be brilliantly lighted, the cloth as white as snow, and the temperature of the room from sixty to sixty-eight degrees Fahrenheit.

"Let the men be witty and not pedantic, and the women amiable without being too coquettish.

"Let the dishes be exquisitely choice, but small in number, and the wines of the first quality, each in its degree.

"Let the dishes be served from the more substantial to the lighter; and from the simpler wines to those of finer bouquet.

"Let the eating proceed slowly, the dinner being the last business of the day, and let the guests look upon themselves as travellers who journey together towards a common object.

"Let the coffee be hot and the liqueurs be specially chosen.

"Let the drawing-room to which the guests retire be large enough to permit those who cannot do without it to have a game of cards, while leaving, however, ample scope for post-prandial conversation.

"Let the guests be detained by social attraction, and animated with expectation that before the evening is over there will be some further enjoyment.

"Let the tea not be too strong, the toast artistically buttered, and the punch made with care.

"Let the signal for departure not be given before eleven o'clock.

"Let every one be in bed at midnight.

"If any man has ever been a guest at a repast uniting all these conditions, he can boast of having been present at his own apotheosis; and he will have enjoyed it the less in proportion as these conditions have been forgotten or neglected."

Exception perhaps may be taken to the temperature of the dining-room as given in the above injunc[192]tions, 70° to 73° Fahrenheit being a more comfortable atmospheric medium of dining where it is possible. The tea and toast and the punch may also be dispensed with to advantage, and in their stead a liqueur glass of Curaçoa sec be prescribed, one of the best, as it is one of the most agreeable, digestives after a substantial repast.

Game has been pronounced a delight of the table by Savarin—a food healthful, warming, savoury, and easy of digestion to young stomachs. Of small game or birds, he accords the highest place to the fig-pecker, saying that if this bird were as large as a pheasant it would be worth an acre of land. Savarin was a true sportsman, who knew his game and its proper preparation, and among the breeziest of his chapters are those relating to field sports, wherein due regard is paid to the luncheon. A portion of the fifteenth Meditation will be sufficient to show the counsellor in his hunting costume at the halt of a shooting party; he is in his happiest vein, his theme being "The Ladies." The morning has been fine, and the birds abundant. Appetite is not wanting, and at a prearranged hour a party of ladies arrive, laden with the treasures of Périgord, the triumphs of Strassburg, and the bubbles of Epernay, to assist in the repast. It is at the close of this that the chancellor becomes most eloquent and pronounces one of his most characteristic monologues:

"I have been out shooting in the centre of France and the most remote provinces, and seen arrive at the halt charming women, girls redolent with freshness, some arriving in cabri[193]olets, others in simple country carts. I have seen them the first in laughing at the inconveniences of their conveyance. I have seen them display upon the turf the turkey in clear jelly, the household pie, the salad all ready for mixing. I have seen them with light foot dancing round the bivouac fire lighted on this occasion. I have taken part in the games and merriment that accompany such a gipsy feast, and I feel thoroughly convinced that, with less luxury, there is quite as much that is charming, gay, and delightful.

"Why when they take their leave should not some kisses be interchanged with the best sportsman, who is in his glory; with the worst shot because he is most unlucky: with the others so as not to make them jealous? All are about to separate, custom has authorized it; and it is permissible, and even commanded, to take advantage of such an opportunity.

"Fellow-sportsmen, ye who are prudent and look after solid things, fire straight, and bag as much as you can before the ladies arrive, for experience teaches us that after their departure sportsmen seem very rarely in luck...."[27]

As the lordly Asian pheasant is thriving and multiplying with us, it will be pertinent to present Savarin's famous and somewhat inaccessible formula of preparing him à la Sainte-Alliance for all such as may wish to try so elaborate a plat de luxe, it being well understood that the pheasant, above all birds, requires to be very fully matured by hanging:

"The bird is first to be carefully larded with the best and firmest lard. Then bone two woodcocks, put their flesh aside, and keep the livers and trails of the two birds separate. Take[194] this meat and mince it, add some beef marrow, steamed, a little scraped bacon, pepper, salt, herbs, and enough good truffles to stuff the inner cavity of the pheasant. Be careful not to let the stuffing spread to the outside, which is sometimes a little difficult when the bird is rather high. Nevertheless, it can be done in various ways, and amongst others by fastening a crust of bread with a piece of thread on the stomach, which prevents its bursting. Cut a slice of bread longer and wider by two inches than the whole pheasant is; then take the livers and trails of the woodcocks, and pound them with two large truffles, one anchovy, a little scraped bacon, and a goodly lump of the best fresh butter. Spread this paste on the slice of bread, and put it under the pheasant stuffed as above, so that it may receive all the gravy dripping from it while roasting. When the pheasant is cooked, serve it up lying gracefully on its toast, put some bitter oranges round it, and await the result without any uneasiness. This high-flavoured dish ought to be washed down, in preference, with some of the best wine of Upper Burgundy. Treated according to the preceding prescription, the pheasant, already distinguished itself, is permeated from its outside with the savoury fat of the bacon which is browned and in its inside it is impregnated with the odoriferous gases from the woodcocks and the truffles. The toast, already so richly prepared, receives again the gravies of the triple combination which flow from the bird while roasting."

Has gastronomy progressed since the time of Brillat-Savarin? Replying to this question, Charles Monselet, writing in 1879, states that he "looks in vain for the tables that are praised or the hosts that are renowned. Where are the great cooks? What names have we now to oppose to those of Carême and Robert? Shall I speak of official cookery, of minis[195]terial dinners? These are not the dinners to which people go to eat. There especially the cook is more proud of a Chinese kiosk on a rock in coloured and spun sugar, which no person dare touch, than of a carp à la Chambord treated in a masterly way. Since the days of Cambacérès official cookery has ceased to exist." The similarity of dinners complained of by Walker and Thackeray during a previous era he refers to as existing in Paris: "That which you eat yesterday in the Faubourg Saint-Germain, you will eat to-morrow in the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. At the end of the week you recognise that you have merely changed your knife and fork. This poverty of imagination, this absence of research are unworthy of a country such as ours."

Apart from his neglect to mention the labours of his distinguished gastronomical predecessor, Savarin is also open to censure for failing to thank the Italians for their admirable lessons in the science of cookery, including that of frying in oil, which he particularly specifies as so desirable with trout "caught in running brooks that murmur far from the capital." To this day the Italian remains a great confectioner and pastry-cook, while an Italian maestro is a delight of the haute cuisine, his methods possessing much originality and holding nothing in common with the greasy dishes and their superabundance of garlic which one meets in the average inn and in many of the restaurants of the land beyond the Alps.

Upon one subject, it is to be regretted, we have not been advised by the philosophic and analytic mayor[196] of Belley, who is silent concerning the physiology of the cocktail, or any form of beverage composed of spirits, taken before dinner. During La Reynière's era, on the occasion of a grand dinner the rule was the so-called coup d'avant, the coup du milieu, and the coup d'après—the three spirituous graces, as it were, of an elaborate repast. Here was a lost opportunity for the "Physiology," which might have formulated a hygienic chapter apart from the Meditations on thirst and drinks. Unquestionably, there are reasons for and against the use of a liquid stimulant before the principal meal. The true gastronomer, and all those who are careful of their health, without which the best dinner may not be enjoyed, will at any rate eschew all strong alcoholic beverages until evening. The question of a stimulant before the dinner will then be one for individual consideration. Its daily use may scarcely be commended, particularly if it be followed by wine: one who is in possession of good health should not require a fictitious goad to appetite. Where a carefully planned dinner is in question, however, the dry cocktail—one, and one only—taken ten minutes before the moment of sitting down at table, is undoubtedly a stimulus to appetite and provocative of good-fellowship. It pitches the company in a pleasant key at the onset, and imparts a zest and an allégresse to the first part of the repast that were otherwise lacking. Then, if the sparkling wine be not postponed too long, and the dinner itself be meritorious, the host and hostess may rest secure, without a shadow of solicitude regarding its success. Impelled by its own geniality, the company will take abundant care of itself, and the stream of conversation and rip[197]ple of anecdote flow freely along, unimpeded by the boulders of formality or the aridity engendered by a dearth of joyous fluids.

Turning the leaves of the "Physiology," the reader will be impressed with the fecundity of an author who treats with equal fluency of foods and drinks, appetite and digestion, sport and old age, women and abbés, and all that appertains to the physiology of gastronomy. His portrait of a pretty gourmande under arms is a genre painting worthy of Gérard Douw or Van Mieris, while his Meditation on the end of the world might have been composed by a doctor of the Sorbonne. The chapter on digestion is full of practical advice, and from this his disquisitions on repose, on dreams, and on the influence of diet are a natural succession. In the chapter on dreams we are told that all foods which are slightly exciting cause people to dream—such as brown meat, pigeons, ducks, game, and, above all, hare—the same property being also recognised in asparagus, celery, truffles, sweetmeats, and particularly vanilla. Equally suggestive are the essays on corpulence, leanness, and fasting, and the many racy anecdotes of the "Variétés," while his aphorisms must always occupy a place in epicurean literature.

Did Savarin feel a premonition of immediate death when he penned the verses which he entitled "The Agony—A Physiological Romance," and which conclude the work that has rendered his name a synonym for all that appertains to the table and its pleasures?

"I feel through all my senses life's sad end, My dim eye sees the last few grains of sand[198] Falling, Louisa weeps, my tender friend, And places on my breast her trembling hand. The band of morning-callers troops apace, Not to return, they bid a last good-bye, The doctor leaves, the pastor takes his place, For I must die! "I fain would pray, my memory is gone; I fain would speak, my lips can frame no sound; I hear, though all is still, a singing tone, And a dull shadow seems to hover round; All is now cold and dark, my panting breast Exhausts itself in heaving one poor sigh, To wander round my lips in frozen rest, For I must die!" Numerous translations of the "Physiology" have appeared in various languages. Of these the most familiar one in English, entitled "Gastronomy as a Fine Art," is well interpreted as far as it goes. But many piquant passages are condensed, and portions of chapters and at least one half of the "Variétés" are omitted altogether. The most complete rendition is the large octavo volume, with its rather unsatisfactory illustrations by Lalauze, termed "A Handbook of Gastronomy," wherein the English reader may commune with the French writer almost at first hand, and not be obliged to forgo "The Pullet of Bresse," "The Dish of Eels," "A Day with the Bernardines," and "The Pheasant"—à la Sainte-Alliance.


From the etching by Rajon


FROM CARÊME TO DUMAS "Les écrivains-cuisiniers sont aussi nécessaires que les autres littérateurs: il vous faut connaître la théorie du plus ancien des arts."—Charles Gerard.

Among the great professional cooks who were not alone notable practitioners, but who have written understandingly on the art, the names of Beauvilliers, Carême, Ude, Francatelli, Soyer, Urbain-Dubois, and Gouffé are preëminent. We have already considered the important rôle enacted by Beauvilliers as chef, restaurateur, and author. The unctuous name of Carême, however, is more often uttered with reverence, and even yet evokes visions of all that is most delectable in sauces and entremêts de douceur.

Indeed, were one to wish that he might turn an Aladdin's ring and summon some genius of the range[200] who would be most gladly welcomed, surely on Carême the choice would fall. As for the dinner one might wish to command, what better than the feast at the Château de Boulogne, so eloquently described by Lady Morgan, when he presided at the Baron Rothschild's villa—that dinner of an estival eventide when the landscape lay sweltering in the heat, without, but where all was deliciously cool within the vast pavilion which stood apart from the mansion in the midst of orange trees: "where distillations of the most delicate viands, extracted in silver dews, with chemical precision,

"'On tepid clouds of rising steam,' formed the base of all; where every meat presented its own natural aroma, and every vegetable its own shade of verdure; where the mayonnaise was fried in ice (like Ninon's description of Sévigné's heart); and the tempered chill of the plombière anticipated the stronger shock, and broke it, of the exquisite avalanche, which, with the hue and odour of fresh gathered nectarines, satisfied every sense and dissipated every coarser flavour."

The age of Carême was the era of quintessences—of the cuisine classique, when chemistry contributed new resources, and fish, meats, and fowls were distilled, in order to add a heightened flavour to the sauces and viands that their etherealised essences were to accentuate. One thinks of Lucullus and Apicius, and of the "exceeding odoriferous and aromaticall vapour" of the ovens of the artist mentioned by Montaigne.


That success in any walk of life is the result not only of natural aptitude but of persevering application, Carême's history affords abundant proof, if such were required. Left to shift for himself when but seven years old, at fifteen he had already served his apprenticeship as a cook, to advance with rapid strides in his chosen profession. Constant sobriety, which called for much self-sacrifice on his part, and an iron constitution enabled him to carry out the most arduous labours. "My ambition was serious," he states in his memoirs, "and at an early age I became desirous of elevating my profession to an art."

The better to perfect himself in its various branches, he studied for ten years under the most distinguished masters, including Robert and Laguipière. For years, also, he was a daily student at the Imperial Library and Cabinet of Engravings, perfecting himself in drawing and in the literature of his profession. He likewise made an exhaustive study of old Roman cookery, only to arrive at the conclusion that it was intrinsically bad and abominably heavy (foncièrement mauvaise et atrocement lourde)—an opinion confirmed by the Marquis de Cussy, who declared that he would rather dine at a Parisian restaurant for twenty francs than with Lucullus in the saloon of Apollo. It was Carême's habit to take notes nightly of his progress and the modifications he had made in his work during the day, thereby fixing those ideas and combinations that otherwise would have escaped his memory.

Amid the luxurious kitchens of the Empire he reigned supreme—the king of pastry-cooks and mar[202]vellous in his sauces, galantines, and inventions. Crowned heads soon became his suitors, and princes implored his services. It was Talleyrand, one of the wittiest and most epicurean princes of the Empire, who inspired him perhaps with his greatest enthusiasm, and of whom he says, "M. de Talleyrand understands the genius of a cook, he respects it, he is the most competent judge of delicate progress, and his expenditures are wise and great at the same time." Of Laguipière, the chief cook of Murat, to whose talents he ascribes the elegance and éclat of the culinary art of the nineteenth century, he is unstinted in his praises. Of Beauvilliers he has little to say, and although a volume appeared bearing the combined names of Beauvilliers and Carême, one fancies that the proverbial jealousy of cooks was not wanting in their case.

Carême has modified the adage on se fait cuisinier, mais on est né rôtisseur, claiming that to become a perfect cook one must first be a distinguished pastry-maker, and citing as instances his favourite teacher Laguipière, with Robert, Lasne, Riquette, and numerous other celebrities. He speaks of the "lightness," the "grace," and the "colour" of pastry; of the "order, perspicuity, and intelligence" required in its preparation. "It is easier," he says, "to cook pastry than to make it.... There are ovens and ovens (fours). There is the four chaud; there is the four gai; there is the four chaleur modérée. The best oven is that which is often heated and which retains its heat. If there is too much loft and too little floor, or much floor and little loft, only meagre results may be ex[203]pected." When one orders a vol-au-vent à la financière or a pâté d'écrevisses (that triumph of Orléans) at a restaurant, therefore, it will be perceived it becomes a question of the oven as well as the capacity of the artist directing it that counts in the success, and which the conscientious diner should take into consideration ere finding fault with the addition.

Again, the analogy between cookery and painting becomes apparent. Thus the conditions noted by Carême find a parallel in the artist endowed with a vivid imagination, but possessed of only mediocre technique; or a painter whose feeling may be admirable, but whose execution is deficient. The four gai—how it suggests a landscape of Cuyp steeped in the splendours of the setting sun—to say nothing of a nicely gilded omelette or a soufflé of apricots! To glacer à la flamme, as Carême expressed it, calls for a four d'enfer, and one has in mind a crême gelée d'Alaska, with the fire managed by a Mephistopheles.

Let the cook and the painter continue to lay on the colours gaily—the one with his braise and the other with his brush. Art is art always, and finds its sure reward in whatever sphere talent, conscientiousness, and application are united.

In the autobiographic preface of the "Cuisinier Parisien" an instance is cited of the care and variety which the author claims every industrious cook should bring to bear in his work, in order to excite the appetite of the amphitryon:

"One day the Prince-Regent of England, whom I served, said to me, 'Carême, you will make me die of indigestion; I[204] am fond of everything you give me, and you tempt me too much.' 'Monseigneur,' I replied, 'my principal office is to challenge your appetite by the variety of my service; but it is not my affair to regulate it.' The prince smiled, saying that I was right, and I continued to supply him with the best."

"The charcoal shortens our lives," said Carême; "but what matter?—we lose in years and gain in glory." A born epicure, he never risked his health by over-indulgence of his epicurean taste. "I have been prudent," he states, "not by inclination, but through a profound sense of my duty." To his culinary accomplishments he joined those of a master director and maître-d'hôtel. Witness his remarks concerning the functions of a chief steward:

"The maître-d'hôtel cuisinier should possess that unification of qualities which is seldom bestowed, even in an isolated form. He will be a cook, above all—able, alert, productive; he will be cut out for active command and be animated by an invincible ardour for work; he will be a man of parts, an enthusiast, vigilant even to minuteness. He will see all, and know all. The maître-d'hôtel is never ill. He presides over everything, his impetus dominates all; he alone has the right to raise his voice, and all must obey. He must be sufficiently learned to write out, when occasion calls for it, without the aid of books, the principal part of his bills of fare. These are his book of resources, the journal of his fatigues and his victories. Alas! that which he may not preserve in these copies are the spontaneous fire and ready tact he has displayed in connection with his ranges—these are things of the moment that die at their birth."

Many anecdotes of the famous gastronomers and great personages of his time have been recounted by[205] Carême. To Cambacérès he refers at length, disputing his claim to a distinguished place among epicures. The cuisine of the arch-chancellor, he states decisively, never merited its great reputation. This was through no fault of his chef, M. Grand'Manche, an excellent practitioner, but was due solely to the excessive parsimony of his employer, who at each service was in the habit of noting the entrées that were untouched or scarcely touched, and of forming his carte for the morrow with their remains.

"What a dinner, merciful heavens! I would not say that the dessert may not be utilised, but that it may not supply a dinner for a prince and an eminent gastronomer. This is a delicate question; the master has nothing to say, nothing to see; the skill and probity of the cook alone should enter into the facts. The dessert should only be employed with precaution, skill, and especially in silence.

"The arch-chancellor received from the departments innumerable gifts of provisions and the finest of poultry. All such were forthwith engulfed in a vast larder of which he retained the key. He kept tally of the provisions, the dates of their arrival, and he alone gave orders for their utilisation. Frequently, when he issued his orders the provisions were spoiled.

"Cambacérès was never a gourmand in the scientific acceptance of the word; he was naturally a great and even voracious eater. Can one believe that he preferred, above all dishes, the pâté chaud with forcemeat balls?—a heavy, unsavoury, and vulgar dish. As a hors-d'œuvre he had frequently a crust of pâté reheated on the grill, and had brought to table the combien of a ham that had done duty for the week. And his skilful cook who never had the grand fundamental sauces! neither his under-cooks or aids nor his bottle of Bor[206]deaux! What parsimony! what a pity! what an establishment!

"Neither M. Cambacérès nor M. Brillat-Savarin knew how to eat. Both were fond of strong and vulgar things, and simply filled their stomachs. This is literally true. M. de Savarin was a large eater, and talked little and without facility, it seemed to me; he had a heavy air and resembled a parson. At the end of a repast his digestion absorbed him, and I have seen him go to sleep."

Charles Monselet has termed Savarin a mere seltzer drinker, while Dumas says he was neither a gastronomer nor a gourmet, but simply a vigorous eater. "His large size, his heavy carriage, his common appearance, with his costume ten or twelve years behind the times, caused him to be termed the drum-major of the Court of Cassation. All at once, and a dozen years after his death, we have inherited one of the most charming books of gastronomy that it is possible to imagine—the 'Physiologie du Goût.'"

"My work is a manual to be ceaselessly consulted," Carême remarked with reference to his "Maître-d'Hôtel Français." The truth of this assertion becomes manifest at once on reading the exquisitely careful directions which characterise all his treatises. The published works of the versatile author-chef include "Le Maître-d'Hôtel Français," "Le Cuisinier Parisien," "Le Pâtissier Royal Parisien," "Le Pâtissier Pittoresque," and "L'Art de la Cuisine Française au Dix-neuvième Siècle," in several of which the copious illustrations reveal his skill as a draughtsman. His death occurred while giving a lesson in his art. The day of his decease one of his schol[207]ars gave him some quenelles of sole to taste. "The quenelles are good," he remarked, "only they were prepared too hastily; you must shake the saucepan lightly." In so saying he indicated by a slight motion the movement he desired to communicate. But after two or three motions his once facile hand refused to respond to his will, and the great artist was no more.

"The asparagus plumps out at the name of Carême!" exclaimed one of his admirers; "the hare that roams the forest utters his name to the stag who passes by; the stag repeats it to the pheasant; the lark sings it in his flight to the sun."

Louis Eustache Ude, once chef of Louis XVI, and founder of the modern French school in England, exerted considerable influence upon the better cookery of his day. His "French Cook" appeared in 1822, and a few years afterwards he became chef of Crockford's Club, the year during which his former employer, the Duke of York, died. The story is told that, on hearing of the duke's illness, Ude exclaimed, "Ah! mon pauvre Duc, how greatly you will miss me where you are gone!" Of the finesse that appertains to cookery, of the difficulty to become perfect in the art, Ude wrote as follows:

"What science demands more study? Every man is not born with the qualifications necessary to constitute a good cook. Music, dancing, fencing, painting, and mechanics in general possess professors under twenty years of age, whereas in the first line of cooking preëminence never occurs under thirty. We see daily at concerts and academies young men and women who display the greatest abilities, but in our line nothing but the most consummate experience can elevate a[208] man to the rank of chief professor. Cookery is an art appreciated by only a very few individuals, and which requires, in addition to most diligent and studious application, no small share of intellect and the strictest sobriety and punctuality; there are cooks and cooks—the difficulty lies in finding the perfect one."

Ude was succeeded in England by Charles Elmé Francatelli, a distinguished pupil of Carême, who presided as chef at Chesterfield House and various clubs until he became officier de bouche to the queen. His "Modern Cook" is still a superior treatise, and although little adapted to the average household, it will well repay careful study on the part of the expert amateur. "The palate is as capable and nearly as worthy of education as the eye and the ear," says Francatelli—a statement which his volume abundantly bears out.

A scholar of Carême, Francatelli was quick to note that si l'habit fait l'homme, il fait aussi l'entrée—that the sense of sight has its delight as well as the taste, and one sees, accordingly, an ornate observance of decoration in his grand army of side-dishes. These are excellent throughout, but generally very elaborate, while his sauces and recipes for pastry are especially good. The same may be said of his quenelles and timbales. A competent hand will find his work a valuable guide from which to obtain ideas; it is not a practical book for the majority. One should always remember, among numerous other things, his delicious sauces, numbers sixty-five and sixty-six, for venison, which may also be used with a saddle of mut[209]ton, and his recipes for trout au gratin and soup à la reine. The venison sauce especially should not be forgotten:

"Bruise one stick of cinnamon and twelve cloves, and put them into a small stewpan with two ounces of sugar and the peel of one lemon pared off very thin and perfectly free from any portion of white pulp; moisten with three glasses of port wine, and set the whole to simmer gently on the fire for a quarter of an hour; then strain it through a sieve into a small stewpan containing a pot of red-currant jelly. Just before sending the sauce to table, set it on the fire to boil, in order to melt the currant jelly, so that it may mix with the essence of spice, etc."

The second sauce is made in the same manner, except that black-currant jelly is substituted for the red. Good Bordeaux may be employed in place of port to advantage, rendering the sauce less cloying, and half the prescribed quantity of cloves will be found amply sufficient.

After Francatelli, Alexis Soyer did his part towards the improvement of the higher classes of England. As an author he was ambitious, if not distinguished, his published works numbering four, viz.: "The Gastronomic Regenerator," "The Modern Housewife, or Ménagère," "The Panthropheon or History of Food," and "A Shilling Cookery for the People." From the fact that the last-named volume reached its two hundred and forty-eighth thousand, it may be concluded it was not a distinguished work, and was written to attract the multitude who do not appreciate. The warm reception given to his "Ména[210]gère," according to a reviewer in "Fraser's Magazine," indicated, "with a statistical accuracy very superior to the census, the lamentably small number of educated palates and self-comprehending stomachs which this country possesses." Like Carême, Soyer had studied the cuisine of the ancients attentively, and in this respect his "History of Food" becomes a valuable addition to the student's library. But his execution is said to have been far below his conception, and his soups much inferior to his soup-kitchens. He refrains from giving a certain recipe for crawfish à la Sampayo, which appeared in one of his bills of fare, on account of an agreement between himself and M. Sampayo, adding that the reason of the enormous expense of the dish was that "two large bottles of Périgord truffles, which do not cost less than four guineas, are stewed with them in champagne." But inasmuch as the virtues of the truffle are sadly dissipated in its preserved state, and chefs generally use an ordinary Chablis or other wine in place of champagne, one need not be seriously concerned with the loss of the crawfish.

As the quotation of recipes would call for considerable space, it may be wise to dispense with any further illustrations in the instance of the above-mentioned artists, and pass at once to the French author of the never-failing grace whose grand "Dictionary of Cookery" is marked by that felicity of expression and fecundity of invention so characteristic of all his works. From the somewhat stilted style of Soyer it becomes doubly pleasing to turn to the laughing pages[211] of Dumas, at once suggestive and inspiring, pointed in paragraph and scintillant with anecdote.[28]

The author of "Monte Cristo" and "The Three Musketeers" has also left an illustrious name as a cook, a host, and an epicure. And if, of all celebrated artists, it might be Carême whom one would wish to prepare the dinner, who more delightful than Dumas as a vis-à-vis at the repast? But his expansive smile and his bonhomie are reflected in his writings, and his "intuition of all" is no less apparent when dealing with cookery than when detailing the intrigues of cardinals and courtiers. A Chartreuse becomes as important as the missing necklace of a queen, and the theory of frying no less momentous than the fate of the prisoner of the Château d'If. As Octave Lacroix has phrased it, "Assuredly it is a great attainment to be a romancist, but it is by no means a mediocre glory to be a cook.... Romancist or cook, Alexandre Dumas is a chef, and the two vocations appear in him to go hand in hand, or rather to be joined in one."

The two introductory epistles, an anecdotal review of the art, are among the most felicitous in the language. Nor should we forget the many references to the table in the "Impressions de Voyage" and numerous other volumes. The Marquis de Cussy, Jules Janin, Charles Monselet, and others have treated the same subject at more or less length, but none of them so comprehensively. "I wish to conclude," Dumas[212] often said, "my literary work of five hundred volumes by a work on cookery." This was his great ambition, and to it he devoted his most zealous efforts. "I see with pleasure," he remarks in one of his volumes, "that my culinary reputation is increasing, and soon promises to efface my literary reputation.... I therefore make the announcement that as soon as I am freed from the claims of certain editors I will show you a book of practical cookery by which the most ignorant in matters gastronomical will be able to prepare, as easily as my honourable friend Vuillemot, an espagnole or a mirepoix."[29]

With Dumas to promise was to fulfil, and in due time his book—the last volume from his pen—appeared, a tall folio of over a thousand pages, with the spirited etching of the author by Rajon. While this is more especially devoted to the French kitchen, it contains a large number of recipes from foreign countries where the author had travelled. It thus becomes a compendium of many different schools, offering a wide range for selection. Written, moreover, by an amateur, it is also an easier guide than many of the professional manuals of the haute cuisine. In the "Dictionary" everything is passed under review—from snails à la provençale to the feet of elephants, from filets of kangaroo to lambs' tails glacées à la chicorée, the list of fishes including an account of the origin of the term "Poisson d'Avril" (April fool).


Facsimile of title-page. 1824, Vol. II.

Even the babiroussa, or wild Asian hog, is not forgotten, the author pronouncing its flesh very deli[213]cate, and presenting this additional information concerning its character:

"'Ah! mon Dieu,' asked a lady of her husband, as they were looking at a babiroussa at the Jardin des Plantes, 'what kind of an animal is that, my dear, who instead of two horns has four?'

"'Madame,' said some one who was passing by, 'that is a widower who has remarried.'"

There are recipes from Beauvilliers, Carême, the Marquis de Cussy, and the cook of King Stanislas; from the manuals of the times of Louis XIV and XV; from the cafés Anglais, Verdier, Brébant, Magny, Grignon, Véfour, and Véry; from Elzéar-Blaze, La Reynière, the Provincial Brothers, and Vuillemot, proprietor of the Tête Noire at St. Cloud. One's mouth waters as he reads the vast alphabet of dishes. There are, for example, thirty-one modes presented for preparing the carp, and fifty-six for dressing the egg, apart from the omelet, with sixteen recipes for artichokes and a dozen for asparagus. There is the Java formula for cooking halcyons' nests, and that of the cook of Richelieu for godiveau, a dissertation on the hocco, and a prescription for bustards à la daube. No wonder that Dumas has defined the dinner as a daily and capital action that can be worthily accomplished only by gens d'esprit.

This is well illustrated by an anecdote in the dedicatory epistle to Jules Janin, which shows the characteristic hand of Dumas to advantage:


"The Viscount de Vieil-Castel, brother of Count Horace de Vieil-Castel, one of the finest epicures of France, made this proposition at a gathering of friends:

"'A single person can eat a dinner costing five hundred francs.'

"'Impossible!' was the simultaneous exclamation.

"'It is well understood,' resumed the Viscount, 'that by the term eating is included drinking as well.'

"'Parbleu!' replied his friends.

"'Very well; I say that a man, and by a man I do not mean a carter but an epicure—a pupil of Montron or of Courchamps—can eat a dinner of five hundred francs.'

"'You, for example?'

"'I, or any one else.'

"'Can you?'


"'I hold the five hundred francs,' said one of the bystanders; 'name your conditions.'

"'That is a simple matter. I will dine at the Café de Paris, make up my bill of fare, and eat my five-hundred-franc dinner.'

"'Without leaving anything on the dishes or plates?'

"'No, indeed; I will leave the bones.'

"'And when will the wager take place?'

"'To-morrow, if you say so.'

"'Then you will not breakfast?' asked one of the bystanders.

"'I will breakfast as usual.'

"'Be it so. To-morrow at seven, at the Café de Paris.'

"The same evening the Viscount dined as usual at the restaurant; then, after dinner, in order not to be influenced by stomachic cravings, he set about preparing his carte for the following day.

"The maître-d'hôtel was summoned. It was midwinter; the[215] Viscount suggested numerous fruits and early vegetables. The hunting season was closed; he wanted some game.

"A week's grace was asked by the maître-d'hôtel.

"The dinner was postponed for a week.

"On the right and left of the table the judges were to dine.

"The Viscount had two hours in which to dine—from seven to nine.

"He could talk or not, as he chose.

"At the appointed hour the Viscount appeared, saluted the judges, and turned towards the table.

"The bill of fare was to remain a mystery to his adversaries; they were to have the pleasure of a surprise.

"The Viscount sat down. He was served with twelve dozen Ostende oysters, with a half-bottle of Johannisberger.

"The Viscount was in excellent appetite; he asked for another twelve dozen oysters, and another half-bottle of the same growth.

"Then came a soup of swallows' nests, which the Viscount poured in a bowl and drank as a bouillon.

"'Really, gentlemen,' said he, 'I am in fine trim to-day, and I have a notion to gratify a whim.'

"'Go on, pardieu, you are the doctor.'

"'I adore beefsteak and potatoes.'

"'Gentlemen, no advice, if you please,' said a voice.

"'Pooh! waiter,' said the Viscount, 'a beefsteak and potatoes.'

"The waiter, astonished, looked at the Viscount.

"'Don't you understand me?' said the latter.

"'But I thought that Monsieur le Vicomte had made up his bill of fare?'

"'That is true, but this is an extra; I will pay for it separately.'

"The judges looked at each other. The beefsteak and potatoes were brought on, and were promptly despatched.


"'Now for the fish!'

"The fish was brought on.

"'Gentlemen,' said the Viscount, 'it is a trout from Lake Geneva. I saw it this morning while I was breakfasting; it was still alive; it was brought from Geneva to Paris in the waters of the lake. I can recommend this fish to you—it is delicious.'

"Five minutes later only the bones remained.

"'The pheasant, waiter!' said the Viscount.

"A truffled pheasant was brought on.

"'Another bottle of Bordeaux of the same growth.'

"The second bottle was brought.

"In ten minutes the pheasant was disposed of.

"'Monsieur,' said the waiter, 'I think you have made a mistake in calling for the truffled pheasant before the salmis of ortolans.'

"'Ah! that is so. Fortunately it is not stated in what order the ortolans are to be eaten; otherwise I should have lost. The salmis of ortolans, waiter!'

"The salmis of ortolans was brought on.

"There were twelve ortolans—twelve mouthfuls for the Viscount.

"'Gentlemen,' said the Viscount, 'my bill of fare is very simple. Now for some asparagus, green peas, a banana, and strawberries. As for wine, a half-bottle of Constance and a half-bottle of sherry that has made the voyage to India. Then, of course, some coffee and liqueurs.'

"Everything appeared in its turn—vegetables and fruit were conscientiously eaten, and the wines and liqueurs were drunk to the last drop.

"The Viscount was an hour and fourteen minutes in dining.

"'Gentlemen,' said he, 'has everything gone right?'

"The judges acquiesced.

"'Waiter, the carte!'


"At this epoch the term addition was not used.

"The Viscount ran his eye over the total, and passed the carte to the judges.

"This was the carte:

fr. c. Ostende oysters, 24 dozen 30 " Soup of swallows' nests 150 " Beefsteak and potatoes 2 " Trout from Lake Geneva 40 " Truffled pheasant 40 " Salmis of ortolans 50 " Asparagus 15 " Bananas 24 " Strawberries 20 " Green peas 12 " Wines. Johannisberg, one bottle 24 " Bordeaux, grand crû, two bottles 50 " Constance, a half-bottle 40 " Sherry, retour de l'Inde, a half-bottle 50 " Coffee, liqueurs 1 50 Total 548 50 "The sum total was verified and the carte was taken to the adversary of the Viscount, who was dining in an adjoining room.

"In five minutes he appeared, saluted the Viscount, took six bills of a thousand francs from his pocket, and presented them to him.

"It was the amount of the wager.

"'Oh, Monsieur,' said the Viscount, 'there was no hurry; besides, perhaps you would have liked your revenge.'


"'You would have granted it to me?'




But the reputation of the Viscount as a belle fourchette was exceeded by that of a Swiss guard in the employ of the Maréchal de Villars, an account of whose prowess is related by the "Journal des Défenseurs":

"One day the guard was sent for by the Maréchal, who had heard of his enormous appetite.

"'How many sirloins of beef can you eat?' he tentatively asked.

"'Ah! Monseigneur, for me I don't require many, five or six at the most.'

"'And how many legs of mutton?'

"'Legs of mutton? not many—seven to eight.'

"'And of fat pullets?'

"'Oh! as to pullets, only a few—a dozen.'

"'And of pigeons?'

"'As to pigeons, Monseigneur, not many—forty, perhaps fifty.'

"'And larks?'

"'Larks, Monseigneur?—always!'"

Another example of marvellous capacity is furnished by the French army, a captain wagering one day that a drummer of his company could eat a whole calf. The drummer, proud of his distinction, promised to do honour to the captain's compliment. Accordingly, a calf was prepared in various appetising[219] ways, and was being promptly disposed of by the drummer. When he had finally consumed about three quarters of the repast, he paused for another draught of wine, and, placing his knife and fork on his plate, said to his superior officer:

"You had better have the calf brought on, had you not? for all these little kickshaws will end in taking up room."

The Café de Paris, first opened in 1822 on the Boulevard des Italiens in the large suite of apartments formerly occupied by Prince Demidoff, was the best restaurant in Europe during the forties and in Dumas' time—a position it probably occupies to-day, since the closing of Bignon's. Alfred de Musset was accustomed to say that "one could not open its door for less than fifteen francs." But if its charges were high, its cuisine and service were unsurpassed. Those who dance must pay for the piping, and the cotillion of the casseroles is no exception to the rule. Every one who honoured the establishment, it is said, was considered by the personnel a grand seigneur for whom nothing could be too good. When Balzac one day announced the arrival of a distinguished Russian friend, he asked the proprietor to put his best foot forward. "Assuredly, Monsieur, we will do so," was the answer, "because it is simply what we are in the habit of doing every day." Balzac's favourite dish was veau à la casserole, a specialty of the Café de Paris in the forties.

Rossini, a contemporary and friend of Balzac and Dumas, was not alone a famous musician,—composer of "Tell" and the "Stabat Mater,"—but was also a dis[220]tinguished fourchette and a cook of ability. One of his most celebrated compositions—that of a certain manner of preparing macaroni which is said to have vied in seductiveness with the sweetest strains of the "Barbier de Seville"—is unfortunately lost to the world through a prejudice of Dumas.

One day the great romancist, who never ate macaroni in any form, asked the noted composer for his recipe, being anxious to add it to his culinary repertoire. "Come and eat some with me to-morrow at dinner, and you shall have it," was the answer. But the host, perceiving that his guest would not touch a dish on which he had bestowed so much pains, refused to give him the formula, whereupon Dumas circulated the report that it was his cook, not Rossini, who was master of the secret, and forthwith presented at length a recipe given him by the famous Mme. Ristori as "the true, the only, the unique manner of preparing macaroni à la néapolitaine."

Already in 1830 the excessive charges of the fashionable restaurants were loudly complained of. On this subject the "Nouvel Almanach des Gourmands" of that date says:

"The Boulevard Italien is the privileged seat of the cafés-restaurants: there one may dine excellently, but it must be confessed one is cruelly plucked. From this fact has arisen the proverb, 'One must be very hardy to dine at the Café Riche, and very rich to dine at the Café Hardi.' May it not be added that one needs to be an English peer to dine at the Café Anglais, and a millionaire Parisian to try the Café de Paris? One may dine well at Véry's, but one will ruin himself; while[221] the fish which is excellent at the Rocher de Cancale is scarcely exchanged for its weight in five-franc pieces."

Often in the midst of a dinner, on tasting of some novel dish at his favourite restaurant, the Café de Paris, Dumas would lay down his fork—"I must get the recipe of this dish." The proprietor was then sent for to authorise the novelist to descend to the kitchens and hold a consultation with his chefs. He was the only one of the habitués to whom this privilege was ever allowed; these excursions were usually followed by an invitation to dine with Dumas a few days later, when his newly acquired knowledge would be put into practice.

There were those, nevertheless, that previous to the advent of the "Dictionary" were sceptical as to Dumas' culinary accomplishments. Among such was Dr. Véron, author of the "Mémoires" and founder of the "Revue de Paris," who, with several other notabilities, had been invited by the novelist to partake of a carp of his own preparation. For days and days Véron, who was extremely fond of fish, talked of nothing else to his cordon-bleu.

"Where did you taste it?" said Sophie, becoming somewhat jealous of this praise of others,—"at the Café de Paris?"

"No,—at Monsieur Dumas'."

"Well, then, I'll go to Monsieur Dumas' cook and get the recipe."

"That's of no use," objected her master. "Monsieur Dumas prepared the dish himself."


"Well, then, I'll go to Monsieur Dumas himself and ask him to give me the recipe."

Sophie was as good as her word, and at once betook herself to the Chaussée d'Antin. The great novelist felt flattered, and gave her every possible information, but somehow the dish was not like that her master had so much enjoyed at his friend's. Then Sophie grew morose, and began to throw out hints about the great man's borrowing other people's feathers in his culinary pursuits, just as he did in his literary ones. "It is with his carp as with his novels—others write them, and he merely adds his name," she said one day. "I have seen him; he is a grand diable de vaniteux."

Influenced by his cook's remarks and the failure of the dish, and forgetting that surroundings often add much to flavour, Véron, on his part, felt inclined to think that Dumas had a clever chef in the background, upon whose victories he plumed himself. A few days afterwards, meeting Véron at the Café de Paris, Dumas inquired after the result of Sophie's efforts. The doctor was reticent at first, not caring to acknowledge Sophie's failure. When one of the company at last mentioned the suspicions attached to the carp, Dumas became furious. Then, after a pause, he said, "There is but one reply to such a charge: you will all dine with me to-morrow, and you will choose a delegate who will come to my house at three to see me prepare the dinner."

"I was the youngest," says the author of "An Englishman in Paris," who relates the story, "and the choice fell upon me. That is how my lifelong friend[223]ship with Dumas began. At three o'clock next day I was at the Chaussée d'Antin, and was taken by the servant into the kitchen, where the great novelist stood surrounded by his utensils, some of silver, and all of them glistening like silver. With the exception of a soupe aux choux, at which, by his own confession, he had been at work since the morning, all the ingredients for the dinner were in their natural state—of course, washed and peeled, but nothing more. He was assisted by his own cook and a kitchen-maid, but he himself, with his sleeves rolled up to the elbows, a large apron round his waist, and bare chest, conducted the operations. I do not think I have ever seen anything more entertaining, and I came to the conclusion that when writers insisted upon the culinary challenges of Carême, Dugléré, and Casimir they were not indulging in mere metaphor.

"At half-past six the guests began to arrive; at a quarter to seven Dumas retired to his dressing-room; at seven punctually the servant announced that 'monsieur était servi.' The dinner consisted of the aforenamed soupe aux choux, the carp that had led to the invitation, a ragoût de mouton à la Hongroise, rôti de faisans, and a salade Japonaise. The sweets and ices had been sent by the pâtissier. I never dined like that before or after—not even a week later, when Dr. Véron and Sophie made the amende honorable in the Rue Taitbout."

As a sample of Dumas' abilities in the petite cuisine, his potage aux choux may be cited,—his mode of preparing Sauerkraut, like that of all French cooks, is not to be commended:


"Take a sound fresh cabbage, hash up all the remains of fowl and game that may be on hand, and have a good yesterday's bouillon, which pour in place of ordinary water on the beef intended for the day's bouillon. Then cover the bottom of the stewpan with a slice of fine ham, remove the leaves of the cabbage, and introduce the forcemeat, tying up the leaves afterwards so it will not be perceptible. Boil two hours, filling with the bouillon of the pot-au-feu as the bouillon of the boiling diminishes. After removing the bouillon from the fire, let the bouillon, cabbage, forcemeat, and ham simmer together for three quarters of an hour in the stewpan, give a last turn to the bouillon, serve your cabbage in the soup-tureen, allow it to cool a minute, and serve. Then you may have the choice of eating your cabbage in the soup, or of soaking some bread in the bouillon and making of your cabbage a relevé of the soup. Cooked in this manner, the cabbage, the bouillon, and the meat, each lending a part of its properties to the other, attain the greatest sapidity it is possible for them to attain."

This is the potage aux choux. The soupe aux choux is another matter that sounds equally appetising and has the advantage to the eye of puffing up the cabbage to far larger dimensions.

The extended remarks on the pot-au-feu itself are well worth the careful attention of the housewife; the author declaring that the French cuisine owes its superiority to that of other nations to the excellence of its bouillon. Seven hours of slow and continuous boiling, he maintains, are necessary for it to acquire all the requisite qualities, i. e., to faire sourire the soup. The term, "smile," is happily chosen. Every piece of bread in a good croûte-au-pot wears a smile, and every[225] dancing globule that remains after the skimmer has performed its office is a dimple on its face.

Of the basting of meats—and herein the average cook stands in need of constant advice and still more constant watching—he has this to say (he is speaking of a truffled turkey after the recipe of the Marquis de Cussy, which he suggests might be called Dinde des Artistes): "Above all, never moisten your roasts, of whatever nature they may be, except with butter mixed with salt and pepper. A cook who allows a single drop of bouillon in the dripping-pan should be instantly discharged and banished from France."

One of the brightest chapters of the volume is an essay which appears in the appendix—a eulogium of a certain mustard, in which Dumas out-Reynières Reynière. But one may overlook the subtle puffery that sheds a halo over the product of "M. Bornibus," in view of the vast erudition the writer displays and the grace with which the topic is invested. The essay first appeared in Monselet's entertaining "Almanach Gourmand" of 1869, the etymology of the word having been the subject of a wager between the writer and some of his friends. Of Dumas it may be said, as it has been said of the truffle, he "embellishes everything he touches"; or, to paraphrase Savarin's definition, "Qui dit Dumas, prononce un grand mot."

Among the most distinguished of modern professional cooks was Jules Gouffé, former officier de bouche of the Jockey Club of Paris, whose "Livre de Cuisine" and "Livre de Pâtisserie" are unexcelled as guides to the greatest triumphs of the art of which they treat. The "Livre de Cuisine," which first ap[226]peared in 1865, is not a manual that can be utilised in the ordinary establishment, however; but a volume on a grand scale, written by a great chef for chefs. Francatelli, though very elaborate, is much more simple. At any rate, it is possible to simplify his recipes, or to derive many new ideas from them, even where his formulas may not be executed in the average household. But to follow Gouffé calls for the very highest professional skill and the most lavish expenditure,—the hand of a master, a larder of cockscombs, crawfish, truffles, plover and pheasants' eggs, not to mention a cellar of Château Margaux, champagne, and Chablis Moutonne. His recipe for quails à la financière, one of his nine elaborate ways of preparing the bird, will serve as well as any for illustration:

"Truss eight quails as for braising, put them in a stewpan, cover them with thin slices of fat bacon, pour in one gill of Madeira and one half pint of mirepoix, and let simmer until the quails are cooked. Fill a plain border-mould one and a quarter inches high with chicken forcemeat, poach it au bain-marie, and turn the border out of the mould into a dish and fill the centre with a financière ragoût made of foies gras, truffles, cockscombs, cocks'-kernels, and chicken forcemeat quenelles mixed in financière sauce. Drain the quails, untie them, and place them half on the border, half on the ragoût, the leg towards the centre, put a cockscomb between each quail, and a large truffle in the centre; glaze the border, the quails, and truffle with a brush dipped in glaze, and serve with financière sauce."

With Jules Gouffé, Urbain-Dubois, a chef of the highest order, and author of six important works on[227] cookery, will be known to posterity as one of the greatest masters of the range of the second half of the nineteenth century.

In marked contrast to those of Gouffé and Dubois are the numerous culinary works of Ildefonse-Léon Brisse, more familiarly known as Baron Brisse, and who was sometimes termed the Baron Falstaff. Two of his manuals, moulded on somewhat similar lines, are excellent mentors for the modest household—"The 366 Menus" (1868) and "La Petite Cuisine" (1870), of which many editions have appeared. In these a large number of good, uncommon, and simple dishes are presented, and both works may be comprehended by all who have a fair practical knowledge of cookery at command. According to Théodore de Banville, Baron Brisse was "at once an accomplished cook, a fine and delicate gourmet, and a gourmand always tormented with an insatiable hunger." It may therefore be assumed that all his recipes have been personally tested, and that those he particularly recommends are well worthy of trial, bearing out the sentiment he expresses in the preface to "La Petite Cuisine,"—"This book is a good action for which I will be duly credited in this world or the other." Besides his numerous volumes on cookery, he founded and contributed to several culinary journals. He laughed and ate. He was of enormous stature, and always was obliged to secure two places in the diligence between Paris and his home at Fontenay-aux-Roses, where he resided previous to his death in 1876. With Jules Gouffé he instituted a series of dinners where the guests were expected to dine in white frocks and[228] round white caps, like the fat old cooks that Roland has painted—dinners presided over by the baron, whose bonhomie was proverbial, and executed under the directions of Gouffé himself. But apart from his excellent cookery-books, Baron Brisse should be held in abiding reverence by all entertainers that are worthy of the name, if only for his splendid axiom,—"The host whose guest has been obliged to ask him for anything is a dishonoured man!"


From the etching by Charles Jacque


THE COOK'S CONFRÈRE "Les vûës courtes, je veux dire les esprits bornez et resserrez dans leur petite sphère, ne peuvent comprendre cette universalité de talens que l'on remarque quelquefois dans un même sujet."—La Bruyere: Du Mérite Personnel.

It were ungracious to trace the development of gastronomy further, or to peruse its literature at greater length, without rendering justice to the chief cause of its progress, deprived of which a Carême and a Gouffé were impossible, and cookery, from a fine art, would resolve itself into a perfunctory obligation. The reader who has followed the writer thus far will surely not require to be told that the great evolutionist of the table is neither the cook nor yet the range or the pot-au-feu so much as the quadruped that Rome once selected for its badge and cognisance. A tout seigneur, tout honneur!—let us not be unmindful of the inestimable benefits the hog has conferred upon mankind. Where, indeed, may one find that[230] universality of talents referred to by La Bruyère so combined in a single individual as in the animal which the "short-sighted and narrow-minded" has so unjustly maligned? To what utilities does he not lend and blend himself, and where among Ungulata or ruminators terrene were his substitute—a pièce de résistance for the poor, a jouissance and benison for all.

If we accept the testimony of various pagan writers, pork, of which the ancients were so fond, originally came into use about a thousand years after the deluge, when Ceres, having sown a field of wheat, found it invaded one day by a pig. This so incensed the goddess that she forthwith punished the offender with death, and afterwards, having him cooked, discovered his superior virtues—to set the example of utilising him as food. The usual corn-cob placed in the mouth of a freshly killed porker, therefore, not only reflects the delicacy of his tastes, but is also classic in a measure—a symbol of his intimate relationship with mythology and his place amid the Graces.

By the ancient Egyptians the flesh of the swine was held to be impure. So was that of the camel, the cony, and the hare; so also the fat of the ox or of sheep or of goat. "Every beast of the wood or the hedge or the burrow, over and above the beasts of the chase and the warren, according to the ancient writers, is to be called 'rascal.'" The hog is likewise placed under ban by the Hindus and strict Buddhists, and is still generally regarded as unclean by the Mohammedans. But the Mohammedans and Hindus have no cuisine worthy of the name, and what were a cuisine without the resources supplied by his inexhaustible larder![231] The religious tenet of the Israelites by which the swine is proscribed as an article of diet is honoured more in the breach than in the observance. The Chinese have ever been fond of his savoury flesh, and it may be said that with nearly all nations he forms one of the leading staples of consumption. With the onion and that priceless herb parsley, which stimulates appetite, facilitates digestion, and renders nearly all sauces more attractive, he forms one of the most indispensable adjuncts of alimentation. Deprived of his lardship, the onion tribe, and parsley, cookery would soon decline, if indeed the skilled practitioner would not find it well-nigh impossible to exercise his art.

Despite what slanderous tongues of the East may utter to his discredit, therefore, the weight of evidence as to his utility remains overwhelmingly in his favour. We do not necessarily require him in our parlours; his true place is the kitchen and the dining-room. Think how unendurable life would be without him! Of all beasts he is the one whose empire is most universal, and whose worth is least attested. It is true that a eulogistic but now unprocurable work of forty-eight pages was written in Modena in 1761 by D. Giuseppe Ferrari, with the title "Gli Elogi del Porco." A treatise entitled "Dissertation sur le Cochon," by M. Buc'hoz, published in 1789, is also cited. But as this appeared in a series of monographs relating to coffee, cacao, and various fruits, and has been passed by without comment, it probably treats the quadruped merely from a sordid point of view, and possesses no interest unless to the husbandman and stock-raiser.

Few have sung his praises, and, with the exception[232] of Southey's colloquial poem, no genethliac has been addressed to him in English rhyme. Monselet has apostrophised him in a poem wherein he terms him "cher ange," and M. Pouvoisin, in "La Mort du Goret," has tenderly referred to him as "mon frère." His oraison funèbre is worthy of Bossuet:

"Fameux par sa naissance et par son éleveur, Il est mort, le goret, célèbre à tant de titres: C'est un deuil, mais un deuil qui n'est pas sans saveur; Versons des pleurs, amis, surtout versons des litres! Il était si mignon, si lardé, si soyeux: Nous l'aimions! Maintenant qu'il a subi la flamme, Qu'il est accommodé, qu'il est délicieux; Nous lui servons de tombe, et nous en mangeons l'âme. Dans la profonde paix des estomacs gourmands, Son échine avec sa fressure vont descendre; Il n'avait pas rêvé, dans ses gras ronflements, D'un semblable caveau pour contenir sa cendre. C'est un honneur bien dû. Quel que soit ton regret Des repas plantureux, du son, de l'auge pleine, Tu peux t'enorgueillir, ô mon frère, ô goret. Nous allons te changer, nous, en substance humaine!" (Of birth renowned, entitled well to boast, And reared with care, the little pig is dead: We sorrow, but we scent the savoury roast, And mix a bumper while our tears we shed. We loved him, silky-soft, and plump, and fine, And now that he has felt the crisping fire We wait his soul and body to enshrine, A morsel for an epicure's desire. He little thought, when grunting in his pen, That, seasoned thus to tickle gourmand taste,[233] His chine would glide down throats of feasting men, And to a noble tomb within us haste. Regret not, little pig, thine early fate: Honours are thine beyond the fattening sty,— We eat thee, brother, and incorporate Thy substance, thus, in our humanity.)[30] Another poet, in a "Hymn to the Truffle," has accorded him a semi-complimentary stanza, referring to him as "a useful animal." A mediocre sonnet has also been addressed to him by Ernest d'Hervilly in a series of seven tributes to the oyster, the pig, the gudgeon, the rabbit, the roebuck, the herring, and the lobster.

"Man's ingratitude toward him," as Grimod de la Reynière remarks in the "Almanach," "has basely reviled the name of the animal that is the most useful to the human race when he is no more. He is treated as the Abbé Geoffroy treats Voltaire; his memory is defamed whilst his flesh is being savoured, and he is repaid with ironical contempt for the ineffable pleasures he procures for us."

His classic Porcosity! sacred to Thor, patron of St. Anthony, the device of Richard III, the favourite animal of Morland and Jacque, how ungenerously he has been treated!

"All his habits are gross, all his appetites are impure; his stomach is unbounded and his gluttony unparalleled," say his calumniators. Yet, in fact, he is no more unclean than most domestic beasts, any lapses in this respect being due to man and to the evil communications to which he has been subjected under do[234]mestication. The wild hog is proverbially cleanly, and is almost exclusively a vegetarian. In his natural state his courage is undaunted. The peccary will challenge the jaguar, while the wild boar is not unfrequently victorious in his combats with the tiger himself.

"In this animal," says Beauvilliers, "there is almost nothing to cast aside." Without him there were, in truth, an aching void and an empty cuisine,—no lard, no hams, no bacon; no sausages, no spare-rib, no larded filets and game; no truffles and scientifically blended pâtés; no souse or headcheese; no "Dissertation on Roast Pig"; no chine "with rising bristles roughly spread." His ways are ways of fatness, and all his paths are progressive. He not only seeks to instruct, like Virgil; but seeks to please, like Theocritus. Civilisation radiates from him as light from a prism. With his increase culture advances, wealth accumulates, and cookery improves. And think of the services of his ploughshare to the farmer, whose orchards in many cases would otherwise remain untilled!

His unctuous Lardship! the very fat and marrow of the stock-exchange, the grease of the commercial wheel. Did he not directly furnish the inspiration to Dubufe for one of the grandest paintings the world has produced—the "Return of the Prodigal Son" who shared his husks—to say nothing of Hogarth and the Scottish poet Hogg, whose ode "To a Skylark" is scarcely excelled by Shelley's, and whose "Kilmeny" is enduring among poetic strains? And what were the spirited hunting scenes of Weenix, Sneyders, and Oudry without the great wild boar?


In the fourth canto of "The Faerie Queene" he is pictured as the symbol of gluttony:

"And by his side rode loathsome Gluttony, Deformèd creature on a filthy swine. His belly was upblown with luxury, And eke with fatness swollen was his eyne. Full of diseases was his carcass blew, And a dry Dropsie through his flesh did flow, Which by misdiet daily greater grew; Such one was Gluttony, the second of that crew." But is he a glutton? and has he not been outrageously reviled by Spenser as well as by the poets in general? Is it fair to accept the dogmas and predications concerning his status, his vulgarity, and his voracity that have been bequeathed him from time immemorial? Is he not a gourmet rather than a gourmand? Does he not infinitely prefer the smallest truffle of Périgord to the hugest pumpkin of the fat prairies of the West? Not only inordinately fond of the truffle, without which a pâté de foie gras were a flower without perfume, he is the great hunter of this highly prized esculent, recognising with Autolycus that a good nose is requisite to smell out work for the other senses. Yet even then he is thanklessly treated by man, who, instead of remunerating him with an occasional tuber, grudgingly tosses him a few kernels of corn. The despised razorback of the South, in like manner, steadfastly performs his mission of waging war upon the rattlesnake without ever having been chosen as the emblem of a State.

To the epicure he must ever bring to mind the per[236]fumed product of the sunny provinces of Guienne and Dauphiné, the artists of Alsace, and the Wurstmachereis of Germany. His fondness for the truffle, as instanced in the wild boar, far exceeds that of the hare, the squirrel, and the deer; and although the basset-hound and sheep-dog are also of service in locating the tuber, the pig not only points it, but deftly uproots it for the greedy hand of man. The pig seeks it by instinct; the dog, through long and patient training. The pig's education is accomplished in a few lessons by obtaining his confidence and appealing to his epicurean taste. A boiled potato accompanied with a few truffle peelings is placed in a mound of sand, after finding which the animal is rewarded by a few chestnuts, acorns, or kernels of maize—and the rest is left to his infallible memory. In fact, the discovery of the truffle is due to the animal under consideration. "His long snout," says La Reynière, "perceived the odour of this treasure at a depth of several metres. Up to this time, without a doubt, it had been reserved for the table of some evil genius jealous of the happiness of man; by his cunning he concealed it from the researches of the scientist, and some fairy, a friend of the human race, charged the pig, whose keen scent the goblin had forgotten to forefend, to mine the buried marvel and bring it to the light of day. However this may be, the first pig that discovered the truffle had excellent taste; there is no bel esprit to-day who is not eager to imitate him."[31]

The boar's head, likewise, how suggestive of good cheer! It at once takes one back to the great baronial[237] dining-halls, the Knights of the Round Table, and the feasts and wassails of eld. It suggests the joyous festivals of harvest-home and Yule, with the chief table on the dais and the tables for retainers and servants, when the family and attendants assembled amid the blaze of the great hearth-fire and the music of the harpers and minstrels.

Again, consider his lovely appetite, exquisite digestion, and imperturbable slumbers that many a millionaire would gladly part with half his riches to obtain. The papillæ of his tongue are never furred by dyspepsia, flatulence, gout, or the spleen. Proverbially on the best of terms with his stomach, he needs no podophyllin, bicarbonates, or Hunyadi. Sudden variations of temperature affect him not, while all latitudes are equally conducive to his longevity. Ennui is to him unknown, and life is never a burden, unless it be the trifling burden of the weight he carries. He sleeps and eats and digests, and in his own way solves the problem of content that is still unsolved by man.

His blithesome Porkship! his graces steal into the heart insensibly if one be a minute philosopher. No cock-crowing or turkey-gobbling, no lowing of kine or bleating of flocks, no screaming of hawks or cawing of crows may vie as an expression of the rural landscape with his complacent grunt of satisfaction and "high-piping Pehlevi" of triumph. A vibrant chord of melody when snouted and bristled disputants crowd and jostle around the trough or squeal and scramble within the pen, it yet requires a more potent mediumship to draw forth in its fullest measure the piercing treble of the porcine lyre. Rather let us hear[238] it, arrectis auribus, rising sonorously along the highway or drifting adown some reverberant lane, with the dog as the plectrum of the ham-strings. Thomson, less gracious but more observant than Lamb, recognised his accomplishments as a lyrist, and in a stanza in "The Castle of Indolence," a complement to the stanza cited from "The Faerie Queene," thus apostrophises his power of song:

"Ev'n so through Brentford town, a town of mud, An herd of bristly swine is pricked along; The filthy beasts that never chew the cud Still grunt and squeak, and sing their troublous song, And oft they plunge themselves the mire among: But aye the ruthless driver goads them on, And aye of barking dogs the bitter throng Make them renew their unmelodious moan; Ne ever find they rest from their unresting fone." Like Spenser, Thomson has grossly traduced him, except so far as his musical gifts are concerned, though in this respect he might have been more discriminating in the use of his adjectives. Why "troublous" and "unmelodious," in place of expressing his thrilling arpeggio of song?

But it is for qualities more sterling than those of a vocal nature that the confrère of the cook deserves recognition. He has his trifling faults, to be sure—who is without them? He is obstinate in being driven to market, perhaps, knowing the fate which awaits him, and possibly his assurance may be somewhat obnoxious at public gatherings. It is admitted also that his savoir faire at table, while distinguished for[239] aplomb, is not entirely without alloy. But although the ill-mannered among his tribe occasionally thrust their feet not under but upon the mahogany, and are sometimes guilty of elbowing one another at mealtime, yet it must be conceded that they are never late at their engagements to dine; neither do they ever commit that unpardonable breach of etiquette—eating with a knife. It is a belle fourchette rather than a fine blade they ply.

The late Horace Greeley, to repeat a well-known story, tells of a farmer who drove a herd of Yorkshires to market,—

"When meads with slime were sprent, and ways with mire,"— the march proving so fatiguing to his charges that they shrank in flesh and had to be disposed of at a sacrifice on finally arriving at their destination. When asked on his return how much he had realised from the transaction, he replied he had made nothing out of his charges themselves—"he had had the pleasure of their company, though." This point, through a singular oversight,—the idea is the same and equally charming everywhere,—Leigh Hunt has not touched upon in his essay "On the Graces and Anxieties of Pig-Driving." It may be of interest to those whose manuscripts have been rejected to know that Hunt's exquisite conceit was refused by the magazine to which it was addressed, but fortunately it was not on this account consigned to the waste-basket, but lives and is embalmed with Lamb's dissertation.

"I could never understand to this day," writes[240] Hunt in his autobiography, "what it is that made the editor of a magazine reject an article which I wrote, with the mock-heroic title of 'The Graces and Anxieties of Pig-Driving.' I used to think he found something vulgar in the title. He declared it was not he who rejected it, but the proprietor of the magazine. The proprietor, on the other hand, declared that it was not he who rejected it, but the editor. I published it in a magazine of my own, 'The Companion,' and found it hailed as one of my best pieces of writing."

This reference of Hunt's recalls a piquant épigramme of lamb that is not down in the cook-books. It was when the writer was taking his departure from an old Paris bookstall, a number of years ago, that, as he turned to leave, the proprietor remarked:

"Monsieur perhaps might like to glance at an English work, 'sur l'Agneau,' which came in with some other volumes recently."

The volume in question referred, indeed, to "lamb," and proved to be the excessively rare first edition of "The Essays of Elia" (London, 1823). It was slightly foxed, but otherwise in excellent condition, and contained some marginal annotations in manuscript. On carefully examining the handwriting, we became convinced it was that of Charles Lamb—there could be no possible doubt of it. The only writing on the fly-leaf was, "To W. W., from C. L."—the "W. W." presumably being William Wordsworth. In the volume, since attired by the binder as it deserves, are several slight alterations in "The South Sea House," and some addenda to "Valentine's Day."


But by far the most important annotation occurs in "A Dissertation on Roast Pig." It is apparent at a glance that this was a serious afterthought ere the volume left the author's hands and the types confronted him with any lapses he had made—an apology, in fact, on the part of the author for whatever reference might be considered disparaging or in any wise inconsiderate as regards the worth of the elder animal. For, in consistency, a jewel that sparkles throughout the pages of "Elia," the parents might not be reviled without reflecting upon the children. Moreover, however "mild and dulcet" a nursling pigling, roasted secundum artem, may be to those of educated tastes, it is a dish that cloys from its very mellifluence if repeated too often, whereas in pork matured it is invariably a case of cut and come again.

From the volume and chapter in question we transcribe the annotation, verbatim et literatim, where it follows, as a postscript, the concluding line, "he is a weakling—a flower":

"Methinks my mind (animadverted by the infant pearl) hath been too evasive. There is he who, having shed the downy robes of childhood, is clad in the toga virilis of a glorious chief. Hast thou ever on occasion savoured his matured nether extremities, if haply thou wert blessed with an appetite and appreciation commensurate with their unctuous worth? Regard those feet—those parsley-garnished feet! See the pearly whiteness of the ankles, the coral pink of the petitoes! Meseems a man might arise in the small hours of a winter morning to savour such a dish. It should summon the shade of Lucullus. It should not only reconcile man to his lot, but it should render him thankful for it. Imagine the passion of a[242] stricken youth (stricken by the pedal glories and faultless poise of a Taglioni), and then note by comparison the exalted rapture which should be engendered by such feet as these!

"In wandering through Covent Garden market, and passing from floral dreams to the vegetables, I often pause before the peas. Do I yearn for them in their adolescence? do I associate them with the duckling and the lamb? Nay; I await a time when they shall have folded and creased within themselves their perfected saccharine excellence, to be released in the kitchen of the winter.

"I can see a pig—a pig of one hundred and eighty pounds—classical in all the tints of its marble freshness. It sheds its internal graces in an excellent and cleanly market. With deft execution the white-aproned purveyor removes a spare-rib from a side. Then in front of the site of the spare-rib there remains an area of unequalled promise—a tract of the most delightsome possibilities. Let a piece be cut about fourteen inches long and eight wide, when after it has hung two or three days, I counsel thee to submerge it in sweet pickle for a week. Then boil it with a quart of the garden peas, with a shred, a hint, a sigh of onion. Allow it to cool, and when freed of every vestige of vegetable matter, place it in a garnished dish.

"No poem ever stirred the human heart, no slab of tessellated pavement ever fired the archæologist, with respectful interest akin to that evoked by this entrancing esculent. It is a fresh wave in the sea of sapors—an approximation, a convolution of two entities divinely transfused, which to conceive, it must be tasted. It elevates the sense of taste to the highest pinnacle of human aspiration. It is a memory to inspire gentle thoughts and tranquillize the mind; a presence that is a beatitude, and that looms in the visions of the future as a thing to live for."


Less secretive than communicative in most of his ways, the hog is nevertheless an enigma as regards his natural term of life. Not that for a moment his native modesty forbids his announcing his age, or that his lease of life equals that of Epimenides, but that, owing to circumstances over which he has no control,—the greed and voracity of man,—he is handicapped from proclaiming the full extent of his longevity. "The natural age of a hog's life is little known," observes the learned Hampshire rector-naturalist; "and the reason is plain—because it is neither profitable nor convenient to keep that turbulent animal to the full extent of its time." The man were a dolt who would take exceptions to White's natural-history observations, so lucidly and delightfully set forth in the pages of "Selborne." And yet, so great was his sympathy for all animals and dumb creatures, may not the term "turbulent" have been possibly a slip of the pen or fault of the types for "buoyant" or "complacent," with no malice prepense, as in the case of Spenser and the generality of the poets?

His bonhomie and engaging nature are seldom considered, unless by a few humanitarians or interested trainers of animals. Yet what possibilities does he not present as a companion to man, were man not so eager for his slaughter, and were he to receive the same encouragements as the cat and the dog! A case is cited by Frank Buckland of a hog at Guildford that followed its master daily on his walks, and whose instinct, agility, and affection could be equalled only by the canine species. Hamerton also mentions a wild boar in France which became domesticated and[244] regularly accompanied his master to the village church and would not be excluded, but came at last, by the toleration of the curé, to hear mass like a Christian, till finally he grew to an alarming size and was sold to a travelling menagerie. The hog has been known in numerous instances to set and retrieve various kinds of game with an intelligence equal to that of the most blue-blooded pointer or setter, and even to exceed the canine species in acuteness of scent and staunchness. A wager was once made in England that with a hog trained on game the owner could kill more grouse on the moors than either of his two competitors with their dogs, the result being considerably in favour of the challenging party.

"If the pig had wings and could soar above the hedges," says an appreciative writer in the old German "Kreuterbuch," "he would be regarded as the best and most magnificent of fowls!" Is he not, moreover, with his boon companion the domestic goose (likewise a douceur of the table when served with applesauce), one of the most reliable of weather prophets, becoming restless and uttering loud cries at the approach of a storm?

In any event, whatever deprivation the non-development of his social qualities may have occasioned, he still shines supreme as a utilitarian, a stimulus to gastronomy, and a promoter of the polite arts. Some there are, perchance, who have cursorily regarded the obligations we owe him as a purveyor of our comforts so far as relates to the hair-brushes, tooth-brushes, and nail-brushes he has kindly provided. The saddler and trunk-maker no doubt appreciate him after[245] a fashion, as did the conscientious bookbinder of old, with whom he figured indirectly as a confrère in belles-lettres. But who among the recipients of his many bounties has paused to consider the inestimable influence he has exercised upon one of the greatest of the romantic or fine arts, without which the most celebrated canvases of the world had never existed, and the art of painting, if not utterly abandoned, must languish of necessity for lack of his bristles to lay on the pigments? For, with the exception of the minute brushes made from the soft fur of the red sable for detail work, he contributes, if not the artist's genius itself, at least the chief vehicle with which it is possible to render it enduring.

One by one he has felt the pictures of Raphael, Titian, Correggio, and Guido pulsate beneath the artist's brush; while later, in another land, he was instrumental in fixing the harmonics of Velasquez's and Murillo's marvellous colouring. He has witnessed the growing fame of Turner and surveyed the miles of glowing flesh that Rubens has painted. With Watteau and Boucher, he has gazed on many a fair shepherdess and pastoral scene, and, with Jacque and Mauve, helped the shepherd drive his fleecy flock. He has basked in the sunny atmosphere of Cuyp, Wynants, and Van der Neer, and watched the radiant face of woman assume a heightened charm through the genius of Lely and Reynolds. He has viewed the frail beauties of the harem with Gérôme, and marked the roseate twilight deepen over Venice with Ziem. A silent spectator of the great pageant of Art, he has beheld Le Brun and Vernet depict the carnage[246] of the battle-field, and Poussin, Claude, and Constable open enchanting vistas of landscape. Contemplating the progress of modern art, he sees Diaz and Daubigny, Bouguereau and Meissonier, Vibert and Verestchagin, Corot and Inness, and how many others! seated upon the throne of undying fame and wielding the sceptre which he himself has supplied.

His illustrious Bristleousness! Were it not for man's ingratitude and his overpowering worth upon the shambles, he would long since have been canonised and figure as the joint symbol of the useful and the romantic arts.

Consider him likewise in his ferine state as most closely related to nature, moving majestically through the fastnesses of his native stronghold, toothed and tushed for war, indigenous and mighty as the oaks which yield him their mast or the trees of the jungles through which he treads. "The jungle path is his as much as the tiger's," writes the Indian sportsman and naturalist, Shakespeare; "the native shikarries affirm that the wild boar will quench his thirst at the river between two tigers, and I believe this to be strictly the truth. The tiger and the boar have been heard fighting in the jungle at night, and both have been found dead alongside of one another in the morning." It was a wild boar that slew Adonis; and by none, not even by Baryé, has the animal been more vividly depicted than by Shakespeare in the warning of Venus:

"'Thou hadst boon gone,' quoth she, 'sweet boy, ere this But that thou told'st me thou wouldst hunt the boar. O be advised! thou know'st not what it is With javelin's point a churlish swine to gore,[247] Whose tushes, never sheathed, he whetteth still, Like to a mortal butcher, bent to kill. "'On his bow-back he hath a battle set Of bristly pikes, that ever threat his foes; His eyes, like glow-worms, shine when he doth fret, His snout digs sepulchres where'er he goes; Being moved he strikes whate'er is in his way, And whom he strikes his cruel tushes slay. "'His brawny sides, with hairy bristles arm'd, Are better proof than thy spear's point can enter; His short thick neck cannot be easily harm'd; Being ireful, on the lion he will venture: The thorny brambles and embracing bushes, As fearful of him, part; through whom he rushes.'" As for his domesticated brother, to come back to our cochons, let him be aspersed as he may—we have seen the manifold benefits he has procured for us and the plane he rightly occupies in the evolution of mankind. Without him the kitchen were well-nigh impracticable, and, deprived of his services, gastronomy were an obsolete word.


AMERICAN VS. ENGLISH COOKERY "The finest landscape in the world is improved by a good inn in the foreground."

Samuel Johnson.

Strictly speaking, there exists as yet no general high-class English or American cuisine, beyond the natural alimentary resources of these countries, supplemented by the efforts of foreign cooks. There are certain native dishes of merit in England, to be sure, and there is a so-termed Southern and Eastern kitchen in the United States where not a few dishes are admirably prepared. But the art of baking bread and of pastry-making, as well as that of frying, is, alas! lacking to a great extent in both countries, while the entrée is still largely an uncertain quantity with the housewife. There is a lack, likewise, both in England and in America, of a proper [249]understanding of sauces, and this is the more to be regretted on the score of their appetising qualities, the variety they impart to the flavour of viands, and, where the properties of the numerous seasonings and condiments are thoroughly understood, the beneficent effect they lend to digestion.


From the engraving by J. W. Snow.

It were misleading, however, to decry the old-fashioned American home kitchen. Smile as ye may, ye devotees of the Gallic art, the New World has its dishes that are not to be despised. What fonts of delectation well not forth from the apple-, the mince-, and the pumpkin-pie! And what caressing sapors linger not in the buckwheat cake and nectar of the maple grove, the corn and the sweet-potato "pone," the corned beef and cabbage, and even the corn-on-the-cob itself, if of the "Country Gentleman" or "Stowell's Evergreen" variety! The planked shad, the clam chowder, the terrapin à la Maryland, the plebeian pork and beans, and the more recent pâté of oyster-crabs and lobster à la Newburgh surely need no one to sound their praises. The Fuligula vallisneria of the Chesapeake occupies so exalted a plane that it is sufficient to lift one's hat at the mere thought of him; and then reflect how admirably the ruffed grouse, the prairie-chicken, or a celery-fed redhead may supply his place when occasion requires. And has not America contributed the potato, the tomato, and tobacco, and taught the world how to cross a continent in a dining-car! That the English are jealous of American products cannot be doubted when one remembers the remark of Sydney Smith, who was asked by one of his friends why he did not visit Amer[250]ica. "I fully intended going," was his reply, "but my parishioners held a meeting and came to a resolution that they could not trust me with the canvasback ducks; and I felt they were right, so I gave up the project."

No better cookery, independent of any special school, is to be met with than that of the superior restaurants and hotels of the American metropolis and numerous clubs within and without its confines. The cookery of the capital of the United States, as it exists in many of the better restaurants and in private houses where Southern dishes are especially well prepared, is deservedly celebrated. The New Orleans kitchen has also its ardent admirers; but outside of New York the restaurants of San Francisco are perhaps the most famous and cosmopolitan. Receptive and creative, America has learned from all, and added to acquired knowledge the results of her own inventive genius. The era of fried steak, saleratus biscuits, and "apple floating-island" has happily long since passed, and already in many instances an American dinner has come to be recognised as among the very best it is possible to obtain. A well-prepared Châteaubriand is no longer confined to the Café Riche, or a bisque d'écrevisses to Voisin or to Lapérouse. In none of the useful arts has progress been more marked in this country during the past decade. Even in remote New England villages a leg or a saddle of mutton is rarely sent to table with all its juices and excellences dissipated, as one commonly finds it on the tables volantes of the prominent English restaurants. And for the omnipresent "greens" of Great Britain[251] in winter—the Brussels sprout, distended to thrice its size and deprived of all its pristine delicacy by crossing it with the cabbage—there are with us countless vegetables to choose from.

Luxuriant diversity, in fact, is a marked characteristic of American cookery, whatever faults may be found with its methods as frequently practised. Yet, the too lavish multiplicity of dishes, usually at the expense of quality, which has characterised the breakfast and dinner of the average hostelry conducted on a fixed charge is disappearing, and hotels on the European plan are becoming more in request yearly. The cooking-school, likewise, is rapidly contributing its share towards the evolution of eating, wherein wholesomeness and variety are properly regarded as a means of health, enjoyment, and longevity.

The luxuries of a few years ago have become necessities now; and one notes on every hand the better physical development produced by improved alimentation and an increased understanding of the laws of hygiene. No nation possesses so wide a field for administering to its most minute wants at all seasons and under all conditions. The woods, the waters, and the plains vie with one another in their contributions to the table. If we have not the truffle, we have the mushroom. If we are without the turbot and sole, we have the whitefish, the shad, the flounder, the bluefish, the weakfish, the striped-bass, the frost-fish and pompano—the choice from ice-cold to tropical waters, the range from the Atlantic to the Pacific—with oysters unequalled in delicacy and cheapness; while we not only grow vegetables in profusion, but in infinite va[252]riety and of superlative excellence. When one thinks of the oysters, with their rank, tinny, fishy flavour and their high admission fee, that do duty in England and on the Continent alike, one may trebly appreciate the delicate Blue Point, the Narragansett, Glen Cove, Millpond, Lynn Haven, Cherrystone, Rockaway, Shrewsbury, and the many other tributes of the "deep sea" wherein the very essence of the ocean seems concentrated. Of wholesome fruits the supply and kinds are boundless, while animal food in nearly all its forms is nowhere found in greater perfection. Nor is furred and feathered game lacking to minister to the wants of the invalid and shed its graces on the board of the epicure. The poor may have their ice as well as the rich; and with her vast granaries America can provision the globe with the staff of life. Her territory is unlimited and its fertility unsurpassed. He who wills may possess his plot of garden ground, and, like Marvell, reckon the lapse of time by the ripening of his fruits and the blossoming of his flowers. In time, perchance, an American judge may rise to emphasise the sentiment of Henrion de Pensey, the French magistrate, who thus expressed himself to three of the most distinguished scientists of their day: "I consider the discovery of a dish which sustains our appetite and prolongs our pleasures as a far more interesting event than the discovery of a star, for we have always stars enough; and I shall not regard the sciences as sufficiently honoured or adequately represented amongst us until I see a cook in the first class of the Institute."

Such a benefactor was the Vice-President of the[253] United States, General John C. Breckinridge, the story of his discovery having been thus related at a recent dinner at Chamberlin's, in Washington, by one of a coterie of men who were in their political and social prime in the early sixties. The month was March, and at nearly every table planked shad was being served. "I wonder," said the raconteur, as he held up his glass of Forster-Jesuiten-Garten to the light and savoured its adorable bouquet, "if any of these people who are smacking their lips over that delicious dish know that they are indebted for it to General John C. Breckinridge. It was from him that the people of this part of the country gained their knowledge of how to plank shad, and from here it has spread out to every place where shad can be obtained.

"It was Breckinridge's custom, beginning with the first warm Sunday in April and continuing till the middle of June, to drive slowly along the picturesque road that skirts the north bank of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal until he reached the Guard Locks, fifteen miles up, at the Great Falls of the Potomac. In the buff-bodied carryall would be stowed away a two-gallon demijohn of Kentucky's best, lemons, sugar, mint, a large cheese, and pounds of soda-crackers. Besides the negro driver he would at times have a friend along, most frequently that only social intimate of President Buchanan, 'Gentleman Bob' Magraw.

"When Breckinridge reached the falls he would walk into the little house which served the double duty of keeper's home and public inn, shake hands[254] with everybody, have a word of pleasant banter with the landlady, hand her a five-dollar gold piece by way of compensation for the diversion of business from her protected to his free-trade entertainment, and then map out the day's enjoyment.

"The farmers and farm-hands for miles around could be relied upon to be on hand to catch the fish. The shad could not ascend the river beyond this point, and the water was fairly alive with them. Fifty or more would be taken in a short time. While this work was going on, Breckinridge, who never fished, would throw himself upon the grassy bank of the canal and listen to the playing of the violin by one or the other of two brothers named West, who were possessed of wonderful skill with the bow, the negro field-hands often joining in a dance. At noon the shad would be properly planked, under the personal supervision of Breckinridge, and put before a red-hot fire, and in a few minutes the royal feast would begin, right where they were cooked, the landlady supplying plates, knives, and forks. When the appetite was satisfied, another season of lounging would follow, when one of the two brothers would resume his playing on the violin. As the sun got low in the heavens, Breckinridge would start back to town, after telling them all to come around the next Sunday. The love of these country people for Breckinridge knew no bounds; they worshipped him, and he was thoughtful of them.

"Well, John C. Breckinridge was, as you all know, a candidate of the Southern wing of the Democratic party for the Presidency in 1860. We remember the result of that gigantic struggle. The section where[255] those pleasant Sundays were spent in another year became a battle-ground, and the placid fishers scattered far and wide. A new generation has sprung up and another war been fought, and the name of Breckinridge is forgotten in that region; but the art of planking shad as taught by him not only lives but spreads abroad each year."

Thus, at least, runs the story. But it has also been stated that the art of planking should be credited to the Swedes, who are said to have brought the fish-plank with them among their household effects, when, in 1634, they settled on the banks of the Delaware, a river famous for its wild duck and shad. The planking of fish has equally been attributed to the American aborigines, who subsisted to a great extent on the spoils of the woods and waters. The shad itself, at any rate, is an indigenous product; and there are those who maintain that it is not improved by planking, but is best when simply broiled to a turn over the charcoal, with parsley and butter sauce and a filet of lemon.

Yet a hundredfold more important than the shad and his left-bower, the cucumber, is the vegetable that may be placed almost side by side with bread in the value it contributes to the sustenance of mankind—the potato, which the world owes to the western hemisphere, and whose introduction produced so great an economical revolution among the peoples of the earth. And were the potato itself lacking, the Apios tuberosa, or ground-nut, with its violet-scented blossoms—a tuber in use by the aborigines—would stand ready as a substitute, and yield innumerable varieties under cultivation. Although the early history of the[256] potato is obscure and has been the subject of much discussion, the great botanist De Candolle states that its true home is Chili, where it grows wild; that before the discovery of America its cultivation was diffused from Chili to New Grenada; that it was introduced about the latter part of the sixteenth century into Virginia and North Carolina, and, finally, was imported into Europe between 1580 and 1585, first by the Spaniards and afterwards by the English at the time of Sir Walter Raleigh's voyages to Virginia. The first potato was planted on Sir Walter's estate in Cork, and employed for food in Ireland many years before it became familiar to England, the esculent still remaining the truffle of the Emerald Isle. Gerarde, long before the Lyonnaise or pomme soufflée was dreamed of, defines two varieties—the Sisarum Peruvianum, or skirret, of Peru, and the Battata Virginiana, or Virginian potato. In his "Great Herbal" the qualities of the "battata" are thus set forth: "The temperature and virtues be referred to the common Potatoes, being likewise a food, as also a meate for pleasure, equall in goodnesse and wholesomenesse unto the same, being either toasted in the embers, or boyled and eaten with oyle, vinegar and pepper, or dressed in any other way by the hand of some cunning in cookerie." The origin of the sweet potato is more doubtful, a number of authorities holding to its American and others to its Asiatic origin, though Brazil is usually credited as being the land of its genesis.

During the old colony days of the eighteenth century catfish and waffle suppers were in great repute in the taverns on the picturesque Schuylkill near[257] Philadelphia, these being still popular, though planked shad is more commonly called for. The turtle was a great favourite with our epicurean forefathers, who were accustomed frequently to hold turtle feasts or, as they were then termed, turtle frolics. Returning sea captains from the West Indies were expected to bring home a turtle for this purpose, together with a keg of limes, lime-juice being considered the best of all tart accompaniments for the punch-bowl. Of these feasts, with their accessories, a travelling clergyman named Burnaby gave this account in 1759:

"There are several taverns pleasantly situated upon East River, near New York, where it is common to have these turtle feasts. These happen once or twice a week. Thirty or forty gentlemen and ladies meet and dine together, drink tea in the afternoon, fish, and amuse themselves till evening, and then return home in Italian chaises, a gentleman and lady in each chaise. On the way there is a bridge, about three miles distant from New York, which you always pass over as you return, called the Kissing Bridge, where it is part of the etiquette to salute the lady who has put herself under your protection."

No wonder that, with such delightful privileges, the days of our roistering greater-grandfathers were referred to as "the good old colony times."

It has been properly held that austerity of diet, though not always productive of austere morals, invariably leads to an acerbity of temperament inimical to social and artistic development, that poor food is a begetter of dyspepsia, and that in dyspepsia lurks crime. A well-nourished nation becomes a progres[258]sive nation, and poor nourishment results in intemperance and maleficence. The mobile human face, first to show the effects of the emotions and the passions by its lines, is no less indicative of meagre or improper alimentation. "Both in mind and body, where nourishment ceases vitality fails," and hence a perfect cuisine must prove the best of doctors if supplemented by the adage, "Know thyself, obtain a sufficiency of sleep, and exercise abundantly in the outer air." As to the ideal cuisine, this may be briefly defined as that which supplies an abundant variety of the best procurable material prepared in the most wholesome manner, in distinction to innumerable mixed and highly spiced viands, which assuredly have their place, but which require to be employed with precaution. The merit of the best American cookery consists in its comparative simplicity.

Writing in 1852, Count d'Orsay complained that even then the culinary art had greatly deteriorated in Paris, and had been transferred to England. At the time referred to, the Frères Provençeaux, Philippe, and the Café de Paris were the most famous restaurants at the French capital, Véry, Véfour, and the Café Anglais having declined in favour. His remarks concerning England applied of course to the nobility, who could outbid the titled classes of France, as to-day America in its turn is enabled to command the greatest culinary skill. A similar complaint was made by Nestor Roqueplan in 1866 in "Le Double Almanach Gourmand":

"The French cuisine has lost much of its originality and special characteristics. We no longer find places devoted to[259] the Flemish kitchen, others to the Normandy, Lyonnaise, Toulousian, Bordelaise, and Provençale kitchens. But France nevertheless is still the country where eating is found at its best."

That French cookery, or, to speak more correctly, Parisian cookery, has deteriorated of recent years there would seem to be abundant evidence. Or is it that such retrogression is owing to the advances in other countries, and that the Parisian cuisine suffers more from such comparison than from any real falling off in merit? Certain it is that the alien who is capable of judging will charge it with having become too rich and highly spiced, if not too careless. There are those who go so far as to say that its future will lie chiefly in the speech of the menu, that none of the strange spellings of "rosbif" will change the nature of the viand, the same remark applying to the cut which is called a "biftek" everywhere save in the land of its origin and in the United States. The fact is that the French, in many arts, unjustly claim a taste so superlative as to be unattainable by other nations, and that French cookery has been tacitly accepted as unparalleled on the same principle that a titled personage is supposed to possess superior accomplishments. Yet French must necessarily remain for all time the classic language of the bill of fare.

Still, the preparation of food continues to be better understood by the average practitioner in France than in any other country. For, as in angling it is "not so much the fly as the hand directing it that secures the trout," so in cookery it is less the recipe than the[260] fine perceptivity of the artist that achieves the perfect dish. So far as America is concerned, it is less the want of capable chefs than the scarcity of good female cooks that is to be deplored. A competent cuisinière is becoming more and more uncommon, and by the average servant cooking is too often considered a mere function to be performed with as little trouble and as much despatch as possible. Besides the lack of proper training, crass ignorance is too frequently a factor which the housewife has to contend with in those who profess to have a perfect understanding of the art of the kitchen.

A new cook had come, and there were to be smelts with a tartare sauce to follow the soup.

"Can you make a good tartare sauce?" asked the mistress; "if not, I can show you."

"Oh, yes; I've often made one."

In due time the fish, shorn of heads and tails and flanked by a very yellow sauce with a strange taste, made their appearance, and were promptly returned to the kitchen.

"Surely, you don't call this a tartare sauce, which is always cold. Besides, where are the chopped pickle, the onion, the capers, the parsley? And what gives it such a queer taste?"

"But this is a hot tartar sauce, mum; I asked for the 'tartar,' and the maid gave it to me; I supposed you wanted a cream-of-tartar sauce."

The corrective for such a state of things is difficult to prescribe, unless it be a better understanding on the part of the housewife and the establishment of cooking-classes in all female schools. Another rem[261]edy might be to imitate the French of two hundred years ago, and provide an entertaining illustrated text-book for children, artfully designed to foster a love of gastronomy. Thus, in a work of this nature entitled "Roast Pig," the text is freely interlarded with appetising pictures of viands and table scenes, accompanied by such maxims as these: "A well-minced ham is fine eating, but not without something to drink"; "pâté of venison and craquelins are not intended for naughty children"; "damask prunes are delicious to eat for those who deserve them"; "venison is better in a pâté than with any sauces, if it is well seasoned and accompanied with wine."[32]


Facsimile page from volume, 1696

The excellence of the morale of a work of this nature cannot fail to impress itself on those of mature years whose incentive to learning in youth was more often the ruler and the rod than sugar-plums and wine. But while the advantages of such a method for moulding the youthful taste are to be extolled, it presents the objection that much valuable time must elapse before the results would become tangible, and hence its benefits would accrue too late save for the younger generation and its successors.

It were well, withal, in furtherance of the advance of the art, if a society were formed for the suppression of the filet, the consommé with whipped cream, and also the sweetbread in its usual form, which are so frequently employed in "company" dinners, the bill[262] of fare of which is left by the housewife to the cook or the purveyor who is engaged for the day. In such cases the guest often needs no menu to know what is forthcoming—the lukewarm Blue Points, the flavourless broth, the overdone halibut, the tasteless tenderloin and green peas, and the half-mixed salad deluged with tarragon vinegar. As for the wines, one may be reasonably sure of a woody-tasting sherry, a sour and watery "claret," and a still more asperous brut champagne that is doled out, when appetite has waned, to chill the dessert and render the sweets the more indigestible. Not that this menu is the general rule by any means in the United States, but it is of far too frequent occurrence, and should be placed under ban—a charge that concerns the host and hostess alike. For whatever difficulty the mistress may experience in procuring trained culinary skill, a simple bill of fare, daintily served, is always at her command; while there can be no excuse on the part of the master for presenting a sharp brut champagne at the end of the repast, if indeed it be presented at all; and as for a reputable Bordeaux, if such be not in his cellar, it is or should be obtainable at his club. Where champagne is permitted to diffuse its sunshine, it goes without saying it should be of irreproachable quality and dealt out with a liberal hand. To stint in Ay or Sillery is as unpardonable as to ice one's Burgundy. The host should watch the various brands attentively from year to year, noting their improvement or deterioration, judging them by their quality only, and choosing them irrespective of their vogue or the plaudits of those who may not be capable of judging.


The introducer of the dry flint cracker in place of fresh bread to go with the cheese, though never definitely ascertained, is said to have been a dentist who in this wise succeeded in obtaining many wealthy patients. A person who is guilty of offering hardtack to his friends may be expected to pour a mayonnaise dressing over his cucumbers and beat up his lettuce and tomatoes in a salad. To serve cheese with the salad is a syncretism, besides being a great injustice to the roast to which the salad rightly appertains. The absence of butter which is often noticeable at formal repasts has no raison d'être. It is wanted at most dinners, particularly for corn, baked potatoes, etc., and is always needed for bread; its non-employment in Europe is only a consequent of economical custom. A vice it were seemingly useless to protest against, so universal is the practice, is the serving of raw fruit after a hearty dinner. As long as courses are presented in a tempting way, so long will the unthinking majority continue to taste them, even if it be fruit,—"gold in the morning, silver at noon, and lead at night,"—- after the final sweets. The only one who has exclaimed against this custom, to the writer's knowledge, is the Ettrick Shepherd in the "Noctes": "As for frute after fude, it's a downricht abomination, and coagulates on the stomach like sour cruds."

Nor may the wineless dinner be passed unnoticed, at which unfortunate guests sometimes find themselves unwittingly present with no means of escape. To those who are unaccustomed to their glass of claret or other vinous beverage at home its exclusion may not materially signify, though at a protracted repast[264] there are not a few among such who find it a great aid to digestion. In the case of those who are habituated to it its absence becomes of serious moment, much the same as if a meal were deprived of salt or the post-prandial cigar were proscribed. In vain may the unfortunate guest attempt to philosophise on the virtues of abnegation as he contemplates his glass where the gold gleams without, instead of sparkling from within, and he mournfully recalls the couplet of Monselet and the dinners that are past:

"Sauternes, Haut-Brions, Latour, Margaux, Lafittes, Grands crûs de la Gironde, ah! quel bien vous me fîtes!" (Sauternes, Latour, Margaux, Lafitte, and O'Bryan, Grand growths of Gironde, let us make haste to try 'em!) The least that the dinner-giver could do who may be intent on restricting the product of the vine, out of respect for those whose happiness it befits him to consider,—aye, for which he is directly responsible during the entire period they remain under his roof,—would be to apprise his guests on their invitation cards that his filet was to be accompanied by water. Then any possible uncertainty would at once become a certainty, and no one need be ensnared. Otherwise his dinner must border too closely on the very questionable form of entertainment tendered by the fox to the stork. "Let no man," says an old writer in "Blackwood's," "who has been so unfortunate as to be accustomed to drink water be afraid all at once to begin to drink wine. Let him without fear or trembling boldly fill a bumper to his most gracious maj[265]esty the king—then the Duke of Clarence and the navy—then Wellington and the army. These three bumpers will have made him a new man."

The fact that the host may not be a wine-drinker himself is no reason why he should select a dinner-party as the field for enforcing his views on hydropathy. And if from sentiment or through physical reasons he prefer water, no one assuredly will question his right to abstain from vinous beverages. There was an old gentleman, it is related, who was fond of entertaining his friends, and who gave them wine of the very best. He himself would drink with them, but only from a particular decanter which was placed before him. An inquisitive neighbour at his table contrived to help himself from the same bottle, and discovered that, under a colourable imitation of sherry, his host was drinking cold tea. He was a total abstainer from principle, but he was too courteous a gentleman to flaunt his conviction in the face of his guests or to reflect upon the weakness of his friends by confessing himself superior to them.

Above all things, an invitation to dine should convey on its face the spirit of a refined, broad-minded hospitality and an assurance of perfect creature comforts, embodying in the fullest measure the sentiment expressed by Châtillon-Plessis, "Se soigner en buvant d'excellents vins et en mangeant d'excellents mets, voilà la bonne, la vraie médication!" (To care for one's self by drinking excellent wines and by eating excellent dishes,—this is the proper, the true medication.) In all instances where the entertainer may be opposed to serving wine, it were better to dispense[266] with the dinner and substitute a tea or a reading in its stead. A wineless dinner is justifiable only where every guest is a professed teetotaler and has become inured to Oolong and sparkling waters.

An editorial in the London "Spectator" deals summarily with such alleged entertainers, terming them "would-be hosts."

"What!" [exclaims the writer] "shall a man be invited to a feast? shall he don his white tie with care and take his way through the inclement weather to his friend's home, determined, though weary and jaded with his daily toil, to shine at his best, and repay with the blithest company his friend's entertainment? and shall he be offered lemonade to drink? It is enough to curdle the milk of human kindness in his breast forever. Or iced water? Why, it would throw a chill upon the warmest good will, and freeze the speech even upon the lips of a lover. The man is neither a wine-bibber nor a sot. But he is accustomed to drink his glass of wine, even as he is accustomed to eat his dinner, and one is as necessary to him as the other. Well, we do not imagine that he dines with him twice."

The Sunday two-or three-o'clock dinner is a barbarism which calls loudly for suppression—a custom that has no justifiable motive, inasmuch as the only pretence for its existence is of questionable benefit to the servants, who are obliged to share equally the penalty visited upon every one by whom it is tolerated. As well establish a weekly custom of a Saturday banquet at midnight in order to allow the cook a full afternoon for visiting. For what are the inevitable results? Accustomed to the dinner in the evening and the luncheon at noon, for which the machinery of di[267]gestion is set in perfect accord, the stomach is called upon to fast on the day devoted to rest until long after the period for the performance of its regular offices—to be surfeited with excessive ingestion at a time when appetite is ravenous and the secretory organs are unable to perform their customary functions. Gluttony and subsequent lethargy are a necessary consequent, followed by a disturbed state of the digestion perhaps for days afterwards. The pathological deduction of irregular eating is a simple one. The stomach, having supplied its secretions at the accustomed time, waits but a brief period before it allows such secretions to be absorbed when deprived of the aliments that aid in the production of fresh supplies. After a few such experiences the secretions diminish in amount and in activity, even when food is introduced in the digestive tract, and stomachic disturbance is an inevitable sequence. It will thus be manifest that the Sunday-afternoon dinner and late Sunday supper become the greatest of all invitations to gastric disorders, and that the master and mistress of the well-regulated household should firmly resent this almost universal imposition. No one knows better than the physician the serious ailments caused by Sunday engorgement and irregular eating. And yet no one in this respect remains more passive to his own welfare or that of his patients.

The seven-o'clock theatre dinner, while less obnoxious than the Sunday evil, is nevertheless a positive discomfort and a direct incentive to flatulence and dyspepsia. It should likewise receive the stigma of public disapproval, and either be entirely abolished,[268] out of comfort both to hosts and guests, or set at a sufficiently early hour to ensure their well-being and that of the audience it invariably disturbs. In any event, a formal repast of this nature can scarcely be partaken of with a sense of comfort, and it were better for all concerned if a supper after the performance were substituted.

To be regretted also is the growing tendency of adjourning the evening dinner-hour. Six o'clock, the hygienist will maintain, is the latest period in the day at which those who set a proper value on their health should begin to dine. It will be claimed, notwithstanding, by many who may be directly concerned, that this is too early for invited guests to assemble at table—that the toiler in the business mart may not always call his time his own. Let the hours of the business man and the professionalist be shortened, so that life may contain a broader margin. There still remain but twenty-four hours in the day, and the existing hours of business are too long and do not enable the majority to regulate the conditions of life properly. Let us not be ever hastening on, as though the goal were to be attained only by whip and spur!—"the wisdom of a learned man cometh by opportunity of leisure, and he that hath little business shall become wise."

The ideal hour for dining would be half-past six, with fifteen minutes' grace at the utmost, when one need neither sit down in a half-famished condition nor be sent to bed with an overcharged stomach. Seven o'clock certainly is as late as one may dine with comfort. A deferred dinner means either a too substan[269]tial luncheon or a distressing feeling of "goneness," which frequently makes itself unpleasantly audible long before the announcement that dinner is served; while lateness in dining implies additionally an insufficient interim between the dessert and the night's repose. No period of the day begins to be as tedious as that which is often mistakenly extended for the benefit and encouragement of the unpunctual. Would that the laggard who thus mars the comfort of others might feel the true force of Boileau's stricture: "I have always been punctual at the hour of dinner, for I knew that all those whom I kept waiting at that provoking interval would employ those unpleasant moments to sum up all my faults." To wait for tardy guests, it cannot be emphasised too strongly, is to try unwarrantably the temper of the remainder of the company and jeopardise the excellence of the repast. All such stumbling-blocks to the perfect advance of gastronomy, however, will doubtless be removed in time, and the pleasures of the table eventually be realised to their fullest extent in America.

Again, turning from the state of cookery in this country to that in England, it must be admitted that advancement has been far less manifest. "In general," a French writer remarks, "the English are little inclined to epicurism; it is apparent that their palate is not apt to appreciate the finish, the delicacy of a dish artistically prepared." It cannot be said that this stricture is entirely just, despite existent conditions. Neither may it be charged that the general state of English cookery is entirely the result of supineness on the part of a considerable portion of those whose in[270]terests are most affected; for the travelled Briton is the first to complain of the sameness and lack of progress which characterise his native kitchen. With abundant material and the best of meats and fish, there is little variety and a conspicuous want of daintiness in the English bill of fare; while even in the capital the English restaurants, with few exceptions, are scarcely to be commended. One must perforce suppose that these conditions are more the outcome of the national conservatism—the tendency to "let well enough alone"—than that they are not realised by a certain portion of the community. The Englishman is the last one, however, to stint at his table, whereon the ample roast invariably figures, and whatever may chance to be served appears in generous profusion.

Nor can one imagine a more delightsome host than the cultured Briton, who was first to proclaim the virtues of old-vintage champagnes, and who is still willing to undergo the martyrdom of gout for the sake of an after-glass of port which may not be equalled elsewhere. And if the English table be designated as "heavy" compared with that of the United States, it must be considered that climate has much to do with the form of a nation's alimentation. The national roast beef and ale are a fuel for the body in a land where fogs and mists prevail, and where the heating of dwellings and buildings is often inadequate. The chop-house is essentially English, and so far as its bill of fare extends its merits are unquestionable. The Englishman will also say, and his claim cannot be disputed, Is there a better substantial soup than turtle, or even ox-tail and mulligatawny? is any friture equal[271] in delicacy to that of whitebait? and is not the English beefsteak incomparably superior to the larded filet of the French?

But turtle and turbot and beef and ale need not necessarily preclude the lighter forms of nutrition which the British lack, or that minute attention to detail without which the cuisine must languish. It is true that the kitchens of the very wealthy are presided over by skilled foreign chefs, as is the case in most other countries, and that my lord and my lady do not lack for the most exquisite refinements that the disciples of Carême can contribute. A rich ancestral English country-seat, shaded by its immemorial elms and limes, with its splendid conservatories and gardens, its game-preserves and trout and salmon waters, is perhaps the best expression of refined and luxurious hospitality to be found; and here, assuredly, the table does not yield in bounty and munificence to any in the world. Outside of comparatively few dishes, however, there is but little to commend in general English cookery; and it would seem that what else is specially characteristic and also good consists largely in the cold pieces, such as game-, pigeon-, and rabbit-pie, spiced beef, the lordly venison pasty, and similar comestibles. That there is no such thing as fine modern English cookery the Englishman will be first to acknowledge. Broadly speaking, all which is good is old, and all which is modern is French.[33] The[272] cooking of vegetables is notoriously poor, and variety in preparation is as limited on the ordinary table as the variety of the vegetables themselves during a major portion of the year. The seedsman and the market-gardener cannot be held accountable, for the seedsman produces excellent varieties in profusion, many of which are grown in this country, and market-gardeners abound who must raise them. And no gardener may excel, if equal, the Englishman, whether his operations extend to the kitchen-or the flower-garden. But where are his vegetables to be met with in perfection of variety and perfection of cooking?—a question that becomes almost as great a problem as was the universal absence of male birds among the chaffinches or the mysterious disappearance of the ring-ouzels to Gilbert White.

During the limited season, let us admit, there are some vegetables which may not be surpassed, like green peas and beans, cauliflower, asparagus, and many varieties of lettuce, especially Cos, which cannot be grown to equal advantage under our hot summer sun. It is unfortunate that potatoes are cooked only in about one way, for few potatoes can compare in flavour with those raised in England. All such vegetables as demand continuous midsummer heat for their perfect maturity, together with late-ripening varieties of fruits, are necessarily raised at a disadvantage in most portions of Great Britain. Yet it would seem that the frowns of Vertumnus were far less responsible for this dearth of variety than the apparent apathy of the nation itself or those who are principally responsible for its alimentation—[273]the cook, the epicure, the restaurant, and the housewife.

Thus, in so simple a matter as the pumpkin-pie, which one occasionally meets in the southern and southwestern shires, it is hardly surprising that it is held in slight estimation when one reflects that the material is cut up in pieces, and then, with half apple and half pumpkin, a pie is made similar to the ordinary English apple-pie, and this in a climate where a pumpkin of good quality may not be grown out of doors. Contrary to general opinion, pumpkin-pie is not an American but an old English dish improved upon by the New England housewife. Three hundred years ago, when known as the "pompion," they were made into pies by cutting a hole in the side, extracting the seeds and filaments, stuffing the cavity with apples, and baking the whole.

The nectarine, peach, and apricot, as raised under glass in England or grown as espaliers in favoured localities, are always superior, while the glass-grown "pine" nowhere else reaches such perfection. Superlative, too, is the glass-grown muskmelon—netted, ribbed, and laced; spherical, oval, and globe-shaped; green-fleshed and scarlet-fleshed; and melting, juicy, and delicious. But some will ask, what can be more delectable than the scented orange-scarlet flesh of our own "Surprise," or the Hymettus sweetness that is hived beneath the wattled ribs of the little "Green Nutmeg"? The watermelon, with its great, luscious, rosy core, like corn and the sweet potato and its varieties, is not to be grown in England.

Of hardy fruits America is the chosen home, unless[274] it be of the grape for wine-making, wherein France reigns supreme. And of all districts where soil and climate unite to second the skill of the horticulturist, there is perhaps none in which nearly all the finer species and varieties of fruit attain such superiority, combined with keeping qualities, as in the smiling garden of the Empire State—the Genesee Valley of New York. Excellent fruits are raised in France and southern Germany, but only to a limited extent compared with our own country. To the French we are indebted for many of the finest varieties of pears, though these are rarely seen in France itself. Fruit in Europe is always dear and often difficult to obtain. Yet in the noted Parisian restaurants it is a rare occurrence when one cannot obtain a couple of peaches for twenty-five francs, or revel in a melon for thirty, much the same as pineapples may be obtained in London at a guinea apiece.

It will readily be conceded that the fish and meats of the French and Germans are usually much inferior to those of the English—the veal of Germany and the Pré-Salé mutton of France excepted. But, unlike the continentals, the English fail to make the most of their opportunities and better materials. A contemporaneous English writer thus alludes to the state of cookery and this lack of progress in his own country:

"The adage 'God sends meat and the devil sends cooks' must surely be of native parentage, for of no country is it so true as of our own. Perhaps had it not been for the influx among us of French and Italian experts we should not have progressed much beyond the pancake and oatmeal period. But foreign chefs limit their efforts to those who can afford to[275] pay them for their services. The middle classes do not fall within the pale of their beneficence. The poor know them not. So it happens that even as I write the greater part of the community not only cannot afford professional assistance in the preparation of their meals, which goes without saying, but from ignorance expend on their larder twice as much as a Parisian or an Italian in the same rank of life, with a very indifferent result. There are handbooks of instructions, it is true, both for the middle and for the lower classes. These books are at everybody's command. But they are either left unread, or, if read, they are not understood."[34]

Let it not be supposed by the stranger to the table of London that one may not dine there to advantage, or that the criticisms as to strictly English dinners apply to all hostelries and to many first-class restaurants of the capital where the French haute cuisine prevails. London has likewise numerous Italian restaurants whose table d'hôte is not to be despised—if one knows where to find them. But even in those restaurants whose specialty is French cookery the menu is singularly incommensurate in variety to the varied native products, both in vegetable and animal foods. Even the delicious sole and turbot, however well prepared, become a weariness through constant iteration, while petite marmite and croûte-au-pot are so frequent as to cause one to yearn for Julienne with inexpressible longing. No doubt, with a trained and old-time diner who knows his London thoroughly, one might happen on not a few gastronomic oases whose good English cheer would cause even the fog of the metropolis to melt into golden sunshine.


Many old dishes still exist in the English provinces on which much store is set in their respective localities, as, for instance, a certain pudding, rarely found outside of Derbyshire, called Bakewell pudding, after the little town on the Wye, which is also celebrated for its trout. Although the ancient recipe for this, handed down from one generation to another, is said to be possessed only by the landlady of the Chesterfield Arms in Bakewell, it is asserted that a successful imitation may be made as follows: Line a pie-tin with puff-paste and fill the centre with these ingredients—first layer, lemon cheese; second, raspberry jam; third, lemon cheese. Then strew on the top blanched sweet almonds and strips of candied peel of lemons, oranges, and citrons. Bake for about twenty minutes in a brisk oven, and dust very lightly with fine sugar.

Of the innumerable forms of preparing the cutlet, the following recipe can at least lay claim to originality, and is thoroughly English: The cutlets should be cut from the neck of mutton, then egged and breadcrumbed, finely minced tongue or ham having been mixed with the crumbs. Fry a delicate brown. For the centre of the dish use the whites of three eggs steamed in a cup. Place in a saucepan gherkins, mushrooms, ham, and tongue cut into small bars, adding to this a sauce of good brown gravy, with a dessertspoonful each of red-currant jelly, Harvey's sauce, mushroom ketchup, and tomato sauce. For the quality of this recipe the writer cannot vouch further than to observe that, like its predecessor, it emanates from the daintiest of feminine fingers of War[277]grave, where the excellence of the contributor's kitchen is equalled only by the beauty of her flower-garden.

The universal employment of bottled sauces, such as Worcester, Halford, Harvey's, etc., and pungent condiments, like gherkins, mustard, chow-chow, and ketchup, would seem to be more or less necessary in England, owing to the monotony of her roast beef and mutton and the extensive use of cold meats, poultry, and game. Harvey's sauce, mentioned among the ingredients of the above-mentioned recipe, owes its origin to this circumstance: During the middle and later years of Mr. Meynell's mastership of the hounds in the celebrated Quorn country there often appeared in the field Captain Charles Combers, who was born at Brentwood in 1752, and who was more familiarly known as "The Flying Cucumber" from the manner in which he put his horses along. On one occasion, when on his way to Leicestershire, he stopped, as was his wont, at Bedford to dine at the George, then kept by a man named Harvey, where he ordered a steak; and when it was served Combers requested Harvey to let his servant bring from his buggy a quart bottle which contained an admirable sauce. Having poured some of it into his plate and mixed it with the gravy of the steak, he asked Harvey to taste it, and the host pronounced it to be a most excellent relish. "Well, Mr. Harvey," said Combers, "I shall leave the bottle with you to use till my return, only be careful to reserve enough for me." On the next day Harvey had to provide a wedding dinner and introduced the sauce, which afforded such general satisfaction that several[278] smaller parties were made up, and the contents of the bottle were soon exhausted.

In due time Captain Combers returned, and, having been told that no more sauce remained, said: "Never mind; I can make some more from my mother's recipe; and, by-the-bye, I will give you a copy of it." He was as good as his word. Harvey made it in large quantities, sent it to the different shops in London, advertised it as "Harvey's Sauce," and by its extensive sale realised a large income. He subsequently sold the recipe for an annuity of £400 or £500, which he received for the remainder of his life.

Among old English dishes, "Bubble and Squeak" is the fanciful name applied to fried beef or mutton and cabbage,—

"When 'midst the frying-pan, in accents savage, The beef so surly quarrels with the cabbage,"— for the preparation of which widely varied recipes are given in the vade-mecums of English cookery. Kitchener even set the lines to music, and furnished a sauce for the dish. Such a dish illustrates the excellent digestion of the English. To the French it would be impossible, and a German would think twice before attempting it. But this were harmless compared with an English green sauce for green geese or ducklings, the prescription for which reads: "Mix a quarter of a pint of sorrel-juice, a glass of white wine, and some scalded gooseberries. Add sugar and a bit of butter, and boil them up."

To cavil is easy, however, and in matters relating to cookery it were well to bear in mind the philosophic[279] lines of King, a contemporary of the late lamented Mrs. Glasse:

"Good nature will some failings overlook, Forgive mischance, not errors of the Cook; As, if no salt is thrown about the dish, Or nice crisp'd parsley scatter'd on the fish; Shall we in passion from our dinner fly, And hopes of pardon to the Cook deny, For things which Mrs. Glasse herself might oversee, And all mankind commit as well as she?" And if English cookery and English restaurants leave much to be desired, one should not forget that the art is still far from having attained perfection in the United States, where the stranger in like manner might find ample cause for complaint, particularly in the poor and slipshod cookery of the hostelries of its country towns. Certainly all who have visited in England will recall the generous hospitality of its people, the almost homelike comfort and cleanliness of its inns, and a service that may not be equalled by that of any other nation. When to these are added the glories of the English countryside—the idyllic setting amid which many a repast has been savoured—one may well overlook any trifling lapses of the cook, in view of enchantments that must ever be retained in tender recollection.


AT TABLE WITH THE CLERGY "Bishop and Abbot and Prior were there; Many a Monk and many a Friar." Ingoldsby Legends: The Jackdaw of Rheims. Whether cookery is indebted to the Roman Catholic Church to the full extent that is commonly supposed is questionable. It is certain, however, that the olden monks and friars performed considerable service in preserving ancient recipes and inventing new formulas, many of which have been improved upon as the science has advanced.

Previous to the Renaissance the higher cultivation of cookery was confined largely to the monasteries, which prided themselves upon their excellent cheer and the hospitality they extended to distinguished visitors. Indeed, numbers of food preparations may be traced to the monastic orders, especially forms of cooking fish, [281]eggs, and various soups. The introduction of soup, which is mentioned for the first time in history at the beginning of the fifteenth century, is closely connected with the clergy. Then it was that, during the fêtes attendant on the marriage of Catherine de Valois to Henry V of England, the Archbishop of Sens, at the head of a procession of his priests, bore the soup and the wine to the royal chamber, accompanied by the blessing of the Papal See.


From the original oil-painting by Klein

Around the art of larding is likewise shed the halo of sanctity, its discovery having occurred during the Council of Bâle in 1440, when Amadeus of Savoy, elected pope under the name of Félix V, was tendered a larded capon by his cook. Julienne, or a soup somewhat similar, it is more than probable, is an old monastic dish having special reference to days when meat was proscribed, the same observation applying to numerous fish and vegetable soups and ragoûts.

There is much reason to suppose that not a few treatises on cookery and on wines have appeared whose authors were dignitaries of the church, or at least connected with clericalism, but whose rôle forbade them attaching their names to works of this nature. Thus, during the year 1671 there was published at Molsheim, in southern Germany, an excellent cook-book which treated of the various branches of the science, by Bernardin Buchinger, Abbot of Lützel, having for its title "Koch-Buch so für Geistliche als auch Weltliche Grosse und Geringe Haushaltungen," etc.,—"Cook-Book for large and small Religious as well as Laical Establishments,"—a culinary grammar of much merit which has since passed into several[282] editions. In this work the hierophant's name was omitted, the authorship being announced as "Durch Einen Geistlichen Küchen-Meister desz Gotteshauses Lützel beschrieben und practicirt,"—"described and practised by a religious Master-Cook of the Monastery of Lützel." An important volume of three hundred pages by Vittorio Lancellotti, published in Rome, appeared in 1627, in which is presented month by month a description of a large number of feasts given by various prelates in honour of eminent personages at the commencement of the seventeenth century. The volume was dedicated to Cardinal Ippolito Aldobrandino, and is addressed chiefly to the clergy, whose good taste in the matter of good cheer and luxury in entertaining are minutely set forth.[35]

To the ancient ecclesiasts the vineyards producing the finest wines of the world owe their existence and their fame—the Johannisberg, Steinberg, Hochheim, Dom Dechanei, Rauenthal-Pfaffenberg, and numerous other growths of the Rheingau; the Forster Kirchenstück and Jesuitengarten of the Rheinpfalz; the Stein and Leisten wines of Franconia, the Liebfrauenmilch Enclos Klostergarten of Rhenish Hessia, and the Kloster Neuberg of Austria. No less celebrated in other lands are the rich endowments of the monastery—the Romanée, Chambertin, and Clos-Vougeot of the Côte d'Or; the Hermitage and Château-neuf-du-Pape of the Rhône; Saint-Emilion and Sainte-Croix-du-Mont of the Gironde, as[283] well as many of the priceless growths of the Haut-Médoc. Like the odour of old arras, around the roseate and golden clusters of the vine clings the incense of prelacy and circles the aureole of the church.

One were more than ungrateful, too, to forget the invaluable services rendered by Dom Pérignon in contributing to the vinous delights of the table. Fancy, if one can, a world without champagne—not as a daily beverage, but as a talisman to loosen the tongues of the timid and a wand to evoke the joyous sally and brilliant repartee! With what other potable may one so appropriately pledge not only le beau sexe des deux hemisphères, mais les deux hemisphères du beau sexe?

Almost equally to be commended are the Carthusian friars of Dauphiné, who evolved the greens and golds of Chartreuse; the cenobites of La Grâce-Dieu, who produced Trappistine; the Trappists of l'Allier, in whose cloister originated the elixir of long life, de Sept-Fonds; and the holy fathers of Rouen, who invented the delicious balm of Bon-Secours.

The religious orders were early famed for their distillations. In the account of his travels in Italy the observant Seigneur de Montaigne mentions the Jesuits of Vicenza, who had a liqueur-shop in their monastery, as well as the monks of Verona, who were excellent distillers of eau de naffe, a liqueur made with the flower of citron. The famous Bénédictine, however, a rival of Chartreuse, though at present made by the monks of Fécamp in Normandy, and therefore possessing the stamp of monachism, was not of spiritual inspiration. Like the eau de vie des Carmes, Liqueur des Evèques, Eau Archiépiscopale, Liqueur des Chartreux,[284] Plaisir des Dames, and Huile des Jeunes Mariés, it was worldly in its inception. Its history is interesting. In 1803 M. Le Grand, an enterprising wine-merchant of Fécamp, set about its manufacture, advertising it to the amount of eight hundred thousand francs,—his entire fortune,—the claim being made that the secret of its fabrication was consigned by a Benedictine brother to a manuscript in 1510 and opportunely discovered by the vender. The venture proved successful, as indeed the virtues of the liqueur merited, its annual sale now exceeding a million bottles. At first the clergy protested loudly against the bald appropriation of the name of an abbey, and Cardinal Bonnechose[36] petitioned Napoleon III to put an end to the scandal, the restored order eventually taking up the manufacture of the cordial and signing it with the name of the inventor, whose final Benedicite was recently pronounced. The present Archbishop of Rouen came to bless the most recent constructions of the abbey, among which is a superb Salle des Abbés, and, at the banquet following the ceremonial, during the dessert he compared the inventor of the liqueur to several of the heroes of Christianity. Benedictine (ad majorem Dei gloriam) is the only important liqueur thus far which has escaped analysis, although imitations of this and all others that have proved successful are freely placed upon the market.

Curaçoa, it is said, was discovered by a French chanoine, and the aroma of the wild cherry imprisoned in[285] Maraschino by an Italian frate. A German Pfarrer, it is averred, first dissolved gold in the eau de vie de Dantzig, and through a Spanish sacerdote is said to have come Santa Cruz, the rum of the Holy Cross. In the quest for the elixir of life the monastery became the great alembic of liqueurs, the study of essences, spirits, and distillations varying with the labour of illuminating missals and the routine of religious devotions. During the thirteenth century Arnaud de Villeneuve formulated the question of the elixir of life in these terms, which became a dogma for all his monastic successors: "This is the secret, viz., to find substances so homogeneous to our nature that they can increase it without inflaming it, continue it without diminishing it, ... as our life continually loses somewhat, until at last all is lost." The outcome of the patient labours of these religious alchemists was numerous elixirs and liqueurs, of which the secret composition was transmitted from generation to generation in convents and monasteries. These liqueurs were in their origin simply a pharmaceutic product; it is only within a comparatively short time that they have been converted into after-dinner douceurs.

Every useful art, however, must find perfection of expression sooner or later, notably an art which is a necessity and which likewise appeals to the lawful gratification of the senses. And if cookery was fostered by the cloisters of Europe, and reached its zenith during the early part of the past century in Paris, it is equally true that at no time in the history of the world has it attained such general excellence as at present.

But let the religious orders and the priesthood be[286] credited with their full share in its advancement. They are no exception to the generality of mankind in being blessed with appetites, but they are sufficiently intelligent to recognise that in a well-appointed cuisine there exist both a prophylactic to ennui and the best of pharmacopœias. Let the spit turn merrily, therefore, and the carp fatten in their ponds; let the flower of the vine and the pressings of the grape distil for them their fragrance; let them repeat their paternosters and chant in concert their penitential psalms:

"1. One herring and one herring make two herrings, Two herrings and one herring make three herrings. "2. Three herrings and one herring make four herrings, Four herrings and one herring make five herrings. "3. Five herrings and one herring make six herrings."

 *    *    *    *    *

And so on up to a hundred herrings.

"From salted, red, or smoked herrings, libera nos, Domine; From cold water as a beverage, libera nos, Domine. A- a- a- amen!" It is most unfortunate that La Reynière omitted to bequeath to posterity a certain monastic recipe of marvellous merit used in connection with wild fowl and all manner of game-birds, which is thus described in the brilliant opening essay of the first year of the "Almanach," the author's reference being to the wild duck, which he advises to be cooked à la broche, as it thus preserves all its fumet without losing any of its other qualities:


"After it has been roasted and carved" [he proceeds to say] "a sort of poignant salmis may be prepared on the table, the recipe for which we have been in possession of for a long time, and which was given to us by the procureur of a Bernardin abbey—the sole riches that the Revolution could not confiscate from him; this formula, however, we must reserve for our most intimate friends. The recipe is not to be found in any nutritive dispensary, and it becomes all the more precious inasmuch as, not being applicable to the duck alone, it may be utilized with all kinds of dark-fleshed feathered game, and especially with partridges and woodcock—which renders it inappreciable."

Far less can be said of the Protestant clergy on the score of cookery or with respect to the improvement of the vine and the invention of beverages. Nearly all clerical roads lead through Rome, it would seem, in so far as relates to gastronomy. Moreover, in Protestant countries—at least among the lesser lights of the church—it is rather the rector who is fêted than who does the fêting, and who, even were he inclined to asceticism, would scarcely be allowed to practise it by his parishioners. In one of his essays, "The Country Sunday," Richard Jefferies tells how the chapel pastor is entertained at table in Wiltshire:

"There is no man so feasted as the chapel pastor. He dines every Sunday, and at least once a week besides, at the house of one of his stoutest upholders.... After dinner the cognac bottle is produced, and the pastor fills his tumbler half full of spirit, and but lightly dashes it with water. It is cognac, and not brandy, for your chapel minister thinks it an affront if anything more common than the best French[288] liquor is put before him: he likes it strong, and with it his long clay pipe. Very frequently another minister, sometimes two or three, come in at the same time, and take the same dinner, and afterwards form a genial circle with cognac and tobacco, when the room speedily becomes full of smoke and the bottle of brandy soon disappears. In these family parties there is not the least approach to over-conviviality; it is merely the custom, no one thinks anything of a glass and a pipe; it is perfectly innocent; it is not a local thing, but common and understood. The consumption of brandy and tobacco and the good things of dinner, tea, and supper (for the party generally sit out the three meals) must in a month cost the host a good deal of money, but all things are cheerfully borne for the good of the church. Never were men feasted with such honest good-will as these pastors; and if a budding Paul or Silas happens to come along who has scarce yet passed his ordination, the youthful divine may stay a week if he likes, and lick the platter clean."

One also remembers the curates' dinner as described in "The Professor" by that keen observer, Charlotte Brontë:

"The curates had good appetites, and though the beef was tough, they ate a great deal of it. They swallowed, too, a tolerable allowance of the 'flat beer,' while a dish of Yorkshire pudding and two tureens of vegetables disappeared like leaves before locusts. The cheese, too, received distinguished marks of their attention; and a 'spice-cake,' which followed by way of dessert, vanished like a vision and was no more found."

Anthony Hayward, in "The Art of Dining," tells the story of the phenomenal appetite of a chaplain during the Old Bailey sittings, when it was the cus[289]tom to serve two dinners (exact duplicates) a day, the first at three o'clock, the second at five:

"The first course was rather miscellaneous, varying with the season, though marrow-puddings always formed a part of it; the second never varied and consisted exclusively of beefsteaks. As the judges relieved each other, it was impracticable for them to partake of both; but a little chaplain whose duty it was to preside at the lower end of the table was never absent from his post. This invaluable public servant persevered from a sheer sense of duty till he had acquired the habit of eating two dinners a day, and practised it for nearly ten years without any perceptible injury to his health. We had the pleasure of witnessing his performance at one of the five o'clock dinners, and can assert with confidence that the vigour of his attack on the beefsteaks was wholly unimpaired by the effective execution a friend assured us he had done on them two hours before."

The last communication from the Rev. Sydney Smith to Canon Barham, better known as Thomas Ingoldsby, related to gastronomy, with the ethics of which he was so conversant, the canon having just sent him a pannier of pheasants.

"Many thanks, my dear sir, for your kind present of game," wrote the appreciative recipient. "If there is a pure and elevated pleasure in this world, it is that of roast pheasant and bread-sauce; barn-door fowls for dissenters, but for the real churchman, the thirty-nine times articled clerk, the pheasant! the pheasant!"

Why the witty rector of Combe-Florey declared that when he found himself seated next to a bishop at a dinner-party he became so nervous that he could do nothing but crumble his bread, and when his place ad[290]joined that of an archbishop he crumbled it with both hands, seems inexplicable, unless it had been his mischance to encounter among his superiors in office more accomplished epularians than himself. Besides his celebrated poetical recipes for a salad, which are presented in a following chapter, his less familiar "Receipt to Roast Mutton" may not be omitted from references to ecclesiastic good cheer:

"Gently stir and blow the fire, Lay the mutton down to roast, Dress it quickly, I desire, In the dripping put a toast, That I hunger may remove— Mutton is the meat I love. "On the dresser see it lie; Oh! the charming white and red; Finer meat ne'er met the eye, On the sweetest grass it fed: Let the jack go swiftly round, Let me have it nicely brown'd. "On the table spread the cloth, Let the knives be sharp and clean, Pickles get and salad both, Let them each be fresh and green. With small beer, good ale, and wine, O ye gods! how I shall dine!" Canon Barham, no less than Sydney Smith, wielded a valiant spoon, and to the unpunctual at dinner he has delivered one of his most forcible sermons in "The Lay of St. Cuthbert":


"When asked out to dine by a Person of Quality, Mind and observe the most strict punctuality! For should you come late, and make dinner wait, And the victuals get cold, you'll incur, sure as fate, The Master's displeasure, the Mistress's hate. And though both may, perhaps, be too well-bred to swear,— They'll heartily wish you—I need not say Where." Grace before meat is usually well expressed by the reverend clergy, and perhaps the brief introductory thanksgiving of the late Canon Shuttleworth is as happy as any: "For good life and good health; for good company and good cheer, may the Giver of all good things make us thankful." So far as orthodox graces are concerned, it were difficult to improve upon the two fervent thanksgivings of Psalms XXXIV and CXLV:

"The lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they who seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good.

"The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord: and thou givest them their meat in due season.

"Thou openest thine hand: and fillest all things living with plenteousness."

So many Protestant denominations exist in America that the manner of entertaining the ministry varies considerably. In no religious sect does fine champagne or any other form of cognac figure, as a general rule, though the use of vinous beverages is less denounced at present than formerly. The most genial hosts and guests among Protestant divines are unquestionably the Episcopalians. But if claret and alco[292]holic beverages are the exception on the tables of many denominations, the pastor does not lack for substantial aliments when entertained by his parishioners, who here, as in England, fairly dispute for his possession.

That the duck at least, among the toothsome contributions to the table, is appreciated by the Protestant clergy no less than the laity is apparent from the apostrophe to the canvasback of the Rev. Joseph Barber, who has addressed the king of the Anseres in these colourful stanzas:

"A duck has been immortalized by Bryant, A wild one, too; Sweetly he hymned the creature, lithe and buoyant, Cleaving the blue. But whoso says the duck through ether flying, Seen by the bard, Equals the canvasback before me lying, Tells a canard. "Done to a turn, the flesh a dark carnation, The gravy red; Four slices from the breast—on such a ration Gods might have fed. Bryant, go to: to say that thy rare ghost-duck, Traced 'gainst the sky, Could e'er at all compare with this rare roast duck, Is all my eye."[37] [293]

As regards wine the case is vastly different in Europe, among both the clergy and those who welcome them. When Urban X resolved to remove the Papal See from Avignon to Rome grave discord resulted among his cardinals, several of whom refused to accompany him. Petrarch, in reply to a letter received from the Pope soon afterwards, wherein his Holiness expressed his astonishment at their action, explained the reason thus briefly: "Most holy Father," he wrote, "the princes of the church esteem the wine of Provence, and know that the wines of France are more rare than holy water at Rome."

The anecdote of the curé of a village in the Bordelais would indicate, furthermore, that the cloth prefer their wine in a non-diluted state. On the occasion of a wedding dinner at which the officiating pastor was present, he would exclaim after every course, as he raised his glass: "My children, with this you must drink some wine." The turn of dessert arriving, he repeated his injunction for the tenth time, again setting the example himself.

"Pardon, Monsieur le Curé," one of the guests interrupted, "but with what do you not drink wine?"

"With water, my son!"

During the episcopate of Bishop Timon of Buffalo, a Roman Catholic prelate of great ability but of small stature, complaint was entered against a certain German priest of the diocese for his over-conviviality and partiality for the foaming glass of Gambrinus, the offender being a man of Falstaffian proportions. The priest was accordingly summoned, and, after being severely reprimanded, was asked by the bishop[294] if he could bring forward any extenuating circumstances with regard to his conduct.

"Your Reverence is a small man, and my detractors are men of small calibre, who require but little beer," was the reply. "I am a large man, as you are aware, with a large appetite, and what might suffice for others were scant pittance for me: the vessel should be filled according to its capacity."

That so distinguished a church dignitary as a bishop should dine well goes without saying. How else might he be so urbane, so stately, and so contented! And without wine how might he dispense such sunshine or pronounce his blessings so sonorously! For a bishop, dean, or archdeacon to be tendered scanty fare or be toasted with ice-water were as incongruous as to deprive the beverage termed "bishop" of its main ingredient. When Bishop Magee of Peterborough, afterwards Archbishop of York, was "entertained" by another church dignitary he was told on his arrival that he would find wine in his room. The dinner which he afterwards sat down to was a wineless one. A few weeks later the positions of host and guest were reversed, whereupon the bishop, shaking hands heartily with his visitor, informed him that he would find water in his room and wine upon the table.

"Scarcely any bishop," says Sydney Smith, "is sufficiently a man of the world to deal with fanatics. The way is not to reason with them, but to ask them to dinner. They are armed against logic and remonstrance, but they are puzzled in a labyrinth of wines, disarmed by facilities and concessions, introduced to a new world, and come away thinking more of hot[295] and cold and dry and sweet than of Newman, Keble, and Pusey."

A number of years ago, when long tables were in vogue at the great hostelries at Saratoga, Bishop Onderdonk of New York was among the guests. The bishop, in accordance with his station, was seated at the head of the table, where the attentive head waiter had just placed his bottle of hotel "Pontet-Canet." Among the other clerical guests was a Connecticut divine and teetotaler who had come to test the restorative virtues of Congress water, so delicious when drunk at the fountainhead in the morning.

"Ah!" said the cynical dominie to a ministerial vis-à-vis, as he frowned over his Oolong and the portly prelate beamed over his Bordeaux, "he wants to prove his apostolic descent by showing that if he drink of any deadly thing it shall not hurt him."

Later, when his Right Reverence was informed of the remark, he observed, quoting Ecclesiasticus as his would-be detractor had quoted St. Mark, "'Wine measurably drunk and in season bringeth gladness of the heart and cheerfulness of the mind,' and as a churchman it were heretical for me to take exception to so orthodox a precept."

The minister whose knowledge of gastronomy is far exceeded by his zeal in "reforming," notably in an attempted extermination of all joyous fluids, is far more prevalent in the United States than abroad. While no one will object to his denunciation of "King Rum" or the "Wine-cup,"—though rum is but little used as a beverage, and wine is supposed to be consumed in glasses at the dinner-table,—one must nev[296]ertheless deplore the inconsistency which would annihilate all alcoholic fluids and permit the grossest heterodoxness of diet to pass unscathed. Not undeserved, perchance, are the lines addressed to this class of the clergy by a Western versifier:

"He preached 'gainst whisky, rum, and gin, All use of liquor he'd decry; He said that drinking was a sin— But eat the toughest kind of pie. "He said there was no greater vice Than that which made of man a sot— But took not water without ice, And gorged himself on biscuit hot. "He flouted the advice of Paul To drink wine for the stomach's sake— But give him dumpling in a ball, And any quantity he'd take. "Tobacco in each form he spurned, Its soothing virtues he denied; For him no soft Havana burned— But he would eat a beefsteak fried. "Jaundiced he lived, and died of spleen, And some kept green his memory then— Called him 'reformer,' who had been The most intemperate of men." On more catholic lines is the gastronomic experience of a distinguished Baptist doctor of divinity of western New York, who, though always temperate, [297]still believes in the sentiment of the grace that was once uttered by an English Episcopal clergyman: "God hath given us all things richly to enjoy; let us enjoy them." The learned divine in his younger days was one of a party of four who were concluding a long sojourn abroad, and ere leaving Paris he was desirous of testing the much-vaunted cuisine of the "Trois Frères Provençeaux." His suggestion that the appetising odours which greeted the passer-by from without be verified from within having met with immediate approval, the officier de bouche of the famous restaurant was interviewed and a dinner arranged for the following evening.


Facsimile of title-page, early part of sixteenth century

"Enfant tu ne dois charger Tant de la première viande Se plusieurs en as en commande Que d'austres ne puisses menger." "What will be the price of a nice dinner," inquired the ecclesiast,—"a dinner that will leave us no cause for regret? We do not care for the menu in advance, as we prefer a surprise; but we wish a perfect dinner, neither too little nor too much."

The reply was promptly forthcoming, and here we transcribe a leaf from the ecclesiast's note-book:

"'Pour vingt francs un dîner ordinaire.

"'Pour quarante francs un très joli dîner!

"'Pour cent francs un grand dîner!!'—the voice of the restaurateur rising with the advancing prices."

These interesting notes then follow:

"Tuesday, June 3, 1860. Present:——,——,——,——. Dinner at 7 P.M. Dress suits. Voiture de remise. Portier with red waistcoat. Cabinet in entresol hung with pink silk tapestry. Three garçons, fine china, silver and table appointments. A bouquet of roses. Perfect service.


"Menu. Nine courses:—Melon musqué d'Algiers. Potage à la bisque (red soup with little red shrimps in centre of each dish). Vol-au-vent de saumon.... Salade. Checkerboard ice-cream (sixteen different colours and flavours). Great strawberries. Coffee (demi-tasse), cognac, cigars. Four wines: Sauterne, claret, and two champagnes."

Unfortunately, the menu itself has been lost, and the memory of our clerical informant has retained only a portion of the carte, which we have transcribed from the memoranda he has contributed. Was there a chapon à la Toulouse or noix de veau à la Soubise for the relevé; did lamb's ears à la Tortuë or carbonnades de mouton à la Macédoine form the entrée; did a caneton de Rouen, a poularde truffée, or a coq-vièrge do the honours of the roast; could des truffes au vin de Champagne or a gelée au marasquin have figured as the entremets; and, finally, what might have been the grosse pièce? Alas! these questions, like many questions of theology, must remain unanswered. It will be observed, notwithstanding, how the wall furnishings, the roses, the red of the bisque, the ripe hues of the melon and the salmon, the erubescence of the strawberries, and the very waistcoat of the avertisseur were happily combined; and also that as far back as 1860 the muskmelon had already been employed as an admirable prologue of the dinner during warm weather. As for the checkerboard crême glacée, with four flavours and four colours for each person, it is an addition to the dessert that is almost worthy of a sermon.

The following supplementary notes conclude the interesting account of the dinner:


"The solid part of the menu I have no record or memory of. All I know is that we ate pretty much everything that was in sight, and then had just enough and no more. The dinner concluded with four toasts and four speeches, the only one I recall being on the theme, 'The Four Homes'—not one of the four speakers having at the time set up a home of his own.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever. We went upon the Latin maxim, In medio tutissimus ibis, and so we took the très joli dîner, which, with vins compris, cost us forty francs or eight dollars apiece. But the recollection of it has been worth at least two dollars a year since then: and as it is forty years ago last summer, and two times forty is eighty, I now count that I then paid only ten per cent. of its value."

It is needless to add that the sermons and addresses of the ecclesiast in question, which join to their fervour and scholarship an originality all their own (were they not inspired by the dinner at the "Trois Frères"?), are always listened to with marked attention by his large and appreciative audiences. It also goes without saying that he has distinguished himself in literature, and that his presence is invariably in demand either at a dinner or a debate of theologians.

Of dishes invented by the Roman Catholic priesthood, the omelette à la purée de pintade, devised by the Capuchin Chabot, is well known, although "The Curé's Omelette" for which Savarin stands sponsor is far more in evidence and is difficult to improve upon either for fat or meagre days. Should the recipe be already familiar, it will well bear repetition—one cannot dine too often with a broad-minded divine; if unknown, the reader should become acquainted with it[300]—it is one of the most sprightly of the Variétés. The tunny prescribed is not obligatory, and for this and the carp-roes the resources of the American sea-coast will furnish abundant equivalents:

"Every one knows that for twenty years Madame R.[38] has occupied the throne of beauty unchallenged. It is also well known that she is extremely charitable, taking interest in most of those schemes whose object is to console and assist the wretched.

"Wishing to consult M. le Curé on something connected with that subject, she called upon him at five o'clock one afternoon, and was astonished to find him already at table. She thought everybody in Paris dined at six, not knowing that the ecclesiastics generally begin early because they take a light collation in the evening.

"Madame R. was about to retire, but the curé begged her to stay, either because the matter they were to talk about need not prevent him dining, or because a pretty woman is never a mar-feast for any man; or perhaps because he bethought himself that somebody to talk to was all that was wanted to convert his dining-room into a gastronomic Elysium.

"The table was laid with a neat white cloth, some old wine sparkled in a crystal decanter, the white porcelain was of the choicest quality, the plates had heaters of boiling water under them, and a servant, demure but neat, was in attendance.

"The repast was a happy mean between the frugal and the luxurious. Some crab soup had just been removed, and there was now on the table a salmon-trout, an omelette, and a salad.

"'My dinner shows you what perhaps you did not know,' said the pastor, with a smile, 'that according to the laws of the church meat is forbidden to-day.' The visitor bowed[301] her assent, but at the same time, as a private note informs me, slightly blushed, which, however, by no means prevented the curé from eating.

"Operations were already begun upon the trout, its upper side being fully disposed of; the sauce gave proof of a skilful hand, and the pastor's features betokened inward satisfaction. That dish removed, he attacked the omelette, which was round, full-bellied, and cooked to a nicety. At the first stroke of the spoon, there ran out a thick juice, tempting both to sight and smell; the dish seemed full of it, and my dear cousin confessed that her mouth watered.

"Some signs of natural sympathy did not escape the curé, accustomed to watch the passions of men; and, as if in answer to a question which Madame R. took great care not to put, 'this is a tunny omelette,' said he. 'My cook has a wonderful knack at them. Nobody ever tastes them without complimenting me.' 'I am not at all astonished,' replied the lady visitor; 'for on our worldly tables there is never seen an omelette half so tempting.'

"This was followed by the salad—a finishing item which I recommend to the use of all who have faith in my teaching, for salad refreshes without fatiguing, and strengthens without irritating. I usually say it renews one's youth.

"The dinner did not interrupt their conversation. Besides the matter in hand, they spoke of the events of the time, the hopes of the church, and other topics. The dessert passed, consisting of some Septmoncel cheese, three apples, and some preserved fruit; and then the servant placed on a small table a cup of hot mocha, clear as amber, and filling the room with its aroma. Having sipped his coffee, the curé said grace. 'I never drink spirits,' he said as they rose; 'it is a superfluity I offer to my guests, but personally reserve as a resource for old age should it please God that I live so long.'

"In the meantime six o'clock had arrived, and Madame R.,[302] hurrying home, found herself late for dinner, and several friends waiting for her whom she had invited for that day. I was one of the party, and thus came to hear of the curé's omelette; for our hostess did nothing but speak of it during dinner, and everybody was certain it must have been excellent.

"Thus it is that as a propagator of truths I feel it my duty to make known the preparation; and I give it the more willingly to all lovers of the art that I have not been able to find it in any cookery book.

"Hash up together the roes of two carp, carefully bleached, a piece of fresh tunny, and a little minced shallot; when well mixed throw the whole into a saucepan with a lump of the best butter, and whip it up till the butter is melted. This constitutes the specialty of the omelette.

"Then in an oval dish mix separately a lump of butter with parsley and chives, and squeezing over it the juice of a lemon, place it over hot embers in readiness. Next complete the omelette by beating up twelve eggs, pouring in the roes and tunny, and stirring till all is well mixed; then, when properly finished, and of the right form and consistence, spread it out skilfully on the oval dish which you have ready to receive it, and serve up to be eaten at once.

"This dish should be reserved for breakfasts of refinement, for connoisseurs in gastronomic art—those who understand eating, and where all eat with judgment; but especially let it be washed down with some good old wine, and you will see wonders."

Among the dignitaries of the Roman Church, Richelieu was preëminent as an entertainer, his table being renowned for its excellence, and no one being more exacting with his cooks. A chartreuse à la Cardinal or a boudin of fowls à la Richelieu at once recalls his Eminence, and the brilliant reign during which he[303] himself virtually wielded the sceptre. "I do not think very highly of that man," said the Comte de M. in speaking of a candidate who had just secured an important position: "he has never eaten boudin à la Richelieu, and is unacquainted with cutlets à la Soubise."

During the war of Hanover, when the surrounding country had been devastated by the French army, Maréchal Richelieu, grandnephew of the cardinal, wished to give a suitable dinner to a large number of distinguished captives before setting them free. He was informed by his cooks that the larder was empty.

"But it was only yesterday that I saw two horns passing by the window."

"That is true, Monseigneur, there is a beef and some few roots; but what would you do with them?"

"What would I do with them? Pardieu, I would have the best supper in the world!"

"But, Monseigneur, it is impossible."

"Nothing is impossible. Rudière, write out the menu that I will dictate. Do you know how to write out a menu properly?"

"I acknowledge, Monseigneur, that—"

"Give me your pen."

And with this the maréchal, taking the place of his secretary, improvised a classic supper worthy of Vatel. At the end of the bill of fare was added:

"If through any mischance this repast is not an excellent one, I will deduct one hundred pistoles from the wages of Maret and Rouquelère. Begin, and doubt no more. Richelieu."


There was a certain Bishop of Burgundy who took his share of responsibility in consuming, with a humour all his own, viands which had not been come by legally. Desiring to eat venison when not quite in season, he sent half the body of the deer that tempted him as a present to the prefect, who lived in the same town, accompanying the gift with the following note: "Partageons la responsabilité: chargez-vous du temporel; je me charge du spirituel." (Let us share the responsibility; charge yourself with the temporal part; I will attend to the spiritual.)

Equally felicitous is an incident recounted of Archbishop de Sanzai of Bordeaux, who was especially fond of the fowl which Savarin pronounced one of the finest gifts of the New World to the Old. Having won a truffled turkey on a wager from a grand vicar of his diocese, the archbishop, after waiting a week, became impatient at the delay of the loser in providing the bird. Accordingly, he took him to task and reminded him that delays are dangerous, to which the vicar replied that the truffles were not good that year. "Bah, bah!" was the rejoinder, "we will chance the truffles; depend upon it, it is only a false report that has been circulated by the turkeys."

"There needs to be two to eat a truffled turkey," the Abbé Morellet was accustomed to say; "I never do otherwise. I have one to-day; we will be two—the turkey and myself."

It may be of interest to note that the importation of the turkey to Europe has been attributed by various scholiasts to the Jesuits, in proof of which they assert that in many French provinces it was formerly[305] termed a jésuite, and that in some of the more remote departments it was the custom to refer to it in the following manner: "Come to dine with me; we will have a fat jésuite." "Monsieur, will you pass me some of the jésuite?" It is also said to have been referred to as a jésuite en capilotade and a jésuite au feu d'enfer. Savarin gives the period of its importation by the order in question as the latter part of the seventeenth century; while the Marquis de Cussy states it was imported a century earlier from Paraguay by the Jesuits, and was served for the first time in public at the marriage of Charles IX of France, when, according to Montluc, the young king disposed of the left wing.

The true date of the turkey's flight into history is the early part of the sixteenth century, when the learned confessor and historian to Cortez, Fra Agapida, returned to Spain from his first visit to Mexico, and wrote a brief narrative of the wonders of the New World. In this account he called attention to the abundance of fine fish-food, and the excellence of the venison and a variety of "wild cattle." "There is also a bird," adds the discerning presbyter, "much greater in bigness than a peacock, that is found within the forests and vegas (meadows) all over this country. It surpasses as food any wild bird we have found up to this time. The natives do shoot these birds with arrows and catch them in various kinds of springes and snares. They are sometimes very large, being as much as thirty pounds in weight. They can fly, but prefer to run, which they can do with exceeding swiftness."


No less is the introduction of the potato from South America due to the monks, who first brought it to Europe in the proud galleons of Spain.

In Canon Barham's "A Lay of St. Nicholas," where the temptations of the flesh proved stronger than the spiritual powers of the head of the abbey, turkey and chine figure as the pieces of "resistance," with old sherris sack, hippocras, and malmsey to flank them,—

"The Abbot hath donn'd his mitre and ring, His rich dalmatic and maniple fine; And the choristers sing as the lay-brothers bring To the board a magnificent turkey and chine." The capon, however, appears to have been the greatest favourite with the clergy; its frequent companion, the carp, doubtless owing its popularity to the fact that it is so easily raised, rather than that it is more esteemed than numerous other species of fish. Even more than the capon, the carp suggests the cenobites, bringing up a whole train of monastic orders—with the cloister and the abbey as its most congenial home. It is inalienably associated with the cassock and chasuble, the rosary and censer, the peal of the organ and the glory of old stained glass. It is essentially the sacred fish—the true "sole" of piety. It whispers of sanctity and breathes of Benedicites. In fancy one sees the abbot, rotund and rubicund, presiding at table, with one eye upon the fish and the other lifted aloft, uttering his Bonum est confiteri ere the loud "Amen" resounds through the vaulted chamber,[307] and carp and capon are bathed in the red juices of the monastery vineyard. Or it may be a pike, a mullet, or a dish of eels that, cunningly prepared by the master-cook of the brotherhood, steeps the refectory with the perfume of shallots and fine herbs, and justly merits a Benedic, anima mea from the partakers of the repast.

From an anecdote related by the Franciscan Jean Paulli de Thann, it would appear that the olden monks had learned from the Scriptures a particular method of carving fowls when they partook of them in secular company. A gentleman had invited his confessor, who was a monk, to dine in company with his wife, his two sons, and two daughters. There was a fine capon for the roast, which the host requested the guest to carve. The latter excused himself, but the host insisted.

"Inasmuch as you demand it," replied the monk, "I will carve the fowl according to biblical principles."

"Yes," exclaimed the hostess, "act according to the Scriptures."

The theologian therefore began the carving. The baron was tendered the head of the fowl, the baroness the neck, the two daughters a wing apiece, and the two sons a first joint, the monk retaining the remainder.

"According to what interpretation do you make such a division?" inquired the host of his confessor, as he regarded the monk's heaping plate and the scant portions doled out to the family.

"From an interpretation of my own," replied the[308] monk. "As the master of your house, the head belongs to you by right; the baroness, being most near to you, should receive the neck, which is nearest the head; in the wings the young girls will recognize a symbol of their mobile thoughts, that fly from one desire to another; as to the young barons, the drumsticks they have received will remind them that they are responsible for supporting your house, as the legs of the capon support the bird itself."

In England, during Elizabeth's reign, fish was largely consumed on the festival of St. Ulric, a pious custom referred to by Barnaby Googe:

"Wheresoever Huldryche hath his place, the people there brings in Both carpes and pykes, and mullets fat, his favour here to win. Amid the church there sitteth one, and to the aultar nie, That selleth fishe, and so good cheep, that every man may buie; Nor anything he loseth here, bestowing thus his paine, For when it hath been offred once, 't is brought him all againe, That twise or thrise he selles the same, vngodlinesse such gaine Doth still bring in, and plenteously the kitchen doth maintaine. Whence comes this same religion newe? What kind of God is this Same Huldryche here, that so desires and so delightes in fishe?" With fish much is possible in the way of a generous dietary during the Lenten penance and on meagre[309] days. To the devout Thomas à Kempis nothing was more delicious to the taste than a salmon, always excepting the Psalms of David. The possibilities of a fish diet, however, have nowhere been more appreciably set forth than by Father Prout on the occasion of the classic "Watergrasshill Carousal," when Sir Walter Scott was among the guests. And though the turkey which was in readiness was forgone on account of the day being Friday and therefore a fast-day, the repast, nevertheless, did not languish. The trout, it will be remembered, the witty priest had caught himself from the neighbouring stream, as well as a large eel from the lake at Blarney. To these were added from the excellent market at Cork a turbot, two lobsters, a salmon, and a hake, with a hundred of Cork-harbour oysters. Besides these figured also a keg of cod-sounds, a great favourite of the bishop of the diocese, which invariably appeared at the table of Father Prout when his lordship was expected. With eggs, potatoes, sauce piquante, lobster-sauce, whiskey and claret in addition, the sacerdotal banquet proved a signal success, fully bearing out the sentiment expressed by the shepherd in the "Noctes" at the end of a Scottish repast,—"We 've just had a perfec' dinner, Mr. Tickler—neither ae dish ower mony, nor ae dish ower few."

Fish naturally demands a white wine; but a carp may be prepared—and doubtless is prepared—so sauced and spiced and aromatised by practised cloistral hands that a red wine, the favoured colour of the cowl, may accord with it perfectly. This is not saying that an abbot who may be as renowned for his[310] gastronomic abilities as for his oratory necessarily confines himself or his followers to red wine with fish. Much will depend, of course, upon the mode of preparation,—it is to be supposed that the cellarer has both red and white wine at command to draw from as occasion demands; to be confined to a single variety must be as onerous to the cloth as to the layman. When the celebrated vineyard of Clos-Vougeot was the property of the Bernardin monks, before it was confiscated and declared national property, Dom Gobelot was the father-cellarer. It was he who, after being forced to retire to private life at Dijon, with a hundred dozen bottles of a famous year of his vineyard as a souvenir, proudly replied to the young Bonaparte, conqueror in Italy and returning from Marengo, when he requested some old Vougeot for his table: "If he wishes some forty-year-old Vougeot, let him come and drink it here; it is not for sale." And does not history record that Pope Gregory XVI, in the year 1371, made the Abbot of Clos-Vougeot a cardinal to express his gratitude for a present of a basket of his best old wine which the abbot had sent him?

The famous wine of "Est, Est, Est" owes its celebrity to a German bishop named Fuger, who, while on a journey to Italy, sent his secretary in advance in order to provide the best accommodations. He was especially charged to test the wine in all the inns en route, and wherever he found it best to write the word "Est" on the wall of the albergo. Arriving at Montefiascone, a small town on the highroad from Florence to Rome, the secretary found the wine so superior that[311] he was at a loss to describe it until he bethought him of the inscription that a sultan of Lahore had engraved on the door of his seraglio,—"If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here!" Accordingly, he wrote the word "Est" thrice in large characters on the wall of the principal inn—a fatal word for the bishop, who tarried so long and drank so freely that he died ere reaching his destination—Rome. His tomb exists at Montefiascone. On either side of his mitre and his arms his secretary had carved a reversed glass, with this epitaph on the stone: Est, Est, Est, et propter nimium est Johannes de Fuger dominus meus mortuus est. The explanation of the epitaph and emblems is given by the Roman prelate, Valery. It is still further averred that the death of Cardinal Mauri, a distinguished Italian prelate, whose remains were interred near those of the German bishop in the Church of St. Flavien, was also hastened by his fondness for the Montefiascone wine. The story of the bibulous bishop was told in 1825 in German, in a poem of fourteen stanzas, by Wilhelm Müller, father of Professor Max Müller.[39] It has also been excellently rendered in[312] English verse by an American poetess whose name the efforts of the writer have been unable to trace:

"Men have ridden for love, And men have ridden for gold, And men have ridden for honour In the chivalrous days of old. Little of love recked he, Nor honour, nor golden store, But the Abbot would ride for dinner, And he rode for good wine more. 'I will travel the world, Travel the world in quest— Taste red, white, and yellow,' Cried this jolly old fellow, 'Till I find the wine that is best.' Vanitas vanitorum! "'My servant leal,' said he, 'Now ride thou on before, And drink where'er the branches Hang withering at the door. Then, if the wine be worthy, That I should stop at all, Write "est"—but if it is not, Write "non" upon the wall.' "Promptly rode the man, In hamlet, city, and town, Albergo and osteria, He gulped the good wine down. Where'er the wine was worthy There they slept or dined,— Before, the trusty varlet, The lazier monk behind.[313] "Among the hills and valleys, Festooned with wreathing vine, Where purple grapes and opal Drop red and golden wine, There is a wine delicious In a hamlet little known, With a taste like the mountain flower That blooms in spring alone. Here pause, O wandering Abbot! Thy ponderous frame can rest, Lo! the prudent, observant, Intelligent servant Has written here 'Est, Est, Est.' "The Abbot he drank at dinner, The Abbot he drank at night, And he called for more fiasci When dawned the morning light. He murmured, 'I go no farther, Per Bacco! I cease my quest; Wine of Hymettus sweetness, Nectar of gods,—est, est! "But even an Abbot has limits, Though his were exceeding wide; He passed them and, as you can fancy, Dropped from the table and died: Drowned as it were in the nectar, Dead of the wine that is best, In his hand the empty wine-cup, His last words 'Est, est, est!' Vanitas vanitorum! "This very same wine we are drinking To-night in classic Rome,[314] Sipping it after dinner In our quiet foreign home. I have told as I heard the story, And now the white wine that is best, Let us all fill a bowl of— Here's peace to the soul of The monk of the Est, Est, Est!" To judge of the quality of Montefiascone, one must drink it at its home; like other white wines of the former Papal States, it will not bear the shock of distant carriage. As for the German ecclesiast, one should not take him too seriously, but consider him rather from the picturesque point of view, as Rowlandson and Combe have done with the reverend Syntax. "Other times, other manners,"—to-day his reverence would have made the journey by rail and not by post, and thus, doubtless, would have missed the fiasci of Montefiascone. One must also bear in mind that the wine in question, being of the muscat type, is extremely heady and exciting to the nerves, its deleterious effects being masked by its unctuousness and engaging aroma; so that an unsuspecting beer-drinking bishop, accustomed to copious libations of a milder fluid, might readily and unwittingly find himself under the table, and, even though a hierarch, prove an easy subject for a De Profundis. Many years have elapsed since the prelate's demise; and it is to be supposed that, meanwhile, the nectar of Est has been rendered less potent and even more delectable in heavenly vineyards.


Frontispiece of "Le Manuel du Gastronome ou Nouvel Almanach des Gourmands" (1830)


SUNDRY GUIDES TO GOOD CHEER "Sir, Respect Your Dinner; idolize it, enjoy it properly. You will be many hours in the week, many weeks in the year, and many years in your life the happier if you do."—Thackeray.

A review of the dinner-table were incomplete without a reference to several writers, other than those already cited, who have wielded a more or less pronounced influence on gastronomy. Of such, two English authors deserve especial mention, each of whom has sought to prove that the art of the gastronomer is the art of being happy; and that, if blessed with a good appetite and sound digestion, one may round off many a corner of life's miseries.

To Dr. William Kitchener the merit of reforming English cookery as it existed during the early part of the past century is due to no inconsiderable degree. The overladen table, with its pompous decorations,[316] heavy viands, and superabundance of wines, was first severely censured in "The Cook's Oracle," and later in Thomas Walker's periodical, "The Original," since reprinted in book form. The first edition of the "Oracle" appeared in 1817; and, like Mrs. Glasse's "Art of Cookery," was subsequently much amended and enlarged.[40] An eccentric and would-be dietetic reformer, the author was ridiculed at first, as is often the case with those who advance new ideas or attempt to disturb existing conditions. "Christopher North," whose own Pegasus was often inclined to strange curvets, reviled him as he also did Tennyson; and Hood addressed him in three mock-heroic odes. But beneath his mannerisms and diatribes there remained much practical sense, an extended culinary knowledge, and no little shrewd observation.

It was the author's endeavour to "improve plain cookery and to render food acceptable to the palate without being expensive to the purse"—a precept altogether admirable. The preface to the third edition emphasises, very truly, that among the manifold causes which concur to impair health and produce disease, the most general is the improper quality of food, this most frequently arising from the injudicious manner in which it is prepared. Yet it remains to be added that since the days of the "Oracle" man has greatly improved in this respect, even in England; that despite the multiplicity of diseases, hygiene is becoming far better understood by the masses; and that for the various ills arising through[317] the stomach, chemistry and the doctors have devised numerous simple correctives which have proved of inestimable value.

The key-note of the "Oracle" is contained in the sentence, "Unless the stomach be in good humour, every part of the machinery of life must vibrate with languor,"—a sentiment with which all those who have touched twoscore will profoundly agree. It is for elderly stomachs whose bloom may have been somewhat brushed off that the doctor's counsels will be found preëminently deserving of attention. To the epicure he likewise proved an excellent mentor; to the dyspeptic, a friend in need.

That he was strongly influenced by the writings of Grimod de la Reynière is readily perceptible, though he states in the introduction that his work is a bona-fide register of practical facts, and that he has not printed a recipe which has not been proved in his own kitchen. Before undertaking his task, he had consulted all the treatises obtainable on the subject, amounting to no less than two hundred and fifty volumes. These, he asserts, vary very little from one another, and any one who has occasion to refer to two or three of them will find the recipes almost always the same—equally unintelligible to those who are ignorant, and useless to those who are acquainted with the business of the kitchen. The numerous "Good Housewife's Closets," "Ladies' Companions," and "Gentlewomen's Cabinets," in fact, are virtually identical, save for their titles and forewords.

With the recipes of the "Oracle" the reader need not be as much concerned as with its spirit and its epicu[318]rean principles, which reveal a strongly marked individuality, and a comprehension far in advance of the time in Great Britain. Oracular and discursive, the author ambles pleasantly along the road of Conviviality, scattering his maxims and dispensing his formulas, while dipping into volume after volume to emphasise his text. The "Oracle" may be briefly described as a quaint medley of cookery, hygienic precepts, science, gastronomy, and domestic economy, written by a bon vivant. A long chapter is devoted to the subject of invitations to dinner, wherein punctuality is strictly insisted upon—dining, according to the writer, being the only act of the day which cannot be put off with impunity for even five minutes. He would have the cook the warden in chief, as defined by Mercier, a physician who cures two mortal maladies, Hunger and Thirst; or a Hominum servatorem—a preserver of mankind, as designated by Plautus. A good dinner, he maintains, is one of the greatest enjoyments of human life; but it should never be at the mercy of belated guests,—"what will be agreeable to the stomach and restorative to the system at five o'clock will be uneatable and indigestible at a quarter past." When he himself gave a dinner-party, the guests were invited for five o'clock, and at five minutes after the hour specified, the street door was locked, and the key, by his order, was set aside. But it is perhaps in the chapter on advice to cooks, and in his directions as to the minutiæ of boiling, baking, roasting, and frying, that he is most suggestive. A characteristic farewell to the reader concludes the volume, which even to-day may be consulted with profit—an[319] observation that will also apply to many portions of its companion treatise, "The Art of Invigorating and Prolonging Life."

Less pretentious, and dealing more with the æsthetic side of good living, are the essays of the "Original," by Thomas Walker, barrister at law and magistrate, which treat of the pleasures of the table under the titles, "The Art of Attaining High Health" and "The Art of Dining."[41] These critical dissertations originally appeared in 1835 in a weekly periodical of which he was the editor, the series terminating with his death the subsequent year. And if the influence of the "Almanach" is readily discernible in the case of Dr. Kitchener, so in like manner one detects a flavour of the "Physiology" in the genial pages of Walker. Kitchener undoubtedly proves himself the more valiant trencherman, while Walker remains the more refined and philosophic host.

His golden rule was, "Content the stomach and the stomach will content you." A little irregularity in agreeable company he deems better than the best observance in solitude. When dining alone is necessary, however, he adds that the mind should be disposed to cheerfulness by a previous interval of relaxation from whatever has seriously occupied the attention, and by directing it to some agreeable object. And so contentment ought to be an accompaniment to every meal. Punctuality becomes the more essential, and the diner and the dinner should be ready at the[320] same time. Concerning dining in comfort, he holds that a chief maxim is to have what you want when you want it, and not be obliged to wait for little additions to be supplied, when what they belong to is half or entirely finished.

The plates should be brought in before the dish, and the dish and its adjuncts appear simultaneously; in other words, the necessary condiments should always be at hand, and the wines should stand ready to be poured out at the moment required,—the lesson of patience, however desirable, is not a virtue that should be inculcated at the dinner-table; and prompt service must ever form a great desideratum of the perfect meal. In dining, more than anything else, perhaps, whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well, though this were far from meaning that lavish expenditure need enter into the hospitable relations of host and guests. Forethought and careful personal attention, it may be reiterated, play a most important part at the board of Good Cheer; and simple dishes unexceptionally prepared and served, with the beverages that naturally accompany them at the proper temperature, will garnish any table with a cloth of gold. "A good soup, a small turbot, a neck of venison, ducklings with green peas, or chicken with asparagus, and an apricot tart," the Earl of Dudley was accustomed to say, "is a dinner for an emperor." There are those possibly who might prefer the much more simple menu of a French gourmet,—"A bottle of Chambertin, a ragoût à la Sardanapale, and a pretty lady causeur, are the three best companions at table in France."


But it will be rendering greater justice to the author to permit him to speak for himself on some of the niceties connected with the art he has expounded so wisely and so well:

"Anybody can dine, but few know how to dine so as to ensure the greatest quantity of health and enjoyment" [he agrees with Dumas and Fayot]. "Indeed, many people contrive to destroy their health; and as to enjoyment, I shudder when I think how often I have been doomed to only a solemn mockery of it; how often I have sat in durance stately, to go through the ceremony of dinner, the essence of which is to be without ceremony, and how often in this land of liberty I have felt myself a slave.

"There is in the art of dining a matter of special importance—I mean attendance, the real end of which is to do that for you which you cannot so well do for yourself. Unfortunately, this end is generally lost sight of, and the effect of attendance is to prevent you from doing that which you could do much better for yourself. The cause of this perversion is to be found in the practice and example of the rich and ostentatious, who constantly keep up a sort of war-establishment, or establishment adapted to extraordinary instead of ordinary occasions, and the consequence is that, like all potentates who follow the same policy, they never really taste the sweets of peace; they are in a constant state of invasion by their own troops. It is a rule at dinners not to allow you to do anything for yourself, and I have never been able to understand how even salt, except it be from some superstition, has so long maintained its place. I am rather a bold man at table and set form very much at defiance, so that if a salad happens to be within my reach, I make no scruple to take it to me; but the moment I am espied, it is nipped up from the most convenient into the most inconvenient position. See a small party with a dish[322] of fish at each end of the table, and four silver covers standing unmeaningly at the sides, whilst everything pertaining to the fish comes, even with the best attendance, provokingly lagging, one thing after another, so that contentment is out of the question; and all this is done under pretence that it is the most convenient plan. This is an utter fallacy. The only convenient plan is to have everything actually upon the table that is wanted at the same time, and nothing else; as, for example, for a party of eight, turbot and salmon, with doubles of each of the adjuncts, lobster-sauce, cucumber, young potatoes, cayenne, and Chili vinegar, and let the guests assist one another, which with such an arrangement they could do with perfect ease. This is undisturbed and visible comfort.

"A system of simple attendance would induce a system of simple dinners, which are the only dinners to be desired.... With respect to wine, it is often offered when not wanted; and when wanted, is perhaps not to be had till long waited for. It is dreary to observe two guests, glass in hand, waiting the butler's leisure to take wine together, and then perchance being helped in despair to what they did not ask for; and it is still more dreary to be one of the two yourself. How different when you can put your hand on a decanter the moment you want it!"

"Perhaps the most distressing incident in a grand dinner" [the author continues] "is to be asked to take champagne, and after much delay to see the butler extract the bottle from a cooler, and hold it nearly parallel to the horizon in order to calculate how much he is to put into the first glass to leave any for the second. To relieve him and yourself from the chilling difficulty, the only alternative is to change your mind and prefer sherry, which, under the circumstances, has rather an awkward effect. These and an infinity of minor evils are constantly experienced amidst the greatest displays. Some good bread and cheese and a jug of ale comfortably set be[323]fore me, and heartily given, are heaven and earth in comparison.... The legitimate objects of dinner are to refresh the body, to please the palate, and to raise the social humour to the highest point; but these objects, so far from being studied, in general are not even thought of, and display and an adherence to fashion are their meagre substitutes."

To be niggardly with one's champagne we have already alluded to as despicable. Yet the amount of this wine that may be dispensed at dinner should depend on the cellar of the entertainer; and where Yquem or a grand Deidesheimer, Lafite, or La Tâche of well-succeeded years is also to figure, it is wise for the host to let the fact be known, and for him to curtail the flow of sparkling wine, in order that proper justice may be rendered to its companions. On this subject the "Original" again proves itself a valuable signboard, and its doctrine as to the conduct of the dinner forms a tenet worthy of all praise,—"If the master of a feast wishes his party to succeed, he must know how to command and not let his guests run riot, each according to his own wild fancy." We cannot agree with the "Original" and some others that it is correct to serve a sparkling wine, to the exclusion of all others, throughout an extended repast. The palate and the eye weary of a single beverage, however brilliant the vintage, and yearn for a contrast in flavour and colour.

Simplicity is constantly urged throughout "The Art of Dining," and again and again does the author insist upon the necessity of having whatever dish that may be served preceded by all its minor adjuncts, and[324] accompanied by all the proper vegetables quite hot, so that it may be enjoyed entirely and at once. The liquid accessories he would have placed upon the table in such a manner as to be as much as possible within the reach of each person; and as Mathew Bramble, in "Humphrey Clinker," talks, in his delights of rural life, of eating trout struggling from the stream, so he would have his dishes served glowing or steaming from the kitchen, a quality which lends a relish otherwise impossible.

"There are two kinds of dinners" [he goes on to say]—"one simple, consisting of a few dishes, the other embracing a variety. Both kinds are good in their way, and both deserve attention; but for constancy I greatly prefer the simple style.... In the first place, it is necessary not to be afraid of not having enough, and so to go into the other extreme and have a great deal too much, as is almost invariably the practice. It is also necessary not to be afraid of the table looking bare, and so to crowd it with dishes not wanted, whereby they become cold and sodden. 'Enough is as good as a feast' is a sound maxim, as well in providing as in eating. The having too much, and setting dishes on the table merely for appearance, are practices arising out of prejudices which, if once broken through, would be looked upon, and deservedly, as the height of vulgarity. The excessive system is a great preventive of hospitality, by adding to the expense and trouble of entertaining, whilst it has no one advantage. It is only pursued by the majority of people for fear of being unlike the rest of the world."

Every gastronomer will endorse the sentiment that in proportion to the smallness of a dinner ought to be its excellence, both as to the quality of materials and[325] the cooking. Nor is there less truth in the complaint that it is an existing evil that everybody is prone to strive after the same dull style—the rule generally followed being to consider what the guests are accustomed to; whereas it should be reversed, and what they are not accustomed to should rather be set before them. This stricture he applies to the serving of wines as well as of viands—"we go on in the beaten track without profiting by the varieties which are to be found on every side." To order dinner well he defines as a matter of invention and combination, involving novelty, simplicity, and taste; whereas in the generality of dinners there is no character but that of dull routine, according to the season. Too little attention, he complains, is paid to the mode of dining according to the time of the year, summer dinners being for the most part as heavy and as hot as those in winter, with the consequence of being frequently very oppressive, both in themselves and from their effect on the room. In hot weather the chief thing to be aimed at is to produce a light and cool feeling, both by the management of the room and the nature of the repast; in winter, warmth and substantial diet afford the most satisfaction.

It may be held with reason that some of the inconveniences pointed out with reference to service could be obviated by the service à la Russe—discarding its medley of dishes on the table, and utilising its features of carving and serving. But Walker's great aim was that of a simple style of dinner-giving to a select few whose number he would limit to eight. Under these circumstances it is easy to understand[326] how it were more appetising to dispense with any dishes in waiting which serve to cloy rather than to stimulate appetite, and more advantageous to have the carving performed by the master himself. At a men's dinner, more especially, where a saddle of mutton, a haunch of venison, or other roast forms the pièce de résistance, and where, therefore, "cut and come again" is the motto of the hour, the less formal style is certainly preferable, and productive of the best results to the guests.

It is only on one occasion that we find him wavering in the dogmas he advances so emphatically and withal so aptly, this incertitude occurring in connection with a dinner he had ordered at Blackwall, the menu of which may be appropriately transcribed as a practical illustration of his ideas on gastronomy:

"The party will consist of seven men beside myself, and every guest is asked for some reason—upon which good fellowship mainly depends; for people brought together unconnectedly had, in my opinion, better be kept separate. Eight I hold to be the golden number, never to be exceeded without weakening the efficacy of concentration. The dinner is to consist of turtle, followed by no other fish but whitebait, which is to be followed by no other meat but grouse, which are to be succeeded simply by apple-fritters and jelly; pastry on such occasions being quite out of place. With the turtle of course there will be punch, with the whitebait champagne, and with the grouse claret: the two former I have ordered to be particularly well iced, and they will all be placed in succession on the table, so that we can help ourselves as we please. I will permit no other wines, unless, perchance, a bottle or two of port, if particularly wanted, as I hold variety of wines a[327] great mistake. With respect to the adjuncts, I shall take care that there is cayenne, with lemons cut in halves, not in quarters, within reach of every one for the turtle, and that brown bread and butter in abundance is set upon the table for the whitebait. The dinner will be followed by ices and a good dessert, after which coffee and one glass of liqueur each, and no more."

Surely, an excellent repast, if the cooking was all that could have been desired, as the author happily informs the reader was the case. But in his comments on the dinner occurs this qualifying sentence,—"There was an opinion broached that some flounders, water-zoutcheed, between the turtle and whitebait would have been an improvement"; and, for once, the "Original" proves vacillating, and adds—"Perhaps they would." Yet, if we are to believe no less an authority than Thackeray, the dish under consideration is one for which room may always be appropriately found—a dish that, when well prepared, possesses ambrosial qualities. He is discoursing of a flounder-souchy in the sketch entitled, "Greenwich Whitebait"; and one's mouth fairly waters as he reads it: "It has an almost angelic delicacy of flavour; it is as fresh as the recollections of childhood—it wants a Correggio's pencil to describe it with sufficient tenderness."

The recipe for a water-souchy is thus given by Kitchener, to be made with flounders, whiting, gudgeons, or eels:

"After cutting the fish in handsome pieces, place them in a stewpan with as much water as will cover them, with some[328] parsley or parsley roots sliced, an onion minced fine, and a little pepper and salt, to which sometimes scraped horseradish and a bay-leaf are added. Skim carefully when boiling, and when the fish is sufficiently done send it up in a deep dish lined with bread sippets, and some slices of bread and butter on a plate. Some cooks thicken the liquor the fish has been stewing in with flour and butter, and flavour it with white wine, lemon juice, essence of anchovy, and catsup, and boil down two or three flounders to make a fish broth to boil the other fish in, observing that the broth cannot be good unless the fish are boiled too much."

This does not sound as palatable as a sole au gratin or en matelote Normande, or even whitebait—that "little means of obtaining a great deal of pleasure"; but one can scarcely forget Thackeray's sentence, even if his appreciation may have been heightened by the surroundings of the Ship Tavern and congenial companionship.

Nearly ten years after Walker's day we find Thackeray also condemning many similar evils:

"I would have" [he urges, and the advice is still pertinent]—"a great deal more hospitality and less show. Everybody has the same dinner in London, and the same soup, and the same saddle of mutton, boiled fowls and tongue, entrées, champagne, and so forth. Who does not know those made dishes with the universal sauce to each: fricandeau, sweetbreads, damp dumpy cutlets, etc., seasoned with the compound of grease, onions, bad port wine, cayenne pepper, and curry-powder, the poor wiry Moselle and sparkling Burgundy in the ice-coolers, and the old story of white and brown soup, turbot, little smelts, boiled turkey, and saddle of mutton?... What I would recommend with all my power is that[329] dinners should be more simple, more frequent, and should contain fewer persons. Ten is the utmost number that a man of moderate means should ever invite to his table; although in a great house managed by a great establishment the case may be different. A man and a woman may look as if they were glad to see ten people; but in a great dinner they abdicate their position as host and hostess,—are mere creatures in the hands of the sham butlers, sham footmen, and tall confectioners' emissaries who crowd the room,—and are guests at their own table, where they are helped last, and of which they occupy the top and bottom."

Thackeray has written frequently on the pleasures of the table, and his name may well figure in the annals of gastronomy as one of its shining lights, if only for his delicious essays "Memorials of Gormandising" and "On Some Dinners at Paris," to which in their entirety the reader is referred.

Still later, Charles Dickens keenly satirises the existing pomp and the lack of simplicity of the English table, notably among the higher classes, where he finds so much Powder in waiting that it flavours the repast, pulverous particles getting into the dishes, and Society's meats having a seasoning of first-rate footmen—society having everything it could want, and could not want, for dinner.

Perhaps in no connection with the art of which the "Original" treats is the advice more practical than in the remarks on variety, with which the reference to Walker may be terminated:

"Although I like, as a rule, to abstain from much variety at the same meal, I think it both wholesome and agreeable to[330] vary the food on different days, both as to the materials and mode of dressing them. The palate is better pleased and the digestion more active, and the food, I believe, assimilates in a greater degree with the system. The productions of the different seasons and of different climates point out to us unerringly that it is proper to vary our food; and one good general rule I take to be, to select those things which are most in season, and to abandon them as soon as they begin to deteriorate in quality. Most people mistake the doctrine of variety in their mode of living; they have great variety at the same meals, and great sameness at different meals. These agreeable varieties are never met with, or even thought of, in the formal routine of society, though they contribute much, when appropriately devised, to the enjoyment of a party. With respect to variety of vegetables, I think the same rule applies as to other dishes. I would not have many sorts on the same occasion, but would study appropriateness and particular excellence. One of the greatest luxuries, to my mind, in dining is to be able to command plenty of good vegetables, well served up. Excellent potatoes, smoking hot, and accompanied by melted butter of the first quality, would alone stamp merit on any dinner; but they are as rare on state occasions, so served, as if they were of the cost of pearls."

It may be subjoined to the many pertinent observations respecting the duties of the entertainer, that so far as it is within his power he should consider his guests individually, weighing their personal likes and dislikes to such extent as may comport with the general welfare. The first thing he should recognise as his imperative duty is to please. Yet while a surprise in the components of the dinner is to be desired, the choice of dishes should nevertheless be made with ref[331]erence to the taste of the majority, in distinction to one's own preference or the predilections of the few. With the stiff and formal dinner, or with large dinner-parties, fine discrimination is less practicable, these functions being necessarily a burden to all concerned. Les dîners fins se font en petits comités; and, equally, in informal gatherings. The deft hand and nice judgment may be thoroughly manifested only among intimate friends, where the personality of the master may guide and direct, free from the trammels of conventionality. Then that false etiquette which prescribes that the entertainer should never rise from the table may be waived; and where he may enhance the pleasure of his friends by an impromptu visit to the wine-cellar in pursuit of some special vintage that the moment calls for, or carry out a happy thought that the occasion may create, it is his bounden duty to perform for himself what others may not perform as well, or perform not at all. With the absence of formality, the wit may rise to the full height of his genius, the humorist may shine, and the accomplished and graceful liar draw a treble measure of delight from the font of a genial and exuberant fancy.


Frontispiece of the Second Canto of "La Conversation" of the Abbé Délille, 1822

"The Art of Dining" also forms the title of a work by the scholarly essayist Abraham Hayward, a rearrangement of two articles he had contributed to the "Quarterly Review" in 1835 and 1836.[42] By few writers has the subject been treated so invitingly. There is no taint of grossness throughout his review; and if it be true that next to partaking of a good din[332]ner is to read about one, we must thank him for the enjoyment he has contributed. A distinguished scholar and epicure, he had travelled widely, and was equally at home in the French and English capitals. All the celebrated restaurants, chefs, and maîtres-d'hôtel of Paris were familiar to him, while few have shown themselves as conversant with the literature of his theme. He had, moreover, an entrée into the most distinguished circles; and, last but not least, possessed a marvellous memory to recall the people he had met, and the dinners and festivities at which he had assisted—with the bon-mots, repartees, and anecdotes that the popping of corks without number had set free. As a raconteur, with an unlimited repertory of incidents concerning the notables who were prominent in society, politics, and gastronomy, he is said to have been unsurpassed.

His subject, he states, has been discussed with the object of facilitating convivial enjoyment and promoting sociability; and in these matters he will be found both a brilliant causeur and connoisseur. Passing by his anecdotal review of Parisian cookery, his reference to the simple expedients by which the success of a dinner may be insured will serve to show his resources, and his grasp of the practical side of the topic:

"We have seen Painter's turtle prepare the way for a success which was crowned by a lark pudding. We have seen a kidney dumpling perform wonders; and a noble-looking shield of Canterbury brawn from Groves's diffuse a sensation of unmitigated delight. One of Morell's Montanches hams, or a woodcock pie from Bavier's of Boulogne, would be a sure[333] card; but a home-made partridge pie would be more likely to come upon your company by surprise, provided a beefsteak be put over as well as under the birds, and the birds be placed with their breasts downwards in the dish. Game or wild fowl is never better than broiled; and a boiled shoulder of mutton, or boiled duck or pheasant, might alone found a reputation. A still more original notion was struck out by a party of eminent connoisseurs who entertained the Right Hon. Sir Henry Ellis at Fricœur's, just before he started on his Persian embassy. They actually ordered a roasted turbot, and were boasting loudly of the success of the invention when a friend of ours had the curiosity to ask M. Fricœur in what manner he set about the dressing of the fish. 'Why, sare, you no tell; we no roast him at all; we put him in oven and bake him.'"

Some there are who would seriously object to boiled mutton as opposed to roast, and who assuredly would cry out in horror at a duck or game-bird boiled. Yet boiled mutton with capers is orthodox—like corned beef and cabbage, or the Rindfleisch with horseradish sauce, which blends so well with the Münchner where one meets it in the middle of the day in Germany. A broiled teal, wood-duck, or butterball, by all means; but a roast canvasback, redhead, or mallard in preference always.

"Marrowbones are always popular" [the author continues]. "So is a well-made devil or a broil. When a picture of the Dutch school, representing a tradesman in a passion with his wife for bringing up an underdone leg of mutton, was shown to the late Lord Hertford, his lordship's first remark was, 'What a fool that fellow is not to see that he may have a capital broil!' A genuine hure de sanglier, or[334] wild boar's head, would elevate the plainest dinner into dignity. The comparative merits of pies and puddings present a problem which it is no easy matter to decide. On the whole, we give the preference to puddings, as affording more scope to the inventive genius of the cook. A plum-pudding, for instance, our national dish, is hardly ever boiled enough. A green apricot tart is commonly considered the best tart that is made: but a green apricot pudding is a much better thing. A cherry dumpling is better than a cherry tart. A beefsteak pudding, again, is better than the corresponding pie; but oysters and mushrooms are essential to its success. A mutton-chop pudding with oysters, but without mushrooms, is excellent."

Never having tried the last-mentioned "remove," the writer is willing to trust to its excellence, and to the general good taste of Hayward. But one has his doubts sometimes, the proof of the pudding being in the eating; and possibly a mutton-chop and oyster compound may be spoiling two things intrinsically good in themselves, and the dish deserve to be placed in the same category with a boiled pheasant or a wild fowl. Moreover, what may taste or appear excellent in one place does not always appear the same in another, this holding true with many things besides dishes, which may be affected by the climate, the surroundings, or one's mood at the time.

The topic of fish is particularly well treated by Hayward. On the subject of game, he has this to say concerning a native marsh-bird of the sandpiper tribe, highly prized for its eggs and flesh, which has become even yet more rare with the draining of the English meres and fens:


"Ruffs and reeves are little known to the public at large, though honourable mention is made of them by Bewick. The season for them is August and September. They are found in fenny countries (those from Whittlesea Meer in Lincolnshire are best), and must be taken alive and fattened on boiled wheat or bread and milk mixed with hemp-seed, for about a fortnight, taking good care never to put two males to feed together, or they will fight à l'outrance. Prince Talleyrand was extremely fond of ruffs and reeves, his regular allowance during the season being two a day: they are dressed like woodcocks. These birds are worth nothing in their wild state; and the art of fattening them is traditionally said to have been discovered by the monks in Yorkshire, where they are still in high favour with the clerical profession, as a current anecdote will show. At a grand dinner at Bishopthorpe (in Archbishop Markham's time) a dish of ruffs and reeves chanced to be placed immediately in front of a young divine who had come up to be examined for priest's orders, and was considerately (or, as it turned out, inconsiderately) asked to dinner by his grace. Out of sheer modesty, the clerical tyro confined himself exclusively to the dish before him, and persevered in his indiscriminating attentions to it till one of the resident dignitaries (all of whom were waiting only the proper moment to participate) observed him, and called the attention of the company by a loud exclamation of alarm. But the warning came too late: the ruffs and reeves had vanished to a bird, and with them, we are concerned to add, all the candidate's hopes of Yorkshire preferment are said to have vanished too.

"A similar anecdote is current touching wheatears, which, in our opinion, are a greater delicacy. A Scotch officer was dining with the late Lord George Lennox, then commandant at Portsmouth, and was placed near a dish of wheatears, which was rapidly disappearing under his repeated attacks. Lady[336] Louisa Lennox tried to divert his attention to another dish. 'Na, na, my leddy,' was the reply, 'these wee birdies will do verra weel.'"

In vivid contrast to the works of Walker and Hayward is a volume entitled "Apician Morsels" (London, 1829), wherein the author, who veils his identity under a facetious pseudonym, has unblushingly garbled whole chapters from the old historians, the "Almanach," and various writers, interspersed with coarse stories of gluttony. It is to be deplored that La Reynière cannot arise from his final resting-place to administer the castigation the author deserves. From him it is refreshing to turn to the "Dipsychus" of Arthur Hugh Clough and read his animated poem, "Le Dîner," with its resonant refrain which, strangely, has been omitted from the later editions:

"Come along, 'tis the time, ten or more minutes past, And he who came first had to wait for the last. The oysters ere this had been in and been out; While I have been sitting and thinking about How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money! "A clear soup with eggs; voilà tout; of the fish The filets de sole are a moderate dish A la Orly, but you're for red mullet, you say. By the gods of good fare, who can question to-day How pleasant it is, etc. "After oysters, Sauterne; then sherry; champagne; Ere one bottle goes, comes another again;[337] Fly up, thou bold cork, to the ceiling above, And tell to our ears in the sounds that we love How pleasant it is, etc. "I've the simplest of tastes; absurd it may be, But I almost could dine on a poulet au riz, Fish and soup and omelette, and that—but the deuce— There were to be woodcocks, and not charlotte russe! So pleasant it is, etc. "Your Chablis is acid, away with the Hock, Give me the pure juice of the purple Médoc; St. Péray is exquisite; but, if you please, Some Burgundy first, before tasting the cheese. So pleasant it is, etc. "As for that, pass the bottle, and hang the expense— I've seen it observed by a writer of sense That the labouring classes could scarce live a day If people like us didn't eat, drink, and pay. So useful it is, etc. "One ought to be grateful, I quite apprehend, Having dinner and supper and plenty to spend. And so, suppose now, while the things go away, By way of a grace we all stand up and say, How pleasant it is to have money, heigh-ho! How pleasant it is to have money!" To English guides, so far as the metropolis is concerned, should be added Lieutenant-Colonel Newnham-Davis' recent volume—a veritable Murray to the table of London.[43] In this gossipy and sprightly[338] manual one may dine by proxy in nearly all the leading restaurants as well as in many of the more Bohemian resorts. The appointments and surroundings of each are picturesquely set forth, with the exact menu and price of each dinner, together with an occasional recipe of some distinguished foreign master of the range, or a dish for which a restaurant is especially renowned. And while one may marvel at the writer's facile receptivity for an almost unvaried round of vintage champagnes, and sympathise with him in the frequent iteration of certain dishes, one must recognise, nevertheless, that if the dinners he discussed as an official representative of the "Pall Mall Gazette" could be duplicated by the average diner, London were not to be despised as a stamping-ground for the accomplished gastronomer. The author does not hesitate to criticise, though his exceptions are usually in the nature of a sauce piquante, rather than a drastic condiment; and it is evident in the majority of the feasts he passes under review—now with a boon companion, and now with a pretty and well-gowned causeuse—that the special resources of the chef and maître-d'hôtel, who are duly introduced to the reader, have been brought into Aladdin-like play for his special delectation. The Benedict will doubtless envy him his petits-dîners with so varied a menu of charming women to stimulate his appetite and share his champagne and entremets de douceur; the bachelor will recognise how a prolonged series of such dinners with supplementary flowers, a loge at the theatre, and a concluding supper swell the addition, and render rising with the lark or any attention to business the following morning ut[339]terly beyond the compass of mortal power. To assist in a repast with Colonel Davis, however, is to be assured of dining excellently in London, with pleasant company and a double assurance of the truth of the aphorism, that one can never grow old at table.

Reference has already been made to numerous French minor writers on gastronomy; among whom should not be omitted the name of the eminent Dr. Réveillé-Parise, author of several works on hygiene, whose dissertation on the oyster, presented with all the charm that a brilliant style and profound erudition may impart, is unrivalled in the language.[44]

Much has naturally been said, both by English and by French writers, concerning the restaurant. The celebrated Dr. Véron, who was nearly always accustomed to dine at a restaurant in preference to dining at his own home, gave these as his reasons:

"In your own home the soup is on the table at a certain hour, the roast is taken off the jack, the dessert is spread out on the sideboard. Your servants, in order to get more time over their meals, hurry you up; they do not serve you, they gorge you. At the restaurant, on the contrary, they are never in a hurry, they let you wait, and, besides, I always tell the waiters not to mind me; that I like being kept a long while—that is one of the reasons why I come here. Another thing, at the restaurant the door is opened at every moment and something happens. A friend, a chum, or a mere acquaintance comes in; one chats and laughs; all this aids digestion. A man ought not to make digestion a business apart. He ought to dine and digest at the same time, and nothing aids this dual function like good conversation. Perhaps the[340] servant of Madame de Maintenon, when the latter was still Madame Scarron, was a greater philosopher than we suspect when he whispered to his mistress, 'Madame, the roast has run short; give them another story.'"

It was after a dinner in a Fifth Avenue restaurant, at which terrapin and '89 Pol Roger, canvasback, and '78 Haut-Bailly figured, that while smoking his Vuelta-Abajo—impressed with the excellence of the repast, and smitten at the thought of his absent ones—the host observed to his companions, "Heavens! how I wish I could afford to treat my family to a dinner like this!" The stomach also has its conscience. But Thackeray has covered precisely such a case in the essay, "On some Dinners at Paris." "What is the use," he asks, "of having your children, who live on roast mutton in the nursery, to sit down and take the best three-fourths of a perdreau truffé with you? What is the use of helping your wife, who doesn't know the difference between sherry and Madeira, to a glass of priceless Romanée or sweetly odoriferous Château Lafite of '42?"

Besides his sonnets "Le Toast" and "Barrière du Maine," Charles Monselet has written most entertainingly of the restaurant under the title, "Les Cabinets Particuliers," a sketch which figured in "Le Double Almanach Gourmand" of 1866, of which he was the editor for several years. In this publication appeared Albert Glatigny's "Rue des Poitevins," one of several poems with the restaurant as their theme, the stanzas being not unworthy of the melodious lyre of "Les Vignes Folles" and "Les Flèches d'Or":


"C'est le vieux restaurant où vont les écoliers Qui n'ont point submergés les cols brisés encore. Dans l'atmosphère chaude et franche on voit éclore, Entre deux brocs de vin des refrains cavaliers. "Les peintres, les rimeurs,—leurs soucis oubliés,— Y vont rire le soir d'un bon rire sonore, Et pour mon compte, moi dans mon for, je m'honore D'avoir allègrement grimpé ses escaliers. "Des escaliers du temps de la serrurerie, Larges, la rampe en fer, ouvragés, bien dallés, Donnant sur un cour propre à la rêverie. "Maison Laveur! hier, c'était là qu'attablés Devant la soupe aux choux, nous guettions, mon Lemoyne, La petite servante aux rougeurs de pivoine." The student of Glatigny, who must always admire the rhythm and melody of his Muse, will also remember his quaint sonnet published in "Gilles et Pasquins," entitled "Monselet devoured by the Lobsters." The works of Henri Murger are replete with epulary sketches of the old Latin Quarter of Paris, a district from which Victor Hugo has also drawn. Théodore de Banville has likewise depicted many a picturesque restaurant scene in his airy "Odes Funambulesques." The lyrists, too, have not been unmindful of the poetry of the kitchen.

Many visitors to Paris will remember dining at Bignon's, and doubtless will equally recall the figures of the addition. Of this restaurant, whose carte was devoid of prices, it was said that a man who dined[342] at the corner table for a period of years became a cosmopolite—in every capital of Europe he would be recognised and fêted; for that matter, he did not need to rise from his chair, as all Europe would pass in review before him.

A provincial dining there in April, on perceiving melons on the card, ordered one. "What!" he exclaimed, after examining his bill, "thirty francs for a melon! You are joking!"

"Monsieur," replied Bignon, "if you can find me three or four at the same price, I will buy them immediately."

"Fifteen francs for a peach?" inquired Prince Narischkin; "they must be very scarce."

"It isn't the peaches that are scarce, mon prince; it is the Narischkins."

"Monsieur Bignon, a red herring at two and a half francs! It seems to me that is excessive."

"But these prices are marked in your interest," rejoined the restaurateur. "It is the barrier I have established between my clients and the vulgar. Why do you come here? To be among yourselves, to avoid embarrassing or compromising surroundings. If I changed my prices, the house would be invaded, and you would all leave."

Another patron who complained of a sauce was asked, "Did you dine here last evening?"

"No," he replied.

"That is the trouble, then; you spoiled your taste in the other restaurant."

Still another guest objected to the charges on his bill, comparing it with an identical breakfast of a[343] few days previous which amounted to eighteen and a half francs, whereas the breakfast in question was charged twenty-one francs, eighty centimes.

"I will investigate the mistake," said Bignon, who, with the two bills, proceeded to the desk, returning shortly afterwards.

"It is very true, Monsieur, that a mistake was made in your favour last Monday; but I make no claim for restitution!"

Do the anecdotes and cook-books and treatises on eating and drinking savour of gluttony to some who eat only to live, and who are lacking in the finesse of Good Cheer? Let all such consult a volume written by one of the gentler sex, and hearken to her admirable definition of the Tenth Muse:

"Gluttony is ranked with the deadly sins; it should be honoured among the cardinal virtues. To-day women, as a rule, think all too little of the joys of eating; they hold lightly the treasures that should prove invaluable. They refrain to recognise that there is no less art in eating well than in painting well or writing well. For the gourmande, or glutton, duty and amusement go hand in hand. Mind and body alike are satisfied. The good of a pleasantly planned dinner outbalances the evil of daily trials and tribulations. By artistic gluttony, beauty is increased, if not actually created. Rejoice in the knowledge that gluttony is the best cosmetic. Gross are they who see in eating and drinking nought but grossness. Gluttony is a vice only when it leads to stupid, inartistic excess."[45]


OF SAUCES "Je la redoute, cette sauce. Avec elle on mangerait toujours. La lecture seule de sa recette donne faim."

Baron Brisse: La Petite Cuisine.

The supreme triumph of the French cuisine consists in its sauces; for nothing can so vary the routine of daily cookery as the different combinations of herbs and seasonings that may be utilised by a competent artist as an adjunct and a finish to a dish. King's "Art of Cookery" has admirably versified the mission of the sauce:

"The spirit of each dish and zest of all Is what ingenious cooks the Relish call; For though the market sends in loads of food, They all are tasteless till that makes them good."


From the engraving after Masquelier


As without flattery there were no society, so without sauces there were no gastronomy. Properly prepared, with a thorough understanding of the hygienic nature of flavourings and their harmony with reference to the special viands they are to enhance, a finely composed sauce is a digestive as well as a stimulus to the organs of taste. No better illustration of the qualities of a perfect sauce occurs in the annals of the art than that of Baron Brisse, which refers to sauce béarnaise, and La Reynière's comment on anchovy sauce,—"Lorsque cette sauce est bien traitée, elle ferait manger un éléphant. This is La Reynière's recipe, including its proper belongings, as given in the sixth year of the "Almanach":

"The anchovy figures as a stimulant and aperient in a great number of sauces, whose presence imparts to them their principal virtues. Such are the sauces à l'Allemande, à l'anchois, aux câpres, etc.; we shall confine ourselves to the recipe of that which bears its name. Anchovy sauce is prepared by first carefully washing the anchovies in vinegar; the bones are then removed, the fish finely minced and placed in a stewpan with a clear coulis[46] of veal and ham, pepper, salt, nutmeg, and fine spices; after heating reduce to the proper consistence and give it the finishing touch. This sauce serves for the roast. The anchovy plays the principal rôle in the sauce served with roast sirloin of beef and hare à la broche. It is made with their juices and a little bouillon, anchovies coarsely chopped, capers, fine herbs, tarragon, pepper, salt, and vinegar. With this sauce well prepared, one might eat an elephant.


"Anchovy sauce is also employed in several sorts of gravies, and one may say that it is not misplaced in any piquante sauce: for it is in itself an excellent épigramme. It follows from these remarks that the anchovy is an indispensable adjunct to good cheer. Its body figures admirably for the déjeuner and with the hors-d'œuvres, and its spirit makes itself distinctly felt in all sauces that it permeates. It imparts to them a savour which stimulates the appetite and agreeably captivates the palate."

In the middle ages the office of the saucier, or master sauce-maker, was invested with great importance. A chief functionary in all grand houses, under him were clerks, varlets, and youths termed galopins de saucerie, who stood ever ready to do his bidding. Old woodcuts depict him presiding over his receptacles—as imposing in his dignity as the master-carver himself. Even then the adage held good that the sauce was often worth more than the fish.

Indeed, the sauce is the sonnet of the table, as varied in its forms as the structure of the sonnet itself. The Gaul is its master, and to him belongs the majority of its most pleasing tenses. In the words of the distinguished Marquis de Cussy, who maintained that a good cook can remove your gout as you would remove your gloves,—"Point de sauce, point de salut, point de cuisine; where would we be if the grand sauces, the lesser ones, and the special ones that have rendered the French school illustrious had not been discovered by men of the greatest genius? The life labours of one alone would not have sufficed. What a brilliant ladder to scale, that which, leaving the last round—the sauce pauvre homme—is lost in the clouds[347] with the velouté, the grande and petite espagnole, and the réductions!"[47]

Sauce Soubise, sauce d'Orléans, sauce d'Uxelles, and sauce à la Régence are all credited to great minds of the eighteenth century, so prolific of new culinary discoveries. Through their piquant instrumentality we may in imagination summon the splendours of the Regency and the reign of Louis, surnamed "le Bien-Aimé," with the brilliant toilets of its gay and pretty women—the high-heeled pointed shoe, the powdered hair, the rouge and beauty-spot, the painted fan and walking-stick of fille, duchesse, and marquise that still look at us from the canvases of Boucher and Watteau. We may see, too, the V-shaped satin corsage, the expansive pannier, the diaphanous robe déshabillée,—flounced, frilled, flowered, and furbelowed,—the embroidered petticoat and surge of lace and ribband, as fair dame and plumed gallant repair to the suppers of the Palais-Royal and the Parc aux Cerfs, or sit down amid umbrageous glades to the revels of a fête champêtre.

Almost as many varieties of sauces exist as of soups. But these may vary little or largely from their usually accepted names. The cook will tell you, if you are unacquainted with the fact yourself, that by adding to simple melted butter a liberal amount of finely chopped parsley (some ruin the relish with grated nutmeg, a spice which should be used with great discretion), salt and pepper, and a dash of lemon, you have what is termed a maître-d'hôtel sauce. Add to this finely minced garden-cress, chervil, and a little[348] tarragon and burnet, and you produce a different sauce under the same name. Thus plain onion sauce and sauce Soubise, in each of which the onion forms the dominant chord, may differ equally, and sauce piquante and sauce Robert vary only in their titles and the additional mustard called for by the latter. Sauce poivrade, in like manner, is a sauce piquante with an increased supply of pepper and without the pickled cucumber.

Among the most valuable of all sauces, though employed only cold and served with cold viands, is that which at once suggests what Jules Janin in an inadvertent moment termed the "cardinal of the seas," and that at a luncheon or a late supper possesses a merit distinctively its own. This Carême has dealt with at length in his treatise on cold sauces. The origin of the word "mayonnaise," a blending supposed to be the invention of the Maréchal de Richelieu, has always remained in doubt. Its etymology has been attributed to Mahon, a town of southern France. Yet this supposed derivation is extremely dubious; and as it was also known as "bayonnaise," it might be ascribed equally to Bayonne, famous for its hams, its cheese, and its chocolate, and for having invented the bayonet.[48]

It has been variously termed mahonaise, bayonnaise, mahonnoise, magnonaise, and mayonnaise. But Carême, after minutely describing its preparation, from the first drop of oil to its final silky, white, and unctuous cream, denies its accepted derivation, and pro[349]nounces it magnonaise, from the verb manier—to stir; as it may be prepared only through the continual stirring it undergoes, which results in a marrowy, velvety, and very appetising sauce, unique of its kind, and bearing no resemblance to others that are obtained only through reductions of the range. Despite this ingenious explanation, the word is still written "mayonnaise"; and while lights shine brilliantly, and champagne sparkles, and the great crawfish, sublimated into salad, receives the encomiums of appreciative guests, the famous chef of the Empire is forgotten, and the chapter of the "Cuisinier Parisien" exists only as a tale that is told.

It may be observed that a good sauce should be perfect in flavour, colour, smell, and consistency. It should be savoury, flowing, and well defined. On the proper liaison, a correct apportionment of the flavourings, a knowledge of the range, and a discriminating palate, supplemented by long experience, depends its triumph. Of course the bain-marie will be readily accessible when the sauce is obliged to wait, the butter will be unexceptionable, and the shallot especially will never be lacking when its virtues are in request. As has been previously stated in the case of numerous other culinary preparations, success depends more upon the practitioner than the formula. It is as difficult, therefore, to describe the subtle chiaroscuro of a perfect sauce as to define the hues that mantle the petals of the rose "Beauté Inconstante," or the combined odours hived by a windless night of June.

Comparatively few sauces may suffice for the modest household to supplement the espagnole, or brown[350] sauce, and the velouté, or white sauce, the foundations from which most others are compounded. These two rudimentary sauces, to be well made, should not be greasy, but contain just enough fat, according to the authorities, to present the velvety appearance of a full-blown damask rose. Carême devotes twenty-five pages to these "mother sauces" and their two slight modifications, béchamel and allemande; while Francatelli points out that although great care and watchful attention are requisite in every branch of cookery, the exercise of these qualities is most essential in the preparation of the grand stock sauces. In the home kitchen these are naturally prepared in an infinitely more simple manner than according to the elaborate recipes of the great professors of the table.

The mistress of the household who would render herself trebly appreciated, and who by ministering to man's palate may the more readily guide, direct, and control his character, should train herself unerringly in the art of compounding appetising and wholesome sauces. To be sure, some of these manipulated by competent masculine hands—but how often slurred by some fatigued or indifferent sous-chef!—may be obtained at one's club or the better-class restaurants. But here in many instances the wine-cellar is apt to be uncertain; while frequent dining out is not to be compared with the sense of comfort of dining at home when the kitchen, even though unpretentious, is carefully administered, the menu varied, the wines perfect of their kind, and where Her Gracious Serenity's address may have conjured some dainty entrée whose sauce, sapid and velvety, leaves nothing to be de[351]sired. One might tire of this, perchance, with no change for a sixmonth, as one might weary of constant sunshine or a too lavish profusion of tender epithets. Yet it is a desirable condition, nevertheless, to fall back upon; and in the end far the safest for digestion.

And this despite Balzac, who well understood the cuisine no less than the "Comédie Humaine,"—that "marriage must necessarily combat a monster who devours everything—daily routine"; or his other definition in the "Physiology of Marriage," a physiological study that was inspired by Savarin's "Physiology of Taste,"—"Pressurez le mariage, il n'en sortira jamais rien que du plaisir pour les garçons et de l'ennui pour les maris."

The wise woman will have many side-lights in her composition; and in the kitchen her sauces will have many shadings.

Let us toast her in a glass of sparkling St. Péray, and acknowledge that without her there were no home cuisine and consequently no home life. So closely does the art advocated by the late lamented Mrs. Glasse touch upon the fundamental happiness of mankind; and sauces which render it an art supreme still further accentuate the amenities. It has been said that it is not obligatory for lovely arms and shoulders to be acquainted with rhetoric. However this may obtain—and there are admirers both of shapely shoulders and of the graces of languages, there can be no doubt that charming women who possess a taste for gastronomy which they can put to practical use upon occasion, are an infinitely greater desideratum than[352] whose energies may be centred strictly upon flounces or the study of metaphysics.

With the following sauces, besides the simpler forms of espagnole and velouté, much may be accomplished at home: cream béchamel, sauce piquante, sauce bordelaise, maître-d'hôtel and béarnaise, hollandaise, sauce an vin blanc, sauce au beurre noir (plain, or with shallots and parsley added), tomato sauce and its special form à la Richelieu, and, finally, Francatelli's sauce Number 65 for mutton and dark-fleshed game.[49] If, apart from those enumerated, madame be an artist in the fashioning of sauce tartare, the mayonnaise and its shadings, and a plain French salad dressing, all will be lovely sailing. What's sauce for the goose, however, is not necessarily sauce for the gander, and vice versa. Women will prefer the cream béchamel, mayonnaise, and Francatelli, and the sterner sex will like them all.

It may not prove entirely without profit if to these be added sauce à la Schönberg, which harmonises not only with halibut, flounder, sea-bass, and sole, but with chicken-breasts and white-fleshed game-birds as well, when one desires a change from the usual modes of preparation:

"Sauce à la Schönberg. Make a roux of a tablespoon of butter and flour, brown slightly, add two shallots finely minced, and a pint of chicken broth, three tablespoons of tomato sauce, a small bay-leaf, two cloves, some finely minced parsley, a teaspoon of cognac, and a little white wine. Season with salt and pepper, and strain. Then add a half can[353] of mushrooms, slice and brown them in a little butter with a few dice of sweetbreads previously cooked, and, just before removing from the range, the yolk of an egg and a half cup of cream."

The professional chef may possibly criticise it,—mesdames the "'Compleat' Housewives" will discover in it a fragrant note of satisfaction.

Will new sauces continue to be invented? Assuredly; of culinary as well as other novelties there will always be an abundant supply, however bizarre or lacking in excellence compared with the old. But in new dishes it will be new combinations for the most part, varying but little from the classics and those already known, rather than any distinctly novel forms of superior merit, such as have been recently evolved in floriculture, for instance. For the art of cookery is of ancient time, while the evolution of the flower, especially the floral queen, the rose, is comparatively new; and where the one has still untold possibilities, the other has well-nigh attained its full tide of savour and perfection, at least in theory and understanding, if not nearly so often in practice as were to be desired.

An extended disquisition, redolent of truffles and odorous of the herb-garden, might be devoted to the subject of sauces, of which Charles Ranhofer in his recent manual, "The Epicurean," presents two hundred and forty-six. But this were invading the practical domain of the cookery books, and wandering too far from the lines of the subject under consideration—the history and province of Gastronomy.


THE SPOILS OF THE COVER "It is difficult to imagine a happier conjunction than the blending of the symbols when the arms of a sportsman are quartered with those of a cook. The tints of the autumnal woods reflected in the plumage of mature and lusty game are types of rich experiences and genial sentiments which flit about the sportsman's board and linger at his hearth with as gracious a fitness as that which diffuses a faint blush through the russet of a well-cooked mallard's breast, and with a zest equal to the relish which lurks within a woodcock's thigh."—John Aldergrove.

How that beechwood on a distant hillside, its tall trees despoiled of their foliage, and its skirts lighted with the clinging gold of the saplings, stands out against a hoar November sky and the tablets of memory, as one recollects an accommodating covey of grouse, a successful "right and left," and the hoarse clamour of the crows whose conclave was disturbed by the salvo of the barrels!

Of the wealth of aliments bestowed upon man by a [355]bountiful Providence for his sustenance and delectation, none lends a greater grace or ministers more to the variety of the table than game. The offspring of wild nature, nursed upon its fruits, its mast, and its vegetation, and exhaling the very essence of its most secluded recesses, it sheds an added lustre even upon the most elaborate repast. Its comparative rarity, together with that quality which may be best defined as distinction, invests it with a heightened charm; while to the sportsman it is indelibly associated with scenes the recollection of which causes the pulse to throb with a renewed joy in the sense of living. Its pursuit naturally leads to an abiding love for nature; so that the bird in the thicket, the wild fowl in the marsh, and the hare in the covert become to the votary of sport more than mere adjuncts of gustatory delight. Who shall ever forget the first game-bird he has killed, or the first "pound trout" he has captured with the fly?—the souvenir comes like a burst of autumnal radiance, or the redolence of vernal flowers. To what enchantments is not game the open-sesame; and what halcyon visions does it not enshrine! It is the emblem of plenteousness, the symbol of maturity. The gilded woods and ripened fruits, the teeming fields and garnered sheaves, the purple haze and mellow afterglow, the harvest moon and the elixir of the frost—all the largesse of the year is typified in the least of the wild life that is included in the term "game."


From the engraving by Woollett, after the painting by Stubbs, 1768

These woodcock, for instance, do they not at once bring to mind the beauties of their native haunts?—the devious alder tangle and jungle of wild grape where the dragon-fly flits above the murmurous[356] stream, and the cardinal-flower reflects itself within the glassy pool. This ruffed grouse, in turn, how he recalls the pageant of the upland! Once more you scent the breath of the wildwood and drink the exhilarating draught of October. Again are you thrilled by the roar of strong pinions as the quarry rises in his strength, to fall beneath the leaden charge and fold his wings in everlasting sleep. Or, with the advent upon the board of that much-in-little, the snipe, the lonely marsh with its whispering flags and shifting cloud-shadow extends in imagination before you—where the killdeer calls, and the bittern booms, and the bird of mottled breast twists away with raucous cry to be lost in the grey horizon's marge.

Thus game to the sportsman embodies an æsthetic attribute unknown to the majority, the very associations of sport in themselves conferring the keenest appreciation of the true instincts of gastronomy. The range and the breech-loader are closely allied, and the field and the table become merged in ties of mutual affinity. Nor may we overlook the great worth of game in the sick-room, and as a ministering agent for the invalid and convalescent. It possesses, in addition, a virtue equalled by scarcely any other form of food, in calling forth the bouquet and flavour of wine—whether it be a white wine with the denizens of fresh and salt water that figure as game-fish, or a grand growth of Bordeaux or Burgundy that is appropriately served with the furred and feathered tenants of Sylva's court. Then if one has killed it himself, or a friend whose skill has checked its flight has been[357] the means of contributing its graces, its quintessence becomes all the more adorable.

Combining so many advantages, it is to be deplored that the preservation of game in this country is not more carefully guarded, and that the scarcity of many species is becoming more and more apparent. The practice of spring shooting of snipe, duck, and shore-birds, when on their migrations to their northern nesting-grounds, cannot be too severely censured; while the laxity in enforcing the laws and the dissimilarity of close seasons in different counties operates still further to cause the depletion of wild life. The pot-hunter and the spaniel, the trap and the gin, are gradually exterminating the ruffed grouse; the olden flocks of plover and wild pigeon have well-nigh vanished; while snipe, woodcock, quail, and duck are now as rare in many localities where they formerly abounded as the trout which once swarmed in the streams. Deer and its congeners, it is true, have received better protection of recent years, the increasing numbers of deer at least attesting the wisdom of stringent laws stringently enforced. It will therefore be readily evident that preservation and protection become a question of paramount importance which may no longer be loosely considered, or soon the last grouse will have sounded his reveille, and the whistle of the woodcock will remain only as a memory. The remedy is easily prescribed, and may be briefly summarised—legitimate shooting and fishing, rigid enforcement of the laws with heavy penalties for the offender, a single close season for the smaller species that are found in prox[358]imity, abolishment of spring shooting, and a rigorous surveillance of the covers. By this means the table may possess one of its greatest luxuries in abundance, and sport resume its former sphere as the greatest of recuperative and edifying recreations.

In its relation to the table, the term "game" is held to include wild fowl as well as most furred and feathered spoils of the chase. Or, defined more accurately in its connection with gastronomy, it embraces everything belonging to the province of sport that is edible. Correctly speaking, no species of wild fowl, or species like the plover, rail, pigeon, etc., may be accounted game, the quality of which consists in the subtle presence of scent, instinctively recognised and followed by thoroughbred dogs,—a trait expressed by Hollar's lines,

"The Feasant Cocke the woods doth most frequent, Where Spaniells spring and pearche him by the sent." Yet species foreign to the blue blood of flax and feather may, nevertheless, afford sport, and prove acquisitions for the table. The little spotted sandpiper, accordingly, whose musical peet, weet, weet rings along the brooksides and moist meadow-lands, and even the squirrel if killed in cold weather, are entitled to rank as table-game, providing they be properly prepared.

It should not be supposed, however, that all individuals of a given species taste alike, flavour being the result of two important conditions. Neither should it be presumed that a game-bird, usually referred to as masculine, is preferable for the larder in that gender; the truth being that for culinary pur[359]poses the hen is generally preferable to the cock. Every sportsman will recall the difference in the taste of certain game-birds, more especially snipe and woodcock—depending upon the nature of their feeding-grounds, and upon the season. Like celery, moreover, most game requires a touch of the cold to develop its qualities. The snipe that bores in sweet, moist pastures, and the woodcock shot on high grounds during late autumn, would hardly be recognised as the same birds bagged under widely dissimilar conditions. The bobolink of our summer fields is scarcely prized until as a migrant he has fattened on the rice-fields of the South, to acquire an added bloom under the name of reed-bird or rice-bunting. Similarly, the sheep of Pré-Salé, the succulent salt-marsh mutton of the Brittany coasts, renowned for its delicious flavour, owe this quality largely to the herb absinthe which grows amid the herbage on which they browse. The mutton of sheep fed on pastures where thyme abounds also acquires a particularly fine savour. In like manner, when the ruffed grouse through stress of weather has been compelled to feed on birch-buds, or when he has dined on the berries and foliage of the wintergreen, his aroma is strikingly accentuated, becoming a veritable "steam of rich-distilled perfumes."

The wild duck is an apposite example of the effect of food upon flavour; and even a pheasant à la Sainte Alliance must pale before a celery-fed canvasback or redhead bathed in its own carmine juices. The redhead, who dives down for the roots of the Vallisneria which the lazier canvasback purloins, is identical in quality with the latter when shot on the same[360] feeding-grounds; the only difference between the two when cooked consisting in the larger size of the canvasback. Equally, the blackbird and starling, when killed on the shocked corn-fields where the hazy sunlight broods, or in autumn woods where they are garrulously discussing the date of their approaching flight and marvelling at the exquisite gradations of the maples' changing hues, become possessed of a tenderness and succulence unknown to the glare and greenness of summer.

Another much esteemed native table-bird is the sora, crake, or Carolina rail, who should not be confounded with the British and European corn-crake or land-rail whom Michael Drayton refers to as "seldom coming but on rich man's spits," and Gilbert White represents as crying crex! crex! from the low, wet bean-fields of Christian Malford and the meadows near Paradise Gardens at Oxford. The sora throngs the marshes of the Atlantic coast in early autumn, congregating in the greatest quantities south of the Rappahannock, where he is slaughtered by wholesale with comparatively little diminution of his ranks. He is a small dark-fleshed bird of great delicacy when broiled, and by many is prized more highly than the toothsome reed-bird or the golden plover. Though resembling the corn-crake in many ways, his nearest relative abroad is the spotted crake. The great-breasted or king-rail of the fresh-water marshes is likewise much esteemed. In flavour the sora is not unlike the wild duck; or, if the comparison may be made, a cross between the qualities of a teal and a snipe—deriving his special richness from the seeds of Zizania[361] aquatica, or tall, wild reed of the tidewater shores. The juicy little bobolink whose rippling scherzo, flung over the fallows and buttercups of June, is basely forgotten by the epicure in the fall, may be crunched in a mouthful; the sora is thrice his size, and, though seldom as fat, is richer in the quality of his ruddy flesh.

It were a parlous task to attempt to describe from memory the respective merits of the reed-bird, the famed European ortolan, and the English wheatear, fieldfare, and mistletoe-thrush. One stands helpless under such a contretemps, and must necessarily await the advent and the edict of another La Reynière. The fig-pecker of southern Europe is more easily passed upon, and readily ranks first among small table-birds.

The tall yellowshank or stone-snipe, with his slim gilded stilts and snow-white breast, familiar to the gunner as a migrant and a frequent companion of the upland-plover, would be esteemed by the sportsman-epicure if only for the recollection of his splendid spread of wing, his graceful circlings, his loud whistling notes, and his lovely silvery plumage.

Although considered less desirable than the snipe and woodcock, the upland-or grass-plover—in reality a sandpiper—should by no means be overlooked. One intuitively thanks him for the scenes he graciously leads to—the placid September day steeped in sunshine, the tender green of sprouting wheat-fields, the pageant of asters, and the billowy roll of mushroom-studded pastures. One hears anew his weird, plaintive cry in the arc overhead—like the bleat of distant folds—audible long ere the grey forms are discernible, as the sportsman imitates their notes, and the wavering[362] flock, with a flutter of white wings, drops down to the sward below. Besides the salad which should accompany all species of game, the upland-plover, therefore, should be garnished with his accessory, the field-mushroom, whose snowy pileus and pink gills his dainty tread is constantly brushing, but never ruffling, amid the old pastures, stump-lots, and sheep-walks he frequents.

But the graceful Bartramian sandpiper has other aliases than those of upland-, field-, and grass-plover. Besides his common appellation of "tattler," he is known in Louisiana as the "pepperpot," and more generally as the "papabotte"—a local name, from the Creole French, significant of all that is most prized in edible game. "Arriving from the vast prairies of Mexico and Texas, where they spend the winter," says Audubon, "the dry upland plains of Louisiana called Opellousas and Attacapas are amply peopled with this species in early spring as well as in autumn. About New Orleans they appear in great bands in spring, and are met with on the open plains and large grassy savannahs."

Upon the restaurant cards of New Orleans and other Southern cities he figures much as the truffle does in France—his particular food imparting to his flesh a peculiar flavour and certain peculiar virtues. The favourite mode of preparing him by the New Orleans clubs is to roast him and serve him slightly underdone with the trail finely minced on toast. His appearance is nearly simultaneous with that of a blister-beetle known as the "Spanish fly"—one of the extremely numerous members of the genus Coleoptera[363] and family Cantharididæ, of which a large portion are common to the haunts of the bird. This destructive insect comes in myriads to prey upon growing vegetation, but the papabotte consumes vast numbers until his disappearance during latter September, as the upland-plover does of grasshoppers and crickets in the North—waxing so fat upon his favourite diet that when he falls before the gunner he often bursts open like an overripe fruit. He is known chiefly as the plover in Texas, where, in addition to a diet of grasshoppers, etc., he subsists largely on the striped blister-beetle (Lytta vitatta), and doubtless also on the black blister-beetle (Lytta atrata), which is likewise quite common to Texas during certain years. It is probable that both these species of cantharides form a large portion of his diet in Louisiana as well. A wary bird when approached on foot, and not lying to the dog, he is frequently hunted on horseback, or by employing a horse and wagon, when he is easily brought to bag. The flesh of the cantharide-fed bird is always extremely heating in its effects; and, indeed, owing to the absorption of cantharidin, the active principle of the insect, it not unfrequently acts as a violent irritant and poison. Yet the papabotte is eagerly sought for, and by the epicure his flesh is more highly esteemed than that of the woodcock, snipe, or sora.[50]

Notable among indigenous game-birds are the ruffed grouse, the quail, the pinnated grouse, and the woodcock, together with numerous other varieties of[364] the family Tetraonidæ, variously classed by the ornithologists, that are less familiar or less widely distributed, and are locally known under various names. With these may be included not a few species that do not figure properly as game, such as the wild turkey, canvasback duck, etc.

All things considered, the ruffed grouse—the "partridge" of the North and "pheasant" of the South—is entitled to rank first among feathered game. Nothing swifter or more valiant in plumage tests the sportsman's nerve and skill. So far as sport is concerned, he may be placed, from his alertness, swiftness, and the trying nature of his usual habitat, on a par with the trout of the clear Hampshire chalk-streams, whose fastidiousness in rising to the artificial fly so taxes the angler's resources on the placid reaches of the Itchen, the Anton, and the Test. He is preëminently the bird of the woodlands, supreme in his sturdiness and his strength. His roll-call awakens the wind-flower, and his thunderous whir! fans the September air into freshness. He blends with the buffs of the beech and russets of the oak, and is eloquent with the lustihood of the ripened year. And how artfully he assimilates with the shadows and thrusts a tree-trunk between himself and the gunner!

See him as he springs from the tangle of the saplings, a shaft of mottled splendour where the sunlight strikes his sides; and the hoarse boom of the double-barrel fails to check his tumultuous flight. Behold him in the spring while he struts upon his chosen log with extended tufts and expanded feathers, beating the air with his wings, and sounding his reverber[365]ating peal of defiance and of love. Consider him amid the rigours of the frost, loyal to his native haunts, true to the instincts of his race, when most of his companions have deserted him for more congenial climes. Observe him once more when the deadly volley has stopped his career, and he falls upon the russet carpet, in glossy black ruff, and plumage in blended hues of olive, brown, black, and grey—the noblest game-bird that treads the forest aisles!


From the coloured print after Howitt, 1807

And if no other member of his family requires more address in bringing to bag, none may surpass, if equal, him in his wild woodland flavour. His back is the very incarnation of poignancy, while no bird that flies can vie with the whiteness and plumpness of his breast. This is saying nothing against the prairie-chicken in his younger stage, or the eastern quail, or even the two long-billed beauties beloved by the sportsman and the epicure. But the assertion may be safely ventured that he will lend himself to more varieties of wine in evolving their sève than any other representative of the haunts of Pan. Bonasa umbellus! may birch-bud and beech-nut, wintergreen and partridge-vine, never fail thee in snow and storm!

With the speckled trout, the rainbow-trout, the sunapee-trout or saibling, the black-bass and muscalonge should also be included among distinctly native game-fish. The brown trout of Europe has recently been introduced into many American waters, as the Mongolian pheasant has been introduced in the fields. But the American speckled trout, who is in reality a char and smaller than the European trout, is higher fla[366]voured, and, like the saibling and the rainbow-trout of the Rockies, is a far more beautiful fish. The brown trout thrives under warmer conditions than the speckled trout, and consequently is an acquisition. But as he attains a much larger size, it is unwise to place him in waters tenanted by the native species, as the larger fish has already proved very destructive to the smaller fry of the Salvelinus fontinalis.

It is superfluous to state that fish cannot be too fresh, in which respect it is the reverse of game. The quail, and especially the ruffed grouse, should be hung long enough to develop their flavour. Eaten too soon, they do not represent game, as their quality is not attained; hung too long, on the other hand, they are not fit for the table. To cook quite fresh game is to deride its mission on earth. A happy medium should be observed in the ease of maturing most species. The duck, woodcock, and snipe should only be mellowed or kept under favourable conditions for a short period. They are like a peach, which is best when recently plucked, as opposed to a pear, which requires to be slowly ripened after gathering. It is possible to eat a "high" grouse or pheasant, if not too gamy; but a duck past the meridian of maturity is well-nigh impossible, as is also a shore-bird or either of the long-bills.

There is no occasion to bury the wild boar, as is sometimes done in Europe for the purpose of mellowing him; inasmuch as he does not exist in America, and the razorback hog of the South, however well he may have feasted on beech-mast, cannot take his place. But in place of the wild boar we have the[367] lordly moose, elk, and caribou, and the picturesque Rocky Mountain sheep and goat, which, if not all desirable for the larder, nevertheless afford magnificent sport; while by many a young caribou or elk, as also a mountain sheep, is considered among the graces of edible furred game.

The relative time of keeping all game to savour it under the best conditions will depend upon the weather. It is always better when hung in the fur or feathers, and where it may have a circulation of air, than when confined in a close receptacle. When frozen it loses in flavour and succulence. Dark-fleshed birds, with few exceptions, are best rather underdone—rosy, but not raw. White-fleshed birds should be done sufficiently, but not cooked to the extent of drying their juices. The cooking of mutton will serve as a type for the one, and veal for the other. Most game-birds are best plainly roasted or broiled, although for variety they may be served in various appetising ways. In roasting the smaller species, the vine-leaf and a strip of larding-pork should not be overlooked; and where these or well-buttered paper are not employed, as in the case of over-fat birds, the basting-spoon should be kept in constant agitation. Larding lightly often improves a white-fleshed bird where he has not been enveloped in pork.

Especially, let game be zealously watched in the cooking; let its appropriate wine be carefully considered; and let no delay occur in its flight through the butler's pantry to the dining-room. Its garnishing also should be studied, that it may flatter the eye as well as the palate; and, for the most part, with fea[368]thered game watercress or filets of lemon should lend their colour and their zest.

Game-birds should always be hung by the head, not for the purpose of sending the juices to the legs, as is fantastically supposed by some, but to allow the lower viscera and their contents an approach to the natural exit. Were they hung by the feet, the visceral machinery—softening more and more, as it always does—would of course press upwards to their bodies and probably taint them. A game-bird should never be drawn until that office is performed by the cook. Hares are usually hung by their hind legs, it is true; but hares, if hung for any time, are invariably "paunched," so that no lower viscera remain in them.

Fish, it has been pointed out, should never be covered up, or it will suffer fatally from the condensation of the steam. It may be noted that for an all-round sauce for broiled fish, none wears better than a maître-d'hôtel and, occasionally, its modification, a sauce au beurre noir.

A well-made bread-sauce, an accessory which we owe to England, always accords with quail and grouse, and is not amiss with prairie-chicken, even if they are already well moistened with the sauce of cooking them with pork and basting with bouillon. Francatelli's delicious sauce, Number 65, the recipe for which has been presented in a previous chapter, will need no recommendation as an adjunct for venison and mutton where it has once been enjoyed. Apple-sauce is indispensable with the domestic duck, and boiled onions should not be omitted by way of a vegetable accompaniment. Canard saignant is reprehensible,[369] and equally so is the overdone bird. A wildling should be fresh and sweet, and "passed through the kitchen" not "once," but thrice; the domestic fowl will, of course, be allowed more time on the range to plume himself for the table. The celery-fed bird (O avis jucundissima!) calls for no other sauce than his own, but with some species a stuffing of olives and an olive sauce are excellent additions. Then, if your bins of têtes de cuvée of the Vosne be not lacking, you may hear your whistler simply praying to be engulfed in Richebourg or Romanée.

The wild turkey, the "spruce-partridge," and the "cottontail" will prove more desirable subjects for the seasonings and provocative sauces of the French cookery books than their more princely companions. The wild turkey, notably, despite his splendid wattles and emerald plumage, it must be conceded cannot compare with the tamer fowl in edible qualities; and it were well, where a stately gobbler has been sent as the result of the prowess of a friend, to dispense at once with his drumsticks, which, owing to his roving habits and wide ranging, have become tougher than the ham-strings of a patriarchal sage-cock.

He should be treated as a somewhat plain-looking woman, who has passed the hey-day of her charms, pranks and accoutres herself for a ball, and the aid of art be summoned to amplify his good points and gloze over any of his deficiencies. His resonant voice of course will be stilled by the cooking, but his voluptuous breast will remain. Thus by neatly cutting across the lower part of the back and thighs, removing his shapely legs, and then inverting him, he will have[370] been formed into a boat-like receptacle for an artistic chestnut stuffing. One may then proceed to lard him; and, while roasting, baste him thoroughly, send him to the table with some oak-leaves en couronne, a currant-jelly sauce in a saucière, and, with the assistance of a perfumed and generous red wine, make the most of his seductive contours. All this may be contrary to the tenets of Savarin, who pronounces the wild turkey superior to the tame. But it must be remembered that he is speaking of a wild turkey that he had the good fortune to kill by his own hand while in Connecticut—a fact which, with the appetite engendered by his shooting-outings, will readily account for the preference he expresses for the wild form of this noble member of the Phasianidæ. At a certain season, however, when he has fattened on pecan-nuts, the flesh of the wild turkey is of excellent flavour; and to this circumstance Audubon's eulogy is probably due: "The ruffed grouse, in my humble opinion, far surpasses as an article of food every other land bird which we have in the United States, except the wild turkey when in good condition."

Furred game is more amenable to variety in preparation than feathered; and while marinéd venison and a civet of hare may be delicious, the fewer culinary frills on a grouse, woodcock, or snipe the better. A salmis, nevertheless, has its virtues; and as for the lord of the woodlands, when tired of him au naturel, if that be possible, he may be invested with a new glory as partridge aux choux, if one but follow the counsels of Baron Brisse, whose prescript is well worth transcribing and comes within the compass of all:


"Perdrix aux choux. All housewives do not succeed with perdrix aux choux. This is the way to set about it in order to be complimented. Pluck, draw, singe, truss, and tie up the partridges. Blanch some cabbages, cut in quarters from which the cores have been removed; put them to soak in fresh water, dry them and press out all the water. Blanch also a small piece of lean pork from the breast. Make a light roux in a large stewpan, put the cabbages in with the small pieces of pork, some uncooked sausages, some carrots, an onion piquéd with two cloves, a bouquet-garni, salt and pepper. Plunge the partridges in the centre of the cabbages, cover with broth and cook gently in a closed stewpan. When done, remove the birds, the pork and sausages, dry off the juice of the cooking, then drain the cabbages—that is, turn them in a stewpan, on a quick fire, until they are free from liquid. Untruss and dress the partridges on a platter, on a bed of cabbages, with the backs underneath, cut the pork and sausages in pieces, slice the carrots, and garnish with all. Partridge aux choux is accompanied with a sauce made from a roux moistened with broth and added to the juice of the cooking."[51]

The touch of the baron in everything relating to the all-important office of eating is invariably delicate and sure. Nevertheless, if one may venture to suggest an improvement, not in the mode of cooking, wherein he is impeccable, but in the shading of the plat, it would be to remove the birds after they have simmered sufficiently in the cabbage, glaze them with melted butter, and place them for an instant in the oven, with a very lively fire, in order to brighten their otherwise somewhat blanched complexion. Sauerkraut, instead of cabbage, is frequently employed by the French, but[372] with far less happy results. With care in its employment, the Brussels sprout, after it has felt the finger of the frost, might be used as a medium with no regrets unless on the score of a slight indigestion. Were one an ostrich, nothing could serve as a more delicious or colourful vehicle than the German roth-Kohl. Of sausages, the highly spiced little Wienerwurst is best adapted to the dish.

A game-pie composed of numerous spoils of field and cover—seasoned and stuffed with herbs, shallots, bay-leaf, mushrooms, truffles, chestnuts, sweetbreads, and various vegetables, and cooked in broth and red wine, with a fingerful of brandy and another or two of Madeira—is a triumph of the chef when well executed. But to indulge in this requires a vigorous digestion and toes impervious to arthriticism.

In its relation to wine, the maturity of game should be taken into consideration; as, for example, with dark-fleshed birds that are comparatively fresh, a fine Bordeaux; with those that are more matured, and particularly duck, the warmer and more generous red vintages of the Côte d'Or and the Côte du Rhône. For a well-hung prairie-chicken, a red wine will naturally be selected; for a "partridge" that inclines to freshness, either champagne or Bordeaux, Burgundy or a Deidesheimer Auslese may serve for a bath with equally good results. But game is too often undeservedly treated and served at the end of a dinner of numerous courses, when, whatever its merit or that of its accompanying wine, the palate and appetite are in scant mood to appreciate it.

With the advent of the autumnal equinox the calen[373]dar of seasonable sport begins. There is then an exhilaration in the air that irresistibly invites to out-of-door exercise and an exploration of the covers. Game is then matured, fleet of foot and strong of wing; and at no other period do upland and vale present such varied attractions. September is the true adagio of sport, October and November the allegro, and December the diminuendo. For pure sylvan beauty, no month may compare with October, when the torch of autumn kindles the woodlands into living flame, although the dreamy Indian summer possesses a charm that is matched only by May when she rolls away the resurrection-stone. Then when the purple landscape lies hushed in slumber, one may recall anew the forgotten ode of an unknown bard, in whose haunting cadences are subtly expressed all the rest and peace and rhythm, all the tone, the tenderness, and benediction, of the latter-year:

I. Nothing stirs the stillness save a leaf that slowly rustles down, Dim, through sunny mists the trees uplift their branches bare and brown; Winds are hushed, and skies are soft and grey, and grassy slopes are sere,— Calm and sweet and still, ah! sure is this the twilight of the year. II. There is this in these November days, the message that is sent— Peace undying, rest, and sweet and measureless content;[374] Life's wild fever over, sleep's soft mood enchanting, such as fills Golden dreams of gods immortal, sits enthroned upon these hills. III. Offered in day's golden chalice, sweet and dreamy peace is mine; All's forgotten, lying here and watching tides of glorious light divine Slowly sweep along the hills, and vaguely thrilling to their sway— All that love hath lost or wrong hath won, O calm and royal day! Days there are in late November and December, too, when the beauties of leafless vegetation are scarcely surpassed by the pomp of October or the glamour of the Red Man's summer; when tender tones of russet and grey bask over bare fields and fallows, and wanton amid mysterious woods; and strange, ripe hues, rich as those of old tapestries, smoulder and gleam the livelong day from the southern horizon's verge. There is a charm as well in the clear crispness of a winter's day, when the woods are cushioned with snow on which the sylvan denizens have left their imprint, and when one may penetrate into the swamp's most secluded labyrinths, where the hare and fox have gone before. But October and November for the delights of the chase and glories of the countryside! The gay medley of summer has passed, and in its place are the aster and goldenrod [375]hosts, the bright berries of bittersweet and black alder, the fragrant life-everlasting and lingering yarrow. Ceased is the drone of insect choirs, and birds are silent save for the chattering of congregating flocks and call-notes of passing migrants. But through the rustle of Autumn amid her falling leaves the quail cries aloud from the coppice, "I am here!" the squirrel barks, and far within the woodland's depths the drum of the grouse proclaims the reign of sport.


From the coloured engraving by Reeve, after the painting by R. B. Davis, 1836

What more appropriate at this most alluring moment, when everything incites to an outing, than a hunting-party in the woods?—especially as one remembers that both the fall woodcock and time are on the wing. To a shooting-jaunt, therefore, with a well-prepared luncheon in the hampers, the reader is invited; it being understood that this is to include, as nearly as possible, an equal number of both sexes. We will suppose a day in mid-October, after the frost has vivified the air, when the tints of vegetation vie with those of the noblest pressings of the vine, and the matured plumage of a game-bird in the cover far exceeds the liveliest gilding the chef may bestow upon him on the table.

Here, still more than at the dinner-table, success will depend largely upon careful forethought; for even should the birds be unusually wary, and there be not enough game in the pockets to weigh very heavy, the excursion will prove none the less enjoyable, provided the party and the lunch be well composed. And whether the goal be within driving distance, or accessible only by train, the details will have[376] been planned by one who is thoroughly conversant with the region to be visited, and the refection have been looked after by hands that never fail. Let the luncheon never be neglected. If the sportsman's efforts turn to good account, appetite is a certain sequence; if not, an appetising spread will help to bridge over any chagrin at lapses of marksmanship, or the drawing of sparsely populated covers. Thus, under the most divergent circumstances, a choicely filled hamper answers an admirable purpose. Granted that one may shoot better during the first hour after a meagre repast, yet should an outing possess other features than mere weight and numbers. For hath not wise Montaigne declared, "He who hath no jouissance but in enjoying; who shoots not but to hit the marke; who loves not hunting but for the prey; it belongs not to him to intermeddle with our schoole."

The start will necessarily follow a reasonably early breakfast; and ere arriving at the final destination of the morning, various covers may be explored by the devotees of the gun. And while the music of the barrels rings through the painted woods, and the russet bird of October tops the ranks of the aspens, there will be sufficient novelty in the situation and in the attractions of their own company, no doubt, to prevent any ennui on the part of those in waiting.

Meantime, while the bag of woodcock mounts, or an old cock grouse is neatly stopped in his rush through the thicket, the manifold beauties which the autumnal season weaves will naturally arrest one's attention; for he is callous indeed to all sense of beauty who even in the midst of exciting sport can[377] fail to note the harmonies of the October countryside. To the true nature-lover, the shooting will be more of an excuse than the principal reason for the excursion, of which the surroundings and the joys of social companionship should constitute the greater entertainment. And thus ere leaving the scene of the last hour's sport, one involuntarily pauses at the skirts of the wood for a final survey,—to mark the gorgeous ambers of the beech, the garnets of the shad-blow and splendours of the dogwood and liquidambar; to view the fires of the swamp-maple, the ochres of the sassafras and clarets of the oak; while, fringing the edges of the thicket, the bronzed fronds of the ostrich-fern and gilded pennants of the aspens flutter their farewell to the passing year. On every side the insignia of autumn blaze. Thorns hang heavy with their burden of ruddy fruit, the black-alder berries gleam crimson in the swamp, hickory and elm shower down their ore. And but for the patter of dropping nuts, the robin's angelus, and the lisping of migrants pluming for their southward flight, one might suppose the arrased woodland halls had never hearkened to the hermit's song or echoed to the veery's strain. In the air overhead the midges are holding their final dance; while from the lengthening shadows and plaintive autumn breeze comes a whispered admonition to seize the fleeting moment and make the most of the golden hour.

Nevertheless, however alive to the enchantments of nature, the tonical quality of the air will have asserted its sway, and the gunner's appetite have mounted apace with the bag. So, in that contented frame of[378] mind and body which out-of-door exercise imparts, one arrives at the scene of the luncheon, which has been happily chosen in a glade through which the slanting sunbeam strays. And here the arrivals will note with delight the presence not only of certain vitreous receptacles with gilded capsules that are cooling in the stream, but also that of St. Ange, who so distinguished himself on a previous occasion with his wonderful salmis of quail. With the first glass of the foaming essence of the Marne, which blends admirably with the lobster-cutlets and tartare sauce, even the most enthusiastic of sportsmen will experience no regret at the change from the covers of the upland to those of the table. The more so as, passing to a vintage of the Haut-Médoc with its accompaniment of eggs farcis, chicken-breasts with a chestnut stuffing, lettuce sandwiches with pâté de foie gras, and the final tartlets of puff-paste, the brightness of bright eyes increases, the merry tale goes round, and St. Ange arises to this gastronomic homily:

"The collation to which we have done such merited justice demonstrates that not only in the society of the fair sex may man enjoy a delightful hunting-jaunt, but that the care they are capable of bestowing upon the spread renders their companionship even yet more desirable. The best of all sauces is hunger engendered by exercise in the open air, and, equally, the best of digestives is pleasant company. But you have asked me to present my views of a fête champêtre. In the present instance, as I consider the excellence of the repast, and survey the ideal scene that surrounds us, where even the trees disburse a golden tribute, I have but to draw from the hour itself to find all the elements that are neces[379]sary for an ideal rural outing—congenial company, a faultless day, an unexceptionable lunch, and picturesque environment. As for the luncheon, its perfection consists in its piquancy and lightness. All heavy dishes should be scrupulously avoided. Taken at an unaccustomed time during the middle of the day, they are not only more or less indigestible and conducive to plethora, but they are inimical to the dinner which necessarily succeeds at a later hour, and which, however well prepared, must prove a failure without appetite. In planning the luncheon one should always see to it that some tart relishes, as well as sweets, accompany the more substantial portions; for the taste out-of-doors invariably craves one or the other, if not both. It is equally important that the wines be served at the right temperature,—

"'The Roederer chilly to a charm, As Juno's breath the claret warm,'— and that some one person be held strictly accountable for their condition. Where exercise is to be freely partaken of, beer or ale and some effervescent water should always form a part of the provision-box. At all seasons during which an outing may be taken with comfort, ice should be liberally provided. Its absence may spoil the day. If not wanted, its burden is light; and if required, nothing can take its place. Where women lend their attractions to the party, champagne of a fine vintage, neither too sweet nor too dry, should be allowed to flow freely. The advantage of this form of wine consists not only in the exhilarating sparkle and play of its mantling life, where the beads that airily rise are ever in pursuit of those that have merrily passed; but in the magnetism it possesses above all other wines—of tempting the fair sex to drink an extra glass. The location for the midday symposium, if well chosen, will add greatly to the enjoyment of the occa[380]sion. This should be free from draughts, by the side of a stream if possible, and offer an attractive view. These conditions fulfilled, nothing but pleasant remembrances can remain until the next villeggiatura.

"You have requested of me a new dish. And if you forget La Bruyère's sentence that 'all has been said, and we arrive too late by more than seven thousand years since man has lived and thought,' I may observe that cookery is older than literature, and that new dishes are as difficult to devise as new thoughts are to be born; it is only by new combinations in both that one may hope to achieve applause. Yet there is everything in a delicate touch in cooking, which is always more inherent than acquired, a connaissance of herbs and flavourings, and a natural love for the good things of the table, inspired by robust health and inheritance. With precisely the same components, no two artisans will produce the same results. There is an art even in the boiling of a potato, as there is in the blending of a salad, the gilding of a roast fowl, and a game-bird cooked à point.

"Baron Brisse, you will recollect, has contributed an invaluable recipe for a gigot rechauffé, whereby a leg of mutton may be made to do duty for two consecutive days. Here is the mode to prepare a gigot à la Richelieu which is not chronicled in the cook-books,—the allusion to the distinguished Cardinal referring both to its cardinal virtues and the colour of the sauce. It is unnecessary to state that this dish belongs to the dinner and not to the luncheon:

"Gigot de mouton à la Richelieu. In the leg of mutton you have chosen, which should be that of a Pré-Salé or a South Down wether two years old and properly hung—the four-year-olds are too fat and are apt to taste tallowy—you will make a dozen incisions, placing in each its tithe or twelfth part of a clove of garlic. The gigot will then be rubbed over with flour, salt, and a little cayenne. Then roast,[381] basting thoroughly, and serve somewhat underdone, with a tomato sauce composed as follows: Take half a can of tomatoes, add half a clove of garlic, a small piece of bay-leaf, two cloves, a sprig of parsley, a stick of celery, two small carrots, and a small piece of raw ham. Cook half an hour, pass through a sieve; take a tablespoonful each of flour and butter and make a roux in a separate stewpan; then add the tomato sauce, together with a little broth, salt and pepper, cooking until the proper consistency of the sauce is attained. On the sauce, to a great extent, depends the success of the dish, which, when well executed, is altogether too good to last for two consecutive days. I concede the merits of my deceased friend, the worthy baron; but try a gigot de mouton à la Richelieu! With this dish alone, including its vegetable accessories, and a salad, a bit of Rocquefort and a sound bottle of old Bordeaux, one may say with Joseph Délorme,—

"'Jouissons, jouissons de la douce journée, Et ne la troublons pas, cette heure fortunée.' (To the fullest enjoy the sweets of the day, And stay the bright hour ere it passeth away.) "I have now only to propose the health of the ladies who have so enhanced the pleasures of the occasion; and, finally, to remind the sportsmen who, with all their distractions, have admirably distinguished themselves prior to the luncheon, that sending game, which one may have secured at the expense of many a league of toil through field and covert-side, to certain friends is sometimes a waste of good-will:

"'It will soon be time for you to pull the trigger again,' observed one of two enthusiasts of the gun to a companion, as they were discussing the vinous virtues of the 1895 Clos-Lamarche, whilst the dun September evening rapidly shut out the twilight and proclaimed the advent of autumn once more.


"'Yes,' was the rejoinder; 'I intend to try the woodcock to-morrow. But I shall not repeat the experience I had last year on the same date, when, sending my bag of the long-bills to a convalescing patient who was a connoisseur in art but not in feræ naturæ, I received a most appreciative acknowledgment by return mail, thanking me for the "delicious quail" I had sent him.'"

But the cigars are finished, the golden afternoon is waning, and the chill of the autumnal evening will descend swiftly upon the scene. There remains time, ere the return, only for a brief drawing of a neighbouring cover of alders, where a flight of fall woodcock may be probing amid their secluded glooms. The birds prove plentiful, the pointers are staunch, and notwithstanding the somewhat prolonged repast, the aim of the sportsmen is true. A bevy of quail, which at the final moment rise wildly from the edge of the covert and twist down the hillside, must be left for another occasion, with but three of their number to swell the score. How darkly blue the contours of the distant hills, seen athwart a patch of flaming sumach and bramble! With what brilliancy the beams of the sinking sun irradiate the gold of the beeches and the spun silver of the gossamer! And how the bright eyes of those in waiting sparkle at the sight of the woodcocks, as the hampers are hastily repacked, and the orange crescent of the hunter's moon speeds the party onward through the paling twilight and a wan mist that is stealthily creeping over the landscape,—the grey ghost of the departed October day!


From the Salon picture after Paul Vayson


TWO ESCULENTS PAR EXCELLENCE "Avec les truffes, et avec quelques-uns de ces excellents champignons si admirablement analysés par M. Roques, vous refaites la cuisine; vous en avez une du moins qui ne vieillit jamais, même pour vous."—Marquis de Cussy: L'Art Culinaire.

The truffle! what a fragrance its very name exhales. A flower like the rose, but more enduring, say its admirers. This strange food product has been studied by botanists, sung by poets, extolled by epicures, and accorded certain rare attributes by physicians. Unseen, it is sought for by entire communities; and discovered, it is treasured as a priceless gem of the table. Savarin defined it as the diamond of the kitchen. By La Reynière it was previously referred to as a sample of Paradise, and later eulogised as possessing a torrent of delights; while by Dumas it was pronounced the sacrum sacrorum of the gas[384]tronomer. It may, in truth, be regarded as the superlative of esculents, its powerful and delectable aroma dominating that of all other aliments with which it may come in contact. To the cuisine of winter it is what the violet is to the chaplet of spring. The old Greeks and Romans were extremely partial to it, although the varieties known to them and mentioned by Pliny differed from the famous Tuber melanosporum of southern France—the blackest and, as regarded by many, the most perfumed and delicious of its curious and widely distributed family. About 1825, under Minister Villèle, it came into greatest vogue in Paris, when the subject was taken up by the press, and so much was written in praise of the tuber that the demand soon increased threefold, and its price became correspondingly augmented.

Like the mushroom, the truffle is impatient of keeping when gathered. Preserved truffles, as a rule, are but a semblance of the fresh product when eaten at its precise maturity; and those who know this thallogen only in the former state have little idea of its marvellous flavour when fresh and in full possession of its virtues, whether it be served by itself or utilised as a vehicle for heightening the flavours of other dishes. Its use demands the knowledge of an artist; for it is only with certain forms of aliments that it should be employed. The onion and the mushroom detract from its savour, and it is chiefly in conjunction with fatty substances that its most expressive results are attained. By French epicures it is tacitly understood that there can be no grand dinner without truffles. "Who would dare to say," exclaims Savarin, "that he has attended[385] a repast where a pièce truffée did not figure! However good an entrée may be, it should always be accompanied by truffles to set it off advantageously." Its harmonious association with grain-fed fowls is proverbial,—so much so, it has been remarked, that at a well-composed dinner every phrase which may have begun should be suspended upon the arrival of a truffled turkey. Berchoux thus alludes to its use with fowls,—

"L'abondance est unie à la délicatesse, La truffe a parfumé la poularde de Bresse." (The truffle yields its most adored caress When tuck'd within a tender fowl of Bresse.) At a dinner where the renowned naturalist Buffon was present, a truffled Périgueux turkey was brought in with great éclat. Inspired by the penetrating aroma, an elderly lady who was among the guests inquired of Buffon where the tuber grew. "At your feet, Madame," was the ready reply. The lady not understanding, it was thus explained to her: "C'est aux pieds des charmes" (at the feet of yoke-elm trees). The compliment passed as a happy one. Towards the end of the dinner some one asked the same question of Buffon, who, forgetful of his elderly vis-à-vis, innocently replied, "They grow aux pieds des vieux charmes" (old yoke-elm trees). The lady overheard him, and it is unnecessary to state was no longer impressed with his genius as a naturalist, or with the fact that a soup had been named in his honour by the great Carême.


Though common to many countries, and comprising numerous species, the truffle attains its greatest excellence in France, unless the white truffle of Italy, which is considered equally good by many, be excepted. Its chosen haunts are clayey soils mixed with sand and limestone, moist, shaded, and temperate localities, southerly and easterly expositions, protected slopes, and especially the umbrage of oaks, as also of aspens, black poplars, nut-trees, yoke-elms, willows, and white birches. Limestone or carbonate of lime is accounted as necessary to its formation, while the presence of iron imparts to it an added firmness and aroma. Despite persistent efforts, all attempts to cultivate it have proved fruitless. It is only of recent years that it has become known in part how it is propagated or how it grows. Among trees, the oak is its most favoured companion, its artificial production having been accomplished wholly through the cultivation of oaks and certain other trees in soils and expositions corresponding to its natural habitat.

By general consent Périgord is credited with producing the best truffles, the next in commercial repute being those obtained from Provence and Dauphiné; the finest of the former come from the canton of Sarlat, the best of Dauphiné from the cantons of Tain and Valence. Among authorities, Beauvilliers preferred the black product of Provence (T. melanosporum), of which there are two varieties, the so-termed violet and the grey; and Savarin the white species (T. magnatum), obtained preferably from Piedmont, where it occurs beneath poplars and oaks during summer. The whitish-brown truffle of Italy,[387] in its early stage, similar to the whitebait described by Thackeray, possesses an "ambrosial flavour," and is difficult to surpass, combining as it does all the most ethereal qualities of the Allium tribe with the dulcet pungency of Gorgonzola when in its freshest flower. A species exists which emits a powerful scent of musk, while numerous others occur with odours so rank as to be utterly unfit for edible purposes. Northern Spain produces excellent truffles, but these are comparatively short-lived. T. æstivum, called "summer truffle," indigenous to many countries, is extremely plentiful in southern France. It is common to England, where it grows most frequently under beech-trees. This exhales a strong and penetrating smell which has been compared to that of sheep-folds. The effluvium of garlic is always very marked in the white truffle of Italy, and by some it is said to recall the odour of garlic mixed with onion, high game, and matured cheese. After standing for a time, when its garlic flavour has become somewhat modified, it is also suggestive of the flavour of vegetable-oysters. Indeed, the truffle is as strange in its odours as it is in its manner of growth, and in certain respects it brings to mind some characteristics of that strangest of flowers, the orchid.

From November to March is the season when the prized dark tuber is most abundant, and during which its highest qualities are evolved. The black pearl of Provence and Périgord begins to take on its rich ebon hue in October, lasting until April: æstivum and its varieties being gathered during May and June in Provence, and from October to January in Burgundy[388] and Champagne. The species of greatest repute in southern France is found at variable depths, mostly beneath certain oaks known as chênes truffiers, or truffle-oaks. With it often occurs another species, T. brumale, which is likewise held in much esteem and figures as a large commercial factor. Among the inhabitants the truffle harvest forms an extensive industry; pigs, dogs, and professional hunters being utilised for the quest, and the crop always commanding high prices, which are fixed by the Paris market. When the supply happens to be short, many inferior species are substituted or are mixed with the genuine.

Of recent years artificial truffières have been largely planted in the favoured districts of southern France. To M. Rousseau, a proprietor of Vaucluse, has been erroneously ascribed the discovery of this means of production. Already during the middle of the eighteenth century M. de Montclar, procureur-général at Aix, discovered truffles as the result of sowing acorns on his lands; but, the truffles disappearing subsequently, no further attention was paid to the matter, and the relation between cause and effect passed unnoticed or was forgotten. Since then Poitou, Périgord, and Provence have each claimed to be the discoverer of artificial truffle culture. It is within a comparatively short period only that the merit of originating the system, now a source of great revenue, was adjudged, after painstaking investigation, to Joseph Talon, a small landholder of Vaucluse, who about eighty years ago sowed some acorns in an unremunerative piece of ground. Ten years afterwards,[389] while passing through the plantation with the pig he employed in hunting, he was not a little surprised to find truffles beneath the oaks; when, recollecting that he had obtained the acorns from a truffle-oak, he repeated the sowing on another plot, which in course of time proved equally successful. The theory was established beyond a doubt, and the result finally became generally known, despite his efforts to keep it secret.

Many unsuccessful attempts at artificial truffle-raising have been made. In 1830 Alexander Bernholz, a German, published a long treatise on the subject, his theory being that by planting truffles in soil composed of certain ingredients, and in localities and expositions corresponding to their natural habitat, they could be successfully grown. Count Noé, in the south of France, is said to have succeeded in raising truffles in his woods by irrigating the ground, after a certain degree of preparation, with water in which the skins of truffles had been rubbed. But this statement, as well as other reputed successful attempts at reproduction, would not seem to have been borne out in France, where the planting of young truffle-oaks, the acorns of truffle-oaks, or certain other truffle-producing trees alone has accomplished the desired result.

In artificial plantations the truffles form in from six to ten years, usually disappearing when the trees are twenty-five or thirty years old. Then, after a variable period of non-production, the tuber often forms again. As the truffle-tree develops, the vegetable growth which surrounds it begins to decline,[390] a certain index that truffles are commencing to form—the ground round a truffle-producing tree being always sterile. When the truffles cease the herbage again appears.

Though many unsatisfactory reasons have been ascribed for the phenomenon, it has been traced by M. Grimblot to the simple fact that the filaments of the mycelium invade and destroy the roots of herbaceous vegetation. Similarly, vegetation asserts itself when the cause is removed. With young trees the truffles are usually found close to the trunk, whereas with old trees they generally appear near the periphery of the circle formed by the outer roots, as well as at a distance further removed, but usually within the shade of the tree. To what extent the humus of the soil formed by the droppings of the leaves is responsible is not stated. In many respects the subject remains, as it has always remained, a complex phenomenon that baffles the naturalist, who is usually content to refer to the truffle as an "underground fungus," or "an order of sporidiiferous fungi of subterranean habit." Perhaps the definition of Dr. C. de Ferry de la Bellone, which may be summarised as follows, is as accurate as any: "A subterraneous mushroom with a mycelium or filamentous body, from which it is developed, like the mushroom, and which requires the roots of certain trees for its formation."[52] The theory that the truffle owes[391] its genesis to the roots of trees, or is in some mysterious manner connected with them, might be accepted as satisfactory were it not that species are also found in open places where the argument could not apply.

While the roots of most kinds of oaks, both deciduous and evergreen, appear to be favourable for its generation, it has been found that in a given region the best species to propagate are those which have already produced the tuber in the locality in question, certain varieties seeming to be more liable to reproduce it than others. Climate, altitude, and exposition are also to be considered as regards the choice of the kinds selected for plantations. The arboriculturist and mycologist will be interested in the various truffle-producing oaks that may be utilised, according to the site, soil, and climatic conditions. These embrace the following species and varieties: Quercus pedunculata, Q. ped. pubescens, Q. semi-ped., Q. sessiliflora nigra, Q. nigra sessil. glabra, Q. nigra sessil. pub., Q. sessil. pub., Q. sessil. laciniata, Q. sessil. magna pubes, Q. ilex, Q. coccifera. All kinds of nut-trees are likewise favourable to its production, and may be planted almost indiscriminately. The range of T. melanosporum is broadly defined as between latitude 49° north and 40° south; the question of quality depending, like that of many other esculents, largely on climate and habitat. As in the same vineyard certain portions yield a superior wine, so on particular slopes of localities that favour the truffle a product of finer quality is obtained.

Besides the usual means of locating the truffle, its presence is revealed by several species of coleopterous[392] and dipterous insects which, during late autumn and winter, on temperate days swarm in the truffle-woods, attracted by the scent. These insects seek the tuber in which to deposit their eggs, and are observed entering and leaving the ground—a circumstance which gave rise to the opinion that the truffle was only a gall. This form of truffle-hunting is practised chiefly by poachers, and is known as la chasse à la mouche.

The statement that the canned truffle is but a shade of its original will bear modifying in certain instances where only the best species have been utilised, after scrupulous selection, before they are wormy or overripe, and where they have been preserved by the "Appert process," au naturel, without oil, brandy, or vinegar, in hermetically sealed cans, and used before they have been thus preserved for a long period. Under these conditions the species melanosporum and magnatum retain no little of their pristine virtues, and may still glorify a sauce or dignify a Châteaubriand. To the skill of the cook the result will be principally due. Inasmuch as the truffles have already been subjected to several hours' ebullition, they should only be finely sliced and gently heated in order that their flavour may not be dissipated by the cooking. The dish they are to grace should be prepared first, and so soon as the truffles are ready it should be immediately served under cover. Perhaps as good a medium for utilising the preserved product is a steak with a bordelaise sauce in which garlic or shallots should figure very lightly. The comparative excellence of the preserved truffle will depend, of course, upon freshness and the probity and care of the merchant.


One may obtain all sorts of truffles with attractive labels, as one may obtain attractively labelled Château wines that may "leave everything to be desired."

At a dinner where a bon vivant was expected, the truffle figured in a novel manner.

"A friend who is very fond of good things is to be my guest over Sunday," said the host to the cook, who was an excellent practitioner in certain lines; "and I want you to use truffles plentifully some way."

"How shall I cook them, Mr. S? Mrs. S. isn't here."

"Oh, I don't know; anyway, I'm in a great hurry, and I'll leave it to you."

The soup was admirable, the lobster à la Newburgh perfect, and the entrée and pommes soufflées left nothing to be wished for. To the surprise of all, a large, heaping dish of truffles, charred, highly spiced, and finely minced and served as a vegetable, appeared with the roast.

The host remained imperturbable, a vestige of a frown clouded the usually placid face of madame, the butler poured the Chambertin, and the truffles were passed by.

"You are the most expensive guest I have had in a long time," remarked the host, with a smile, the following day. "I must think what we can have this evening for dinner; or, better, consult with madame. There is plenty of champagne in which to cook truffles, if the cook and the truffles were in evidence. I told her I wanted plenty of truffles for you, and the remaining eleven cans of the dozen in the larder were tendered you last night."


The truffle has formed the theme of numerous books and treatises. To the French gastronomer who may obtain the fresh product during a large portion of the year, the work of M. M. Moynier will unquestionably prove of the greatest value—a major portion being devoted to a scientific analysis of the various dishes, with their recipes, in which the esculent may properly figure. It is justly claimed by the author that wine is an indispensable accompaniment of this "astonishing production" or any dish in which it may enter; but that sweet champagne to which women are so partial masks rather than quickens its flavour.[53] The mycologist who simply wishes to know the species and habits of hypogæus fungi will no doubt prefer the monograph of Vittatini, Milan, 1831; that of M. Tulasne, Paris, 1852; and the instructive work of Dr. de Ferry already cited. Few more interesting fields for research offer themselves than that presented by the black pearl which is concealed beneath the soil—living its strange life beyond the ken of human eye, and revealing itself only through the agency of the animals employed by man to discover it, and of the insect tribes that hover above it in their dance of rivalry and love.

Savarin, above all writers, has considered the truffle philosophically in his comparatively brief reference; and although he failed to answer the question, "What[395] is the truffle, how is it produced, and how does it grow?" he has still appraised its virtues in his own inimitable way. That it is digestible has been amply proven before, and this point did not require his researches to substantiate. The only charges that history records against it are gluttony in eating it, and the fact that Lartius Licinius, a person of prætorian rank, while minister of justice at Carthage in Spain, upon biting a truffle found a denarius inside, which cost him the loss of a tooth—a proof to Pliny that it was nothing but an agglomeration of elementary earth. Of certain attributes it is supposed to possess, the sixth Meditation of the "Physiology," to which the reader is referred, will speak clearly for itself; and it will be sufficient to transcribe the conclusion of the learned chancellor's deductions:

"La truffe n'est point un aphrodisiaque positif; mais elle peut en certaines occasions rendre les femmes plus tendres et les hommes plus aimables."

Referring to Savarin's conclusion, Dr. de Ferry makes this statement, based on professional experience:

"Sur l'individu sain et bien portant, la truffe excite des fonctions spéciales.. .. La truffe peut ajouter seulement aux qualités de ceux qui possèdent; elle n'est plus d'aucun secours à ceux qui, n'ayant pas géré leur capital en bons pères de famille, ont consommé leur ruine."

Little attention has been paid to the question whether edible truffles equal to the best European species[396] exist within the broad area of the United States, whence so many useful and delicious food products and flavourings have sprung. M. Moynier states that he has tasted most excellent truffles from Brazil; and that a grey species of merit, round in form, is found on the right bank of the Mississippi—a somewhat vague statement, in view of the length of that river. The only species that Saccardo's "Sylloge" credits to this country is T. macrosporum, said to have been found in Pennsylvania. Some years ago Mr. W. R. Gerard reported having discovered T. dryophilum on Staten Island. Rhizopogon rubescens, a puff-ball, grows underground in the Southern States, and is sometimes mistaken for the truffle; also certain species of Scleroderma, or puff-balls which are partially underground. There are besides some of the false truffles of the genus Elaphomyus in the Eastern States. It will thus be seen that the subterranean fungi belong to three distinct orders. Dr. H. W. Harkness, in 1899, issued in the California Academy of Science Proceedings an illustrated article on the Hypogæus Fungi of California, wherein he describes thirteen species, of which seven are new and all of which he pronounces edible, though few, if any, of them are found in abundance or are worth considering from a practical standpoint.


Facsimile of frontispiece, 1822

From this it may be inferred that if these fungi could be diligently sought for in other States by those who have carefully studied the haunts and habitat of the tuber abroad, many desirable species might be found to belong to our country. Dr. Harkness does not mention T. melanosporum among Califor[397]nian species. At present we do not know whether this or T. magnatum, or some form possessing equally adorable qualities, occurs in our country at all; but they and others, it is possible, may yet be unearthed to disclose to the epicure a true "sample of Paradise." To do this, trained truffle-pigs and-dogs must be brought into requisition; and should the search then be unrewarded, the truffle-oak must needs be imported and planted under conditions corresponding to those of its native habitat. Let America add the truffle to her already rich alimentary resources, by all means, even if she must remain content with the wines of France as supplied from oversea.

If the truffle may be described as an occult vegetable substance with no stem, cap, or visible mycelium, in great repute with epicures, and most generally found firmly embedded beneath the surface of pâté de foie gras,—the mushroom, common to nearly all latitudes, grows in visible profusion, and may be readily obtained for the seeking. Some knowledge of genera and species, nevertheless, becomes necessary if one would avail himself of this nutritious esculent. One must know what to avoid as well as what to choose; for often highly dangerous sorts are very nearly allied to the harmless.

Of recent years the study of fungi has received considerable attention, and the mushroom has become much better known with us than formerly. Compared with European countries, however, the average person still knows little concerning its edible varieties. Few are unacquainted with the most prevalent form,[398] Agaricus campestris, whose shining white pileus dots the meadows, pastures, and roadsides. But whether familiar or unknown out of doors, no introduction to it will be required at table. Its very mention makes one's mouth water, and evokes a longing for the cool shadows of fall and the restful minor of the crickets' choir.

To appreciate it thoroughly, one should gather it himself, or, rather, in congenial companionship. And as its form is typical of femininity in its rounded contours, its white satiny gown and rose-silk petticoat, to say nothing of its dainty veil and frill, it is eminently proper that madame or mademoiselle, as the case may be, should join in the quest. On a bland September day, therefore, let the lanes and pastures remote from the highway be explored in company when the first ripening sprays of the sugar-maple are commencing to brighten and the clusters of the everlasting are beginning to unfold. Then will the delights of the chase prove doubly enjoyable; and with the common agaric as the object of pursuit there will equally be little danger from mistaken varieties. At most, the harmless horse-mushroom may obtrude, to be plucked and cast aside.

But the mushroom is far from being confined to the pastures and fields, or its duration limited to a few weeks of autumn; and despite the excellent general dietetic advice of the fourth satire of the second book, Horace's dictum should not be taken too seriously,—

"Best flavoured mushrooms meadow-land supplies, In other kinds a dangerous poison lies." [399]

By many A. Rodmani, the small compact species common to cities and found growing along the sidewalks and curb, is preferred to campestris. Less rich, it still possesses a full, nutty fragrance and flavour, and is more digestible. Even more distinguished is another agaric, Lepiota procura, or the tall parasol-mushroom—one of the most delicious of all edible fungi. Many valuable species throng the woods and shady places during a large portion of the genial season, to push through the mould or clothe the stumps and decaying logs—in most instances ungathered or unseen. And though Claudius, Tiberius, Pope Clement VII, Charles V of France, Czar Alexis of Russia, and many other celebrated personages met their death from eating deleterious mushrooms, and every year scores of families are poisoned through them, the esculent continues to occupy a highly exalted place among aliments. Ignorance and carelessness are almost entirely responsible for disastrous results, owing to its use as food, although ill effects naturally occur through over-indulgence in eating perfectly harmless varieties, or where these may have passed the edible stage. Extremely rich in nitrogenous elements as well as in sapid properties, mushrooms should be sparingly partaken of. Sliced and placed on hot toast which has been moistened with broth and the juices of the cooking, one may often obtain all the flavour of the mushroom by its employment in moderate quantities, and thus over-ingestion will be avoided.

The study of fungi has always proved a fascinating one for the botanist. With the aid of nearly any of numerous monographs in which the various genera[400] are described, as also faithfully reproduced in colours, the student and nature-lover may easily familiarize himself with at least the more important species. In his search for practical information he will be led through many a smiling scene removed from the haunts of man; while his chief precaution in his pursuit out of doors need only be to avoid the Taurus and the deadly Amanita. The trained mycologist, however, will readily distinguish between the beautiful toxic Fly-Amanita and the inviting edible orange variety, which, having graced the table of a Roman emperor, received the name "Cæsar's mushroom," whence its botanical appellation. This is the "Oronge" of the French and "Kaiserling" of the Germans, more prized, perhaps, than the Morel, the white Helvella, or the handsome Chanterelle. Its odour is said to resemble a combination of vanilla and truffles. The variety rubescens is also regarded as one of the best of edible mushrooms. Of all fungi the Amanitas are most to be feared; and while numerous other kinds possess unwholesome and forbidden properties, the dangerously poisonous belong principally to this single genus. To them Gerard's definitions, "excressences," "Toadstooles," "very venomous and full of poison," may well apply.

By the seventeenth-century poet William Browne, bard of "Britannia's Pastorals" and "The Shepherd's Pipe," the mushroom is thus alluded to:

"Down in a valley by a forest's side, Near where the crystal Thames rolls on her waves, I saw a mushroom stand in haughty pride As if the lilies grew to be his slaves." [401]

Then, after praising the daisy, violet, and other flowers whose beauty was overpowered by the fungus, he thus concludes a much-admired sonnet:

"These, with a many more, methought complained That Nature should those needless things produce, Which not alone the sun from others gained, But turn it wholly to their proper use. I could not choose but grieve that Nature made So glorious flowers to live in such a shade." Where noisome toadstools crowd out violets and daisies, it may be right for poets to protest. As it is, we have little in the description to guide us to the species, whether it was a desirable or an undesirable kind. There is no allusion as to its toxic properties, nor yet to its colour; and its seeming size—if the simile of the lilies be considered—may only be a license which poets are allowed. But the bard of Tavistock, whose "oaten melodye" still rings sweet and clear, has written too lovingly of trees to suppose he could perceive no use or beauty in a striking vegetable growth; and therefore the particular form he refers to would appear to have been a noxious one.

Surely, it was not the lovely mauve-coloured Cortinarius, that seeks the "forest's shade"; the expanded pea-green cope of the sweet and nutty Russula; or the glowing orange hood of the dulcet Lactarius that incurred his disapproval! Nor can one conceive it to have been the tall-stemmed, fluted-capped Coprinus, or the stylish parasolled Lepiota, which stands as upright as the stilted Bartramian sandpiper, and that is held in equal esteem by the epicure. Rather let us[402] suppose it was the great poison Amanita, which has slain its thousands, and whose brilliant reds and salmons and yellows, and white scales borne aloft on their hollow pedestal, cry aloud from every gill, "Beware!" Or if it was not this or the equally deadly A. phalloides on which his graceful sonnet was based, it must have been the Lycoperdon which cast its shade upon the violets—the giant puff-ball that the poet did not recognise as a valuable food product when neatly sliced and fried, and that it is still the rule to kick out of one's way.

In like manner, one is curious to know what was the enormous fungus or mushroom Thoreau describes as meeting on one of his rambles, and which, in turn, incurs his malediction,—the huge thallogen he found and plucked high up on the open side of a dry hill, in the midst of and rising above the thin June grass, its sharply conical parasol in the form of a sugarloaf slightly turned up at the edges, which were rent half an inch for every inch or two. The whole length, he states, was sixteen inches, the cap being six inches long by seven wide, the stem about one inch in diameter and naked, the top of the cap pure white within and without. He marvels how its soft cone ever broke through the earth. It represents to him a vegetable force which may almost make man tremble for his dominion. It carries him back to the era of the formation of the coal measures, the age of the Saurus and the Pliosaurus, when bull-frogs were as big as bulls. What part has it to perform in the economy of the world? It brought before him pictures of parasols of Chinese mandarins; or it might have been[403] used by the great fossil bull-frog in his walks. Returning home with it, he placed it in the cellar to note its decay. Like the mighty, it fell. By night there remained not more than two of the six inches of the height of the cap, and it went on rapidly melting from the edges upward, spreading as it dissolved till it was shaped like a dish-cover and the barrel head beneath it and its own stem looked as if a large bottle of ink had been broken there. It defiled all it touched. Is it not a giant mildew or mould? he inquires. The offspring of a night, it was wasted in a day. One thinks of Coprinus comatus—a colossal specimen of the "shaggy mane"; and doubtless this was the species encountered by the Walden sage, rearing its silver shaft through the thin June grass in his early morning tramp to Pinxter Spring.

Who has not seen and wondered at the Fairy-ring, dotting the lawns or pastures, with its eccentric habit of growing in circles or arcs of circles, and shrinking and expanding under the influence of drought and moisture? Yet how few are acquainted with its admirable qualities! But even here one must distinguish between the false and the true, and not mistake it for two of its genus, the poison buff-coloured Champignon and poison Fairy-ring, which it resembles and with which it is sometimes found associated. In like manner, the rufous hues of several edible Russulas must not be confounded with the engaging crimsons of the alveolate Boletus, or the brilliant shades of the unwholesome R. emetica, one of the most tempting of fungi to the eye. Its glowing satiny scarlet cap, set off by its white stem and gills, forms a dash of col[404]ouration on the woodland carpet that immediately challenges admiration. With various others of the alluring but dangerous fungi, it suggests some luscious tropic fruit, the flame of tulips, or the flush of Ghent azaleas. What a revel of reds, what greens and golds, what soft violets and greys, what rich russets and maroons are not unfolded by these strange fungoid flowers! The beefsteak-mushroom (Fistulina hepatica) is familiar to many as it reveals its red velvety layers or shelves on the dead trunks of oaks and chestnuts in the midsummer woods. But despite its appetising name, it has a somewhat acid flavour and leathery taste, and cannot be said to possess very palatable qualities, conditions also shared by the common Agaricus ostreatus, or oyster-mushroom.

While the canned French button-mushroom of commerce is not to be compared with the same species in its freshly gathered stage, it is nevertheless useful as a garnish, and possesses a certain flavour. Far different is the large French cèpe, one of the most delicious of esculents, corresponding to the German "Steinpilz" and our own edible Boletus, which is much less known than it deserves to be. Of the French Boletus there are two principal varieties—the cèpe franc à la tête noir or charbonnier, common to oak woods, and the tête rousse or brune, common to chestnut woods. The former is much more esteemed, and is most abundant in the southern departments. These, like the truffle in the preserved state, should be as fresh as possible, and those of the previous autumn gathering, put up au naturel in large cans, be selected in preference. Boletus edulis, though not over-plentiful[405] with us, may be found during warm, damp weather from July to September in woods and their margins, and sometimes in open places. Prepared à la bordelaise, it is a most delicious and nutritious dish, a form of preparation that may be utilised to advantage with many other firm-fleshed species. Dumas' favourite mode of preparing them was after Vuillemot's recipe; and for those who are not fond of oil, which the bordelaise and provençale manner calls for, this will doubtless prove more acceptable:

"Cut and chop the stems, adding minced parsley, breadcrumbs, shallots, fresh butter, and a clove of chopped garlic; make a pâté of it all, season with salt, pepper, and a little allspice, garnish the bottom of the cèpes, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top, brown in a hot oven, and serve."

Here again, as Baron Brisse would say, "the trouble is trifling and the succulence extreme."

The United States has a number of edible Boleti, some distinctive and some identical with the best French species. Unfortunately, the genus contains several deleterious sorts, and these frequently are not readily distinguishable from description alone. Several of the Boleti have long been considered as among the most dangerous of the toadstool or mushroom tribe; but recent investigations tend to show that the majority are at least harmless, while many are most desirable.

Of Morels and puff-balls none is said to be poisonous. The puff-ball, however, is unfit for eating, if not absolutely poisonous, after the formation and ripening of its spores; and in gathering puff-balls[406] great care should be taken not to mistake for them several of the poison Amanitas in their younger stage, these being similarly enveloped in a spherical sack or volva. Most mushrooms, apart from the Amanitas, are now regarded as not deadly poisonous. Indeed, McIlvaine declares that R. emetica, which he and others repeatedly partook of in liberal quantities while in the Carolinas, proved to be perfectly harmless. The viscid, glutinous types, all the so-called trembling toadstools, together with such as are unpleasant to the sense of smell, will of course be shunned, while those not well acquainted with fungi will also view with distrust the various beautiful and gorgeous species which haunt the shade.

No reliance may be placed in the "test" of the silver spoon. The novice should first of all familiarise himself with the more common species through some of the less technical treatises, or take a practical lesson from a specialist out of doors. The manner of distinguishing doubtful varieties adopted by mycologists may also be utilised by the amateur: first be guided by the shape and smell, being careful to avoid all cup-shaped kinds, or those whose juices change colour on cutting; then taste sparingly without swallowing, when, if not acrid, burning, or disagreeable, a little of the juice may be swallowed the following day, increasing the amount day by day, if no feelings of nausea occur, until the wholesomeness of the species is demonstrated. By discarding all kinds with cups or suggestion of cups, the Amanitas will be avoided. "Any mushroom, omitting the Amanita, which is pleasant to the taste and otherwise agreeable as to odour and[407] texture when raw, is probably harmless," says Gibson, "and may safely be thus ventured on with a view of establishing its edibility." Still, it is always well, even by the initiated, to remember the apothegm of Gavarni, "Mushrooms are like men—the bad most closely counterfeit the good."

Of the scores of treatises devoted to the subject may be specially instanced W. Hamilton Gibson's artistic volume,[54] the finely illustrated "Report of the New York State Botanist,"[55] Professor Atkinson's illustrated "Studies of American Fungi,"[56] and, finally, Captain McIlvaine's elaborate and exhaustive monograph.[57]

Recipes for the cookery of mushrooms are abundant in the cook-books and treatises on fungi; and, like the cook-books themselves, these vary from good to[408] bad and indifferent. Some general rules regarding their proper preparation are well and briefly laid down by the Marquis de Cussy in his "Art Culinaire":

"This kind has a thick and firm texture—you will see that it is cooked long. This other has a fine and tender flesh—you will cook it gently in a hermetically sealed receptacle in order that its light particles, full of life and dainty fragrance, are not dissipated. If your mushrooms contain a fixed and resinous matter, sprinkle them with a dry wine to dissolve this sapid principle. With these plants you may make intoxicating mixtures, unique infusions. Turn to Carême, he will guide you and tell you what wine belongs to such and such kinds—whether Pomard with its fresh taste, or Saint-Georges; whether the delicate and sparkling Aï, or the stomachic Haut-Brion. Read also the witty and elegant pages of M. Joseph Roques."

The group of fungi known as mushrooms and toadstools constitutes a valuable accessory, both in themselves and in their properties of accentuating the flavour of other foods; and to those who are capable of distinguishing their many delicious species they may form, through a considerable portion of the year, a marked addition to the variety and pleasures of the table.


From an engraving after A. Couquet, R.A.


SALLETS AND SALADS "First then to speak of Sallets, there be some simple, some compounded, some only to furnish out the table, and some both for use and adornation."—Gervaise Markham: The English Housewife.

To remember a successful salad is generally to remember a successful dinner; at all events, the perfect dinner necessarily includes the perfect salad. The mere process of salad-making is among the most simple of all those that appertain to the table: a little oil, a little vinegar, of salt and pepper each a little, the onion and the mixing, with such other herbs and condiments as the artist may elect. And yet an unexceptionable salad is as rare in the average household as a piece of old Gubbio, or a fine old Ghiordes prayer-rug. Seldom, indeed, is this refreshing dish met with as one usually finds it in France—crisp, tender, and appetising, with none of its ingredients perceptibly[410] dominant in the liaison which, first pleasingly addressing the taste, is afterwards destined to soothe and tranquillise digestion. The reason is not difficult to analyse; the happy touch which is necessary in salads and sauces being largely a matter of individual address and a growth of advanced gastronomy. For in the preparing of salads no formula that is absolute may be given, success depending upon practice, a correct taste, and minute attention to detail. Here, as in everything else that is faultless, care and experience are factors requisite to attainment. But though an infallible recipe may not be laid down, certain broad lines may be specified, the observance of which, with application, will render a good salad possible even to the neophyte.

At every season of the year some of the innumerable products of the vegetable world present themselves to be converted with the aid of the caster from the crude into the finished form; and more is the pity that the artists are not as numerous as the esculents. From the first tributes of the hot-bed—the lettuces, radishes, and garden-cress of early spring, and the cos, lettuces, and water-cresses of summer to the endives of autumn and corn-salad and chicory of winter, one has an abundance of material to choose from in what may be broadly designated the lettuce tribe, alone. When to these are added other esculents like celery, the tomato, cucumber, potato, beets, carrots, beans, celery-root, celery-turnip, etc., together with the manifold herbs and bulbous plants that may be utilised in connection with them, surely the roast should never be lacking in this its most harmonious[411] appoggiatura, or the supper-table fail in one of its greatest attractions.

The salad imparts a zest to the dinner that were otherwise unattainable. What were those most delectable of game-birds that reward the sportsman's skill—the snipe and the partridge—without it? It was rightly held by Evelyn that sallets are an essential part of the daily food of man, and that no dinner is complete without one; although those who are not confirmed devotees of the salad-bowl might possibly prove sceptical as to two forms which he specifies in "Sylva,"—"I am told that those small young Acorns which we find in the Stock-doves Craws are a delicious fare, as well as those incomparable Salads of young herbs taken out of the maws of Partridge at a certain season of the year, which gives them a preparation far exceeding all the art of Cookery."

Of the virtues of lettuce, at any rate, there can be no doubt, Parkinson having declared that "Lettices all cool a hot and fainting stomache," and Gerarde averring that "Lettuce cooleth the heate of the stomache, called the heart-burning, and helpeth it when it is troubled with choller." And if these assertions be not sufficient, we have Savarin's assurance that "salad refreshes without weakening, and comforts without irritating"; not to mention the dictum of his illustrious predecessor La Reynière, that "the inseparable partner of the roast may reappear at each meal without ever wearying." In 1758 a German work by J. F. Schutze was published in Leipzig with the title, "Treatise on the Advantages and Disadvantages of Salads." It is difficult to imagine how a German[412] could find aught but delight in this form of food, unless the native black radish was alluded to, or possibly the cucumber when improperly served. Rather let us at once accept the unqualified encomium of Jack Cade while in Iden's Kentish garden,—"I think this word 'sallet' was born to do me good." By the majority, the name of Sydney Smith is held to be almost synonymous with that of salad; and even though his recipe be widely familiar, it may not be overlooked in considering the literature of gastronomy:

"Our forte in the culinary line" [says the witty prelate] "is our salads; I pique myself on our salads. Saba always dresses them after my recipe. I have put it into verse. Taste it, and if you like it I will give it you. I was not aware how much it had contributed to my reputation till I met Lady—— at Bowood, who begged to be introduced to me, saying she had so long wished to know me. I was of course highly flattered till she added, 'For, Mr. Smith, I have heard so much of your recipe for salads, that I was most anxious to obtain it from you.' Such and so various are the sources of fame.

"To make this condiment your poet begs The pounded yellow of two hard-boil'd eggs; Two boiled potatoes, pass'd through kitchen sieve, Smoothness and softness to the salad give. Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl, And, scarce suspected, animate the whole. Of mordant mustard add a single spoon, Distrust the condiment that bites so soon; But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault To add a double quantity of salt. Four times the spoon with oil from Lucca crown, And twice with vinegar procured from town;[413] And, lastly, o'er the flavour'd compound toss A magic soupçon of anchovy sauce. Oh, green and glorious! Oh, herbaceous treat! 'Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat; Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul, And plunge his fingers in the salad bowl. Serenely full, the epicure would say, 'Fate cannot harm me, I have dined to-day.'" This is the original and more familiar "A Recipe for Salad," as given by the author's daughter, Lady Holland, in her "Memoir"—a recipe that was subsequently placed by the gifted divine in somewhat altered form, slightly abridged, and the quantity of the ingredients in one or two instances slightly changed. In the variant it will be seen that the portions of potato and anchovy were increased and the relative quantities of oil and vinegar were amended.[58]

It is a question whether this celebrated recipe, so enthusiastically expressed and so tempting to the uninitiated who would naturally be led astray by the climax of the ode, has done more harm or more good[414] in the important interests of salad-making—whether the evil inculcated in the prescription as a whole has not overbalanced the good results of extolling the virtues of salad itself. The niceties of salad-making are so subtle—so little may make or mar—it were unwise to prescribe either eggs or potato to the inexperienced. The anchovy sauce must, perforce, be banished as fatal; while mashed potatoes should always be used with discretion. In corn-salad a little potato assuredly adds to the unctuousness; and where lettuce is inclined to be tough or stringy, it may be advantageously employed. It is likewise eminently useful where the vinegar may have been dealt out too liberally. But with tender, brittle, well-blanched cos or endive, who would think of utilising either egg or potato! And how may mustard be appropriately blended with chicory, water-cresses, or radishes, so rich themselves in pungency? In the employment of condiments one should ever well consider the special greenmeat to be treated, or what Montaigne has termed "the differences of Sallets according to their seasons." Cayenne, tabasco, and garlic are yet more dangerous in unpractised hands, and may readily, like the brass of an orchestra run riot, drown with their dissonance the arpeggio passages and more dulcet notes of the other instruments.

All things considered, the counsels to the little boys and girls in the olden French reader, "Rôti-Cochon," such as "the ham of the pig, well minced, is good to eat, but not without drinking," and "fresh eggs and salt herrings are good for Lent and other days either fat or meagre, according to one's appetite and the state[415] of the market," are perchance safer gastronomic guides than the recipe of the worthy English prebendary. For in any formula bearing upon the fashioning of salads for the benefit of the many, it is better to hold strictly to oil, vinegar, pepper, salt, and onion, and thus create no confusion in the mind of the tyro, who should proceed by degrees until he becomes proficient in the art,—

"And thus, complete in figure and in kind, Obtains at length the salad he designed." But Sydney Smith has contributed such a host of good things, that any slight divergence from orthodoxy in his salad may be freely forgiven. Infinitely more baneful than anchovy sauce is the bottled "salad-dressing" of commerce, in whatever guise it may appear—that milky, mysterious compound which is set upon certain restaurant and hotel tables, and through the cajoleries of the merchant-grocer or blandishments of the advertiser often even invades otherwise respectable households. As for the abominations that so frequently masquerade as "pure olive-oil," and boldly flaunt themselves as "wine vinegar" in many hostelries, they are too dreadful to consider; and one's only recourse is to order them off, with the catsup, pepper-sauce, sour pickles, and other "incongruities of good cheer," and subsist in imagination on the salads that have been.

If oil has been termed the soul of a salad, it is no less true that vinegar is its vivendi causâ. There should be no trouble in procuring excellent virgin olive-oil,[416] French or Italian, at a moderate price. It should be bright and limpid, and possess a delicate, not a strong flavour of the olive from the first gentle pressing of the slightly underripe fruit. The juice expressed by heavy crushing of overripe fruit is to be avoided, being dark in colour and possessed of a strong taste. No other product, however refined or clarified, or however vaunted in the interests of trade, can take the place of olive-oil. For those who are indifferent to quality, cottonseed oil, as well as the juices of countless other seeds, will continue to be supplied or used as adulterants in connection with olive-oil. Good oil, like good wine, is a gift from the gods. The grape and the olive are among the priceless benefactions of the soil, and were destined, each in its way, to promote the welfare of man.

It is even more rare to find good vinegar than good oil or wine on the average hotel, restaurant, or household table. Pure cider or sound wine vinegar should alone be employed, and this is best obtained by making it one's self and not trusting to the labels and brands of commerce. The best wine vinegar is that made from red Bordeaux or red or white Burgundy; the best cider vinegar being the product of fine, selected apples like the Russet or Northern Spy, with absolute cleanliness in manufacture. The liquid should draw clear and be possessed of a fresh vinous fragrance; and no other material should be mixed with it than what is necessary of the same kind for replenishing the barrel. Where vinegar is excessively sharp, it may be corrected, when using, by the addition of a little Bordeaux wine. Lemon juice is an excellent substitute[417] for vinegar where this may be lacking in quality; and by some is preferred in the dressing of delicate salads like cos and lettuce. The use of tarragon vinegar is extremely unadvisable in company dinners. To many it is very disagreeable; and even to those who might not be averse to it occasionally, its frequent abuse causes them to anathematise instead of bless the architect of the salad.

As regards pepper, the adulterated powdered article is far superior to the genuine Piper nigrum; the white pepper being the same condiment freed from its outer husk by maceration in water and subsequent rubbing. The genuine black peppercorn is much too spicy and high-flavoured to enter largely as a salad component; and where it is laboriously ground out from a mill at table, as is often the case,—the host preoccupied with the task where he should be considering the sequence and temperature of his wines,—it is always coarse; while its pronounced resemblance to allspice mars the delicacy which is the charm of a salad. Moreover, the energy which should be expended upon the mixing, where the nature of the salad renders it advisable to be made just before serving, is largely spent upon the exacting process of turning the box-wood mill.[59]

"The difference between a perfect salad and one that has failed is immense," says the observant Baron Brisse. It must be remembered that in salad-making many forms of the crude material may not[418] be prepared to advantage immediately before serving. Among such may be included corn-salad, dandelion, curled endive, cabbage, and all species of lettuce, endive, or chicory that may be in the least coriaceous. These require to be prepared a considerable period before using and to be thoroughly mixed, even to pressing them with the fork and spoon, in order that the dressing may be partly absorbed by the leaves to render them tender. The same rule will apply to all species in which the bitter element is pronounced. Thorough mixing should never be neglected. The bowl should be ample, the material dry and freshly plucked, and the onion, chives, parsley, celery, or whatever herbs are employed should not be chopped until just before they are required. Above all, a salad, like white wine, should be served cold.

The too frequent latter-day custom of creating a separate course of salad and cheese, in order to prolong the number of courses, is incongruous. The salad belongs to the roast, and it should not be called upon to perform the service of a separate bridge between this and the sweets. The mission of the salad is to correct the too liberal ingestion of rich and fatty substances, to prepare for the dessert, to stimulate and divert the taste, and to promote stomachic harmony at a time when the appetite has begun to flag and the palate is impatient of a long delay between the roast and the demi-tasse.

It is next to impossible, as has already been remarked, to give absolute directions for the compounding of a salad, so far as the precise amount of each component is concerned, some exacting more oil and[419] salt, some more vinegar and pepper than others—the acidity of vinegar withal being an extremely variable quantity. Some are enhanced by mustard or red pepper, and with some the pounded yellow of the egg and mashed potato are improvements. The place of the salad, too, requires to be considered—whether it is to be an accompaniment of the roast or is designed as something more substantial for the luncheon or supper-table. In the latter case a macédoine of freshly cooked vegetables composed of beets, potatoes, turnips, carrots, parsnips, Lima beans, cauliflower, celery-turnip, etc., might be excellent, whereas it would hardly prove appropriate with roast game at the dinner. After all,—to revert to formulas,—the best recipe for a salad, perhaps, is the oft-quoted Spanish proverb which calls for a quartet to compose it—a spendthrift for oil, a miser for vinegar, a counsellor for salt, and a madman for mixing.

An excellent addition to nearly any form of salad is chopped onion, parsley, and celery. Some onion, however small a quantity, is invariably required, unless chives be used instead, or the bowl be rubbed with garlic, or bread rubbed with garlic be stirred in, for those who may prefer. Of the several modes of mixing salads, each of which is extolled by different authorities, some may be better than others, but all are good, as a philosopher has observed with respect to the merits of whiskey. And of these different methods, again a distinction needs to be made according to the material. Once more it may be said, plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, and that alone through practice and intelligent study of the perspec[420]tive of blending may the art of salad-making be mastered.

As simple and as good a so-termed French dressing as any for general use is to add to the minced onion the requisite quantity of salt, letting this stand for five or ten minutes; then, after adding to this the proper quantity of oil, vinegar, and pepper, stir thoroughly and pour over the salad. If English mustard is required, this should be previously incorporated with the oil. The result still depends upon the fine adjustment of the ingredients, the mixing, and the quality and character of the material.

Another method is to mix the salt and mustard, where mustard may be employed, with the oil, incorporating them by degrees, then adding the vinegar; pepper the salad material separately, and lastly pour on and mix in the dressing thoroughly. Separate peppering of the leaves, however, possesses no advantage; on the contrary, it is more trying to the eyes, and the pepper is much less evenly distributed.

A third method consists in placing the necessary salt and pepper in the salad-spoon, then pouring the vinegar into the spoon and stirring with the fork until the salt and pepper become well amalgamated with the vinegar. This is subsequently to be well mixed with the salad material, on which chopped onion and herbs have been placed, vigorously agitated, and afterwards, when the oil has been added, mixed a second time. By the jewelled white fingers of a pretty and well-gowned hostess who has a knack at salad-making this formula may be executed at table with highly artistic results.


There is finally the plan adopted by Chaptal, which consists in saturating and mixing the salad material with oil, seasoned with pepper and salt, before employing the vinegar. By this treatment the salad can never become too acid, for should the vinegar happen to be excessive, it slips over the oil to the bottom of the bowl. This means, while advantageous for tender cos or lettuce, is not so desirable for any material that may have a tendency to toughness, as the vinegar may not as readily penetrate and soften the leaves. Good oil, vinegar, and pepper and careful incorporating of the ingredients, with a judicious use of herbs, and the tact born of experience, count for everything in the preparation of salads.

Mayonnaise dressing of course belongs to certain greenmeat salads, as well as the so-called French dressing—the most easily prepared and wholesome of all. The mayonnaise is especially favoured by femininity, and the French dressing by the sterner sex; though for meat salads, as a general rule, the mayonnaise, mayonnaise à la ravigotte, or sauce provençale is prescriptive.

Growing salad is an art of the kitchen-garden, in which soil, selection of varieties, watering, shading, blanching, and protection have their part. But with a little space and care, salads may be had by almost every one during the greater portion of the year. For late autumn and winter use, the different varieties of endive, corn-salad, and chicory are easily raised: corn-salad requiring no other trouble than two or three sowings in August, a little attention in watering and shading, and the gathering of the hardy green tufts[422] beneath the snow. Late endive calls for a dry, well-protected root-house, while chicory needs to be taken up by the roots and forced in boxes in the cellar, due attention being paid to excluding the light. Of this excellent winter salad, the comparatively new variety "Witloof," largely grown in Belgium for the Paris market, is an improvement on the old "Barbe de Capucin." Of late years the useful and easily grown, broad-leaved Batavian endive has deteriorated, having become coarser-grained and often recalling the cabbage in flavour. Cos is the most difficult of all salads to grow under our tropical summer sun, and unless well grown—brittle, blanched, and free from bitterness—it is next to worthless. Many good varieties of lettuce have a tendency to run out, and these should be carefully watched by the gardener.

On the restaurant cards salads usually appear with their French appellations, which are sometimes confusing. In France, for instance, chicory is generally termed endive, and endive is termed chicory. Lettuce is naturally laitue, cos being known as romaine, broad-leaved Batavian endive as escarolle—the curled-leaved varieties of endive being familiar as chicorée frisée. Corn-salad is the mâche or doucette, chicory is the "Barbe de Capucin," though the variety "Witloof" passes current as endive. There is nothing mysterious, therefore, as some suppose, in French salads and French names of salads beyond the fact that in restaurants of the higher class special attention is paid to procure the best possible material from skilled market-gardeners, and the dressing is[423] supposed to be performed by a competent practitioner who has the best of condiments at command.

"The field is never wholly void of cypress and tulip," saith a ghazel of Hafiz; "one goeth, but another yet appeareth in its place." It is much the same with the successive profusion of sallets. By way of variety, a salad of raw celery-root with a mayonnaise dressing, somewhat thinned, in which a generous amount of mustard has been blended, affords a pleasing distinction from celery in the usual form and the green material which constantly offers itself; as does also an occasional salad of the scarcer celery-turnip, beloved by Europeans. Sliced radishes, and young green onions from the garden, as an accompaniment to the first trout or shad, need no apology. The appetising but indigestible and flatulent German black radish is not to be recommended, although one may retain the most grateful recollections of the potato, cucumber, and herring salads of the Fatherland.

Spain has always borne a reputation for its salads in inverse ratio to that of its cookery; and if one is fond of pepper and peppers, green or red, as well as garlic, the Spanish salad, whether of tomato, cucumber, beans, potato, or lettuce, is to be commended. The Italian may be relied upon never to neglect garlic wherever any excuse for utilising it is presented; but the Spaniard, in addition, deems it a heresy if the live pepper does not sting, stimulate, and permeate.

For the highest expression of the potato-salad—and the cucumber-salad should be equally included—we must go to the Germans, masters of sausage-and[424] cake-making and everything appertaining to "Compots." However one may regard the Pumpernickel and the Maitrank, the specialties just enumerated must challenge our respect and admiration. Potato-salad is particularly appropriate with beer; and it is, therefore, natural that the home of Münchner and Nürnberger should excel in its preparation. In making a potato-salad, the Teuton for once forgets the caraway seed and substitutes the onion. In all the restaurants, Wirthschafts, and beer-gardens where the hungry and the thirsty throng, great bowls of it, dusted with the fresh greens of finely minced herbs, always stand ready for immediate use. It is served separately and employed with many other dishes—a chain of russet sausages may surround it, or it may inclose a mound of cheese, ham, or caviare. In some form it is ever present. Like Montgomery's daisy,—

"It smiles upon the lap of May, To sultry August spreads its charm, Lights pale October on his way, And twines December's arm." To attain the best results, young potatoes of a firm kind, with no tendency to mealiness, known as "salad-potatoes," are chosen, boiled in salt water, allowed to cool, and then sliced and seasoned while they are fresh. Potato-salad may be combined with numerous esculents; and of its complementary adjuncts, none blend better with it than corn-salad and watercress.

Deprived of the cucumber, the list of salads were equally shorn of one of its most useful and appre[425]ciated members. And whether, as Gerarde affirms, that "of the divers sorts—some greater, some lesser, some of the garden, some wilde, some of one fashion, and some of another—all of the cucumbers are of temperature cold and moist of the second degree, and yield unto the body a cold nourishment, and that very little and the same not good"—who would consent for a moment to have the cucumber eliminated from the list of edibles! Think of its hidden "Vertues"! "It openeth and clenseth, openeth the stoppings of the liver, helpeth the chest and lungs that are inflamed; and being stamped and outwardly applied instead of a denser, it maketh the skin smooth and faire." No wonder it was such a favourite with Tiberius, who was never without it, and had frames made upon wheels, by means of which the growing fruit might be moved and exposed to the full heat of the sun; while in winter they were withdrawn and placed under the protection of frames glazed with mirror-stone. No wonder that Isaiah, in speaking of the desolation of Judah, declared: "The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers." The main point with the cucumber is to eliminate the prussic acid it contains, by slicing it and soaking it in ice-water and salt for a short time before using. Then, the Hock!—the shad, the whitefish, the pompano, the turbot, the sole!

And when endive is nicely blanched, and the first dark-blue double violets appear in the greenhouse—though skies lower and the storm frown without—what in the varied round of the seasons presents itself more delicious than a blue-violet salad, with a flask of[426] some noble vintage worthy to bear it company! The recipe, which cannot be too widely known, has been presented at length in a previous volume:[60]

"There was a great bunch of double violets on the table, the lovely dark variety (Viola odoratissima flore pleno) with their short stems, freshly plucked from the garden, and the room was scented by their delicious breath.

"A bowl of broad-leaved Batavian endive, blanched to a nicety and alluring as a siren's smile, was placed upon the table. I almost fancied it was smiling at the violets. A blue-violet salad, by all means! there are violets and to spare.

"On a separate dish there was a little minced celery, parsley, and chives. Four heaped salad-spoonfuls of olive-oil were poured upon the herbs, with a dessertspoonful of white wine vinegar, the necessary salt and white pepper, and a tablespoonful of Bordeaux. The petals of two dozen violets were detached from their stems, and two thirds of them were incorporated with the dressing. The dressing being thoroughly mixed with the endive, the remaining flower petals were sprinkled over the salad and a half-dozen whole violets placed in the centre.

"The lovely blue sapphires glowed upon the white bosom of the endive.

"A white-labelled bottle, capsuled Yquem, and the cork branded 'Lur Saluces,' was served with the salad. You note the subtle aroma of pineapple and fragrance of flower ottos with the detonation of the cork—the grand vintages of Yquem have a pronounced Ananassa flavour and bouquet that steeps the palate with its richness and scents the surrounding atmosphere.

"Now try your blue-violet salad.

"Is it fragrant? is it cool? is it delicious? is it divine?"


The deep-golden, marrowy Yquem, crême, of 1861 and 1864 is now alas! unobtainable; and even were it to be procured, it must ere this have parted with much of its marvellous bouquet and sève. But the violet yet sheds its colour and distils its perfume for the gathering. Other vintages, too, have been pressed and have mellowed along the classic banks of the Ciron and the Rhein, that may worthily accentuate the violet and endive as the crown of the repast.


SWEETS TO THE SWEET Jam jam efficaci do manus scientiæ.[61] Horace. Epode xvii. 1. However scholiasts may have interpreted Horace's line,—and by no two is it interpreted alike,—the repetition or intensification of the first word in connection with the thought that follows must certainly carry conviction to the gastronomer that no mere stress upon a common adverb was intended, but rather a definite allusion to some particular object. The more the sentence is analysed, the greater seems the emphasis laid upon the power of sweets to attract and charm. Apart, moreover, from the iteration of the subject extolled, one is impressed by the force of the expression "do manus," which [429]means here, not, as one would suspect, to shake hands; but "I yield," "I surrender," "I throw up my hands"—the strongest form of complete capitulation. And when it is further considered that one who was so careful in his advice and hygienic precepts, as well as so dainty in epithet (curiosa felicitas), has expressed his love for an entremets sucré in such emphatic terms, it should be conceded that woman is justified in her predilection for the final course of the dinner, which man is apt to decry. The question of dessert, indeed, is only another instance of where a man thinks he knows, but a woman knows better.


From the engraving by Eisen in Fermiers-Généreaux edition of the "Contes et Nouvelles" (1762)

Le dessert est tout le dîner pour une jolie femme. Let her enjoy it and the sweet champagne or Muscat-Lunel that goes with it, even if to her opposite "things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour." For, after all, it is unquestionably to woman that we must look for the improvement of cookery. The highest art will still find its expression through the professional chef; the useful, the daily alimentation of the household, must depend upon the ministrations of the housewife and her capacity for extending and improving the list of dishes à la bonne femme. Assuredly, appetising cookery will tend more than any other means to maintain the masculine element in good humour, and thereby foster a spirit of liberality and the condoning of feminine foibles.

The dessert is said to be to the dinner what the madrigal is to literature—it is the light poetry of the kitchen, addressed largely to the gentler sex. To the finer fancy of woman, the many forms of dainties which figure in the last course are mainly[430] due; and that they are not more appreciated by man is no doubt owing to the fact that the consumption of tobacco and the use of ardent spirits have blunted his perceptivity in this respect. Herein he is the loser; the mission of the dessert being that of a comforter of the stomach, which, already appeased, nevertheless craves a little reflex flattery through the palate. There are those of the sterner sex, notwithstanding, who still preserve the sweet tooth of childhood, and others who enjoy pastry equally with its most devoted feminine admirers. Charles Lamb held that a man cannot have a pure mind who refuses apple-dumplings. Tasso was so fond of sweetmeats that he even ate his salad with sugar. Henry VIII presented a manor to the inventor of a new pudding-sauce. Goethe adored sweet champagne, and of Horace's partiality for sweets he has doubly assured us.

For all such the cook whose pies are perfect will not have lived in vain; the more so as the artist in pie-making is usually an adept at frying,—and to bad frying and poor pie-making may be charged much of the misery inflicted upon mankind where eating is regarded solely as a necessary function. A cook, moreover, who can make fine puff-paste is more apt to succeed in all the more substantial parts of the art. So that to encourage the dessert and sweetmeats is to beguile and conciliate woman, and thus indirectly promote progress in other branches of cookery. With a little tact and perseverance it becomes relatively easy to persuade her that her fondness for sweets is injurious to her complexion; and this much instilled,[431] it is the less difficult to lead her by gradual steps to the perfection of the entrée and dishes more favoured by man.

There are comparatively few, nevertheless, who really are averse to the dessert if it unite all the qualities that should compose the final course—if it be light and palatable, if it flatter the eye, and if it convey the greatest amount of pleasure to the taste with little sense of fulness. Good pies or puddings and various entremets de douceur are as much a feature of the well-appointed dinner as a well-made salad; and all have their part to perform. Coming last in the order of the repast, like the peroration of a discourse, they should receive more than ordinary attention, both with respect to their immediate impression and the sensation they leave. To the dessert is often unjustly attributed a consequent that really belongs to the reprehensible practice of serving brut champagne at the end of the dinner, whereby digestion is seriously disturbed through the acidity it necessarily provokes. Already pernicious during the early stages, it becomes still more baneful when appetite has palled. The lamb thus must answer for the crime of the wolf; and woman is held responsible for what is directly the fault of man himself.

If a sparkling wine must be served at the end of a dinner, to the exclusion of the early portion, let it partake of the nature of the dainties themselves, in order that it may leave the most dulcet souvenirs.

But, apart from the dessert, sweets enter into many forms of aliments that lend variety and distinction to the table. Who is so wedded to acidity as not to hail[432] with renewed pleasure the appearance of a rum omelette, or that entremets par excellence—omelette aux confitures—if served by a pretty woman at a dinner of two and accompanied by a Rhein Auslese of noble growth? The soufflée, too, has its charms, if woman be present, for which one should always be grateful. What were the turkey without cranberry sauce, in which sugar forms a component, or a mallard without currant-jelly to match the rosy richness of his breast? But in lieu of this universal accessory to many forms of game, a pleasing variety may be had if a lesson be only taken from the Germans, with whom the "Compot" is so highly esteemed in various guises and various grades of sweetness. Of such, one of the most delicious is composed of strawberries and sour cherries in combination, flavoured with Kirsch. An exquisite preserve of southern Germany is the "Hagenmark," which one sees in brimming pails in the market-places during November: a conserve prepared by the peasant women from the hips of the wild dog-rose, as vivid in colour as a cardinal by Vibert.

As for the strawberry, so fragrant and delicious when fresh, but so deadly to the uric-acid diathesis, how safely it may be partaken of when, through madame's deft manipulations, it attains the form of shortcake or preserves! Served with sugar and cream, after baking, as a prelude to the winter breakfast, even the flatulence of the apple is dissipated and the fruit which tempted Eve becomes innocuous. Through sugar and stewing, the currant loses its verjuice, the raspberry under similar treatment is transformed, the acrid quince acquires new virtues, the[433] puckery crab-apple diffuses a silken softness. Cooked with sugar and brandy, the peach may appeal to the most hardened total abstainer, and the fruit of the Psidium, through the magic touch of saccharine, attain a magnificent triumph as guava jelly. To remove sugar from the kitchen were to deprive alimentation of many of its benefits and pleasures, as well as to rob woman of much of her allurement. She would become lean and scrawny, her rounded outlines would gradually disappear, the contours of her tailor-made gown would end by becoming rectilinear, and for her habiliment a strait-jacket would usurp the place of her proud corsage and bouffant petticoat. There would then be no more love-poetry, for there would exist no incentive for the poet, nor could a pretty heroine figure in a novel, or the bust of woman prove the most convincing illustration that the line of beauty is a curve.

One should never lose sight of that excellent sentiment of Blaze de Bury, which will apply to desserts as well, Qui ne veut point vieillir doit aimer les femmes, et, pour bien les aimer, il faut les aimer toutes. What a wave of grateful coolness the ice and its yet more seductive sister, ice-cream, contribute when the dog-star reigns and cicadas have begun to shrill! Who among the calumniators of sweets could wish them banished in support of a fallacious theory that sweetmeats render woman more capricious, and are injurious to the roses and lilies of her skin? For the plainer form of these refreshing entremets we are indebted to Catherine de' Medici and her cooks who accompanied her to France from Italy, where ices[434] were already much esteemed. The discoverer of ice-cream is said to be a French chef in the employ of the Duc de Chartres, who exultingly set the dish before him on a hot day in 1774. This was subsequent to the discovery of the pâté de Chartres, which, according to Anatole France, is of itself sufficient to make one revere the country of its origin.

About this period the baba, beloved by the fair sex, met with great favour in France. The baba was the invention of King Stanislas Leszcynski of Poland, a noted epicure, to make amends for the harshness of his name; its ingredients being German yeast, flour, butter, eggs, cream, sugar, saffron, candied citron, Corinthian raisins, currants, and Madeira, Malaga, or rum. It is said to be a difficult entremets to "seize," so as to preserve its attractive reddish colour, which should recall a late October afterglow. It at once appealed to the sweet tooth of femininity, even though that most delectable of garden herbs, angelica, when candied, was overlooked among the sweet ingredients. Like the truffle as described by Savarin, the baba was supposed to render woman more plastic and man more expansive,—rien que le voir, les yeux rient et les cœurs chantent.

The date of the introduction of plum-pudding and mince-pie is difficult to ascertain. As early as 1424 appears a mention in an English bill of fare of "Vyaunt ardent," which suggests the former and may have been its precursor. The original recipe of either must have been formidable to follow when one reflects how even now they are provocative of a nightmare, unless executed by the deftest of hands. Plum-pud[435]ding in anything like its present form does not appear in cookery books anterior to 1675. Previous to this, plum-porridge, which always served as a first course at Christmas, was prepared by boiling beef or mutton with broth thickened by brown bread. When half cooked, raisins, currants, prunes, cloves, nutmeg, mace, ginger, and other condiments were added, and after the mixture had been thoroughly boiled it was served with meats—a dish fit for the digestive capacities of Jack the Giant-killer. An essentially English product, the plum-pudding has rarely found favour in France, although Louis XVIII was accustomed to serve it at Christmas, and it has long had a place on the menus of many Parisian restaurants. A very elaborate recipe for "Plumbuting" is given by Beauvilliers; but preferable to all formulas is the comparatively simple one of Blot, a dish which may be digested as well as enjoyed, and which is within the range of the average cook. Of course plum-pudding is best during the holiday season, and best of all at the feast of Christmas day.

Mince-pie is an ancient English dish which America has refined. The Year-Book of William Hone of the early part of the past century contains an extended "Ode to the Mince-Pye," which met the approbation of Scott, Lamb, and Southey. In this it is referred to as the "King of Cates,"

"whose pastry-bounded reign Is felt and own'd o'er pastry's wide domain: Whom greater gluttons own their sovereign lord Than ever bowed beneath the dubbing sword.[436]

 *    *    *    *    *

"Like Albion's rich plum-pudding, famous grown, The mince-pye reigns in realms beyond his own, Through foreign latitudes his power extends, And only terminates where eating ends.

 *    *    *    *    *

"Sovereign of Cates, all hail! nor then refuse This cordial off'ring from an English muse, Who pours the brandy in libation free, And finds plum-pudding realiz'd in thee." But of all forms of pie, that with the apple for its basis is doubtless the most wholesome and by the majority is most relished. A woman who is infallible in her apple-pies and successful with her sauces deserves an annual trip abroad. But such, like first editions of "The Faerie Queene," are rare. No better instructions regarding the fashioning of apple-pies can be formulated than those of the late Henry Ward Beecher, who so thoroughly understood women, gems, sweetmeats, and gardening. His counsels are worthy of Elia, and the housewife should commit them to memory:

"There is, for example, one made without undercrust, in a deep plate, and the apples laid in full quarters; or the apples, being stewed, are beaten to a mush and seasoned and put between the double paste; or they are sliced thin and cooked entirely within the covers; or they are put without seasoning into their bed, and when baked the upper lid is raised and the butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar are added, the whole well mixed and the crust returned as if nothing had happened. But, oh! be careful of the paste! Let it be not like putty, nor rush to the other extreme and make it so flaky that one holds his breath while eating, for fear of blowing it away. Let it[437] not be plain as bread, nor yet rich like cake. Aim at that glorious medium in which it is tender without being too fugaciously flaky; short without being too short; a mild, sapid, brittle thing, that lies upon the tongue, so as to let the apple strike through and touch the papillæ with a more affluent flavour. But this, like all high art, must be a thing of inspiration or instinct. A true cook will understand us, and we care not if others do not! Do not suppose that we limit the apple-pie to the kinds and methods enumerated. Its capacity in variation is endless, and every diversity discovers some new charm or flavour. It will accept almost every flavour of every spice. And yet nothing is so fatal to the rare and higher graces of apple-pie as inconsiderate, vulgar spicing. It is not meant to be a mere vehicle for the exhibition of these spices in their own natures; it is a glorious unity in which sugar gives up its nature as sugar, and butter ceases to be butter, and each flavoursome spice gladly vanishes from its own full nature, that all of them, by a common death, may rise into the new life of apple-pie. Not that apple is longer apple. It, too, is transformed; and the final pie, though born of apple, sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemon, is like none of these, but the compound ideal of them all, refined, purified, and by fire fixed in blissful perfection."

"Do you eat pie?" was once asked of Emerson. "What is pie for?" was the ready and philosophic reply. "Pie, often foolishly abused," said Artemus Ward, "is a good creature at the right time and in angles of thirty or forty degrees, although in semicircles and quadrants it may sometimes prove too much for delicate stomachs."

But think of the pies of two centuries ago! To appreciate the improvement which has taken place in the dessert and the preparation of sweet entre[438]mets, one has only to refer to Mrs. Glasse or contemporaneous and previous treatises on cookery. One marvels equally at the strange recipes, the assimilative prowess of the dames of yore, and the progress of the centuries. Canon Barham, who never fails to introduce his bills of fare, though these may not always be strictly reliable from the point of view of the times and the manner of the service, presents this in "The Lay of St. Romwold" as the termination of an olden feast:

"Then came 'sweets'—served in silver were tartlets and pies in glass, Jellies composed of punch, calves' feet, and isinglass, Creams and whipt-syllabubs, some hot, some cool, Blancmange, and quince-custards, and goosberry-fool." This was long before the dessert proper—from the French desservir, to clear the table—became an established course of the dinner; and when the sweetened dishes of eld might scarcely figure under the pretty Italian title of Giardinetto, or "little garden," sometimes applied to the dessert, and suggestive of all that is fragrant and ambrosial.

While there is no reason for supposing that sweet champagne was not as greatly relished by the women of Colonial times as it is to-day, it is true, notwithstanding, that, owing to the greater need of economy, they were obliged to be content for the most part with saccharine tipples of a less expensive nature. Among such, besides mulled wine, was the sack-posset, a favourite drink at weddings and social festivities, borrowed from England, with its numerous[439] ingredients, and favoured alike by miss and matron. The recipe in rhyme for this concoction, after Sir Fleetwood Fletcher, soon became as familiar as Sydney Smith's recipe for salad in the following century:

"A recipe for all Young Ladies that are going to be Married. To make a Sack-Posset:

From famed Barbadoes on the Western Main Fetch sugar half a pound; fetch Sack from Spain A pint; and from the Eastern Indian Coast Nutmeg, the glory of our Northern toast; O'er flaming coals together let them heat Till the all-conquering Sack dissolves the sweet. O'er such another fire set eggs, twice ten New born from crowing cock and speckled hen; Stir them with steady hand, and conscience pricking To see the untimely fate of twenty chicken. From shining shelf take down your brazen skillet, A quart of milk from gentle cow will fill it; When boiled and cooked put milk and Sack to egg, Unite them firmly like the triple league. Then, covered close, together let them dwell Till Miss twice sings, 'You must not kiss and tell!' Each lad and lass snatch up their murdering spoon, And fall on fiercely like a starved dragoon." Metheglin and negus were well known to our foremothers. There is no record to show that they became partial to "sack," except as sweetened and spiced according to the manner of posset. It is recorded, however, that, eschewing the stronger punch composed of spirits, they were fond of mulled wine, Malaga and Madeira, and were far from disdaining the uni[440]versal beverage, cider, even in its "hard" form, when mulled.

Cheese is naturally an obligatory portion of the dessert at all company dinners—at least at all dinners where men are present. By dint of persuasion, it has become tolerated by women, not a few of whom regard it with favour if Rocquefort or Gorgonzola is in question, or even Camembert or Brie when perfectly fresh. Its place in the order of the dinner is a matter somewhat in dispute. It figures variously after the roast,—as its successor before the sweets, or as the immediate precursor of the demi-tasse,—and it is also asked to do duty with the salad by some who elect to serve the salad as a course apart to succeed the roast. On the continent of Europe it is generally supposed to precede the coffee, after the sweets, and be ready for those who may not care for them; in England it is often served with celery before the dessert. The custom of serving it with the salad, which is purely American, is certainly not to be commended. The mission of cheese is twofold—to change the taste and to act as the concluding digestive. To subserve the latter purpose it should be old, if of a fine-grained kind; and as a digestive few such are equal to Rocquefort. As to its proper place at dessert, it must be recognized that it accords best with the coffee and final glass of port or other dessert wine where these may be employed, and leaves the taste fresher when it concludes the repast. Let appropriate sweets be served with it for those who desire them, but let it not destroy the salad which belongs to the roast, or anticipate the dulcitudes of the final course.


A chapter might be devoted to this suave product of the dairy, but it will be sufficient to present a form of serving it that will appeal to many, inclusive of woman. Like the fondue, it is of Swiss origin. In Switzerland, where cheese figures largely, there is known to the initiated a sweet entremets termed "the hunter's sandwich," composed of bread, fresh butter, cheese, and honey in combination, its only drawback being the too cloying nature of the honey. In America this objection may be happily avoided by employing the nectar of the sugar-maple in its stead, and the dish prove all the better either for the sportsman out of doors or served at the dinner with the dessert. On fresh bread cut in thin slices for its base, you will place a layer of the freshest of butter, then a layer of Brie or other fresh cream-cheese, and, finally, a gilding of maple-syrup. For the dessert it may be shaped in various ways, and made as dainty as feminine fingers can devise. Its virtues need no panegyric,—it will succeed the ices with as buoyant a grace as the daffodil follows the snowdrop of spring. Captivated by its charms, the epicure will say, with the van-courier of Bishop Fuger in his chase for the ideal wine, "Est, est, est"; while madame and mademoiselle will attach a new significance to the poet's mellifluous lines,—

"As the last taste of sweets is sweetest last, Writ in remembrance more than things long past." With the dessert the dinner ends; and with it, also, properly terminates a review of gastronomy. It may be asked, however, after the somewhat extended re[442]ference to cooks and cookery and the literature and ethics of the art, which of the numerous manuals referred to, or of the countless existing works that have not been enumerated, is the best and most serviceable for those who would perfect themselves in the subtleties of the range. The question is easier asked than answered. To specify any one authority, so far as any one writer on cookery may be considered authoritative, were scarcely satisfactory—a comprehensive answer being dependent to no inconsiderable extent upon the tastes, adaptabilities, and qualifications of the person concerned. As there is no one poet, moreover, who may satisfy all or even a single individual, so there is no one author-cook or compiler who has yet compassed the subject. "The cuisine," says Beauvilliers, "simple in its origin, refined from century to century, has become a difficult art, a complicated science on which many authors have written, without having been able to embrace it in its entirety."

The model cook-book—the manual that should appeal to all, the vade mecum that would instruct and delight the amateur, that would tell him just what he should know, eliminating all he should not know—is still numbered among things unaccomplished. So long as every chef is jealous of his every competitor, so long as the professionalist writes solely from the standpoint of his elaborately mounted kitchen, with no deference to the requirements of the more modest household, so long as works on cookery continue to be a mere dry digest of the preparation of food, it will not be achieved. They have come nearer to such a work in France. But who may say that even Dumas' [443]sprightly though bulky treatise is perfect, or that any of the voluminous "'Cuisiniers' des Cuisiniers" has indicated the perfect road to happiness? And of the enormous number of books on the subject, how many are not so technical as to be of little service, or so lacking in comprehensive grasp as to fall utterly short of their aim? The perfect cook-book, as near as a cook-book can be perfect, has yet to find its author and its publisher.


Facsimile of title-page

It may be assumed, therefore, that it will be written by an amateur—a man devoid of prejudices so far as any rivalry in his craft is concerned, whose sole object will be to write for his own pleasure and the gratification it will afford his readers. For, it will be readily perceived, a cook-book for the professional is one thing; a manual for the amateur, another.

To a lucid, delightful style and grace of expression its author will unite the widest familiarity with the cuisine of the past and the present. He will have at his beck and call a culinary library like that of Baron Pichon, an executive genius equal to Carême's, a physiological perceptivity rivalling that of Savarin, a knowledge of the subject in all that relates to its material sense as great as La Reynière's. A man of unbounded capacities, whose appetite can never be appeased, he will himself have savoured the multitudinous dishes he treats of, before recommending them to others of less assimilative capabilities than his own. Thoroughly conversant with hygiene and the constituent elements of foods, he will add, as it were, to the qualifications of a gourmet and epicurean mentor, the knowledge of a physician and chemist, or one who[444] can distinguish the digestive sequents of different articles of diet.

He will be a learned œnologist as well, acquainted with the wines of all countries, their best growths and most desirable vintages; as also the widely varying effects upon the system of different wines. Endowed with perfect physical faculties, furthered by long intimacy with and daily use of wine, his sense of taste and smell will have attained the highest possible development, enabling him to trace and compare the flavours and ethers of different growths; thus indicating what one should avoid, as also what one should choose, according to individual requirements. Supplementing his monograph on wines will occur as its natural consequent a profound dissertation on gout, dealing at length with the true causes of the malady in all its phases, and indicating a cure within the power of the wine-drinker to compass without abstaining from the beverage he loves. Some magical lozenge that is guileless of colchicum, some marvellous elixir distilled in the alembics of the past, or some special essence of the vine itself will be prescribed, to be taken with the dinner, when the afflicted may once more eat and drink in moderation, "without fear and without reproach."

The author will have travelled far and wide, and will intelligently contribute the spoils of his gastronomic chase, retrenching from a dish here and elaborating there, if need be, as he dispenses his appetising formulas. Yet so delicate his taste, of such discriminating nicety his judgment, that, barring individual dislikes for certain aliments, one may trust implicitly to the form of preparation he prescribes. From the[445] manuscripts of the ancient monks he will have rescued many a simple though priceless dish, and from Baudelaire, Théodore de Banville, and Jules Janin have committed many an unpublished poem of the table to his storehouse of delights. And while conversant with all that is best in existing works by the great masters of the art, as well as the lesser lights of the science, and quoting freely from them, he will nevertheless avoid the elaborate recipes and interminable menus that Gouffé and others pride themselves upon, which require a maître-d'hôtel to understand, a corps of assistants to execute, and a Crœsus to liquidate. Spiced with anecdote and seasoned with humour and philosophy, his chapters will glide on in lucid flow, and his recipes leave no nightmares behind. His text will be free from grossness, and be tainted with no worn-out aphorisms; so clear that all may understand, and, understanding, turn its counsels to practical account.

He will be familiar, as a sportsman, with game; and will have contemplated the masterpieces of Weenix, Sneyders, and Hondius to impart additional colour in his references to the wild furred and feathered tribes. And to the further embellishment of his text, he will also have studied the other great pictures of still-life of the old Dutch and Flemish schools,—the fowls of Hondecoeter; the fruits of Utrecht and De Heem; the fishes of Seghers; the flower-laden tables of Van Huysum and Jan Fyt; the kitchen-pieces beloved by Metzu and Zorg; the eating-bouts of Brockenburg; the gay Kermesse and merrymakings of Brouwer, Teniers, and Ostade. Nor will his knowledge of the products of the vegetable world, apart from those em[446]ployed for food alone,—the spices and condiments that make or mar a dish, that aid or harm digestion,—be less carefully set forth upon his golden page. The volumes will be small, so they may be unburdensome to peruse, as inviting in their letterpress as the daintiest of Elzevirs. In fine, a combination of the qualities of the scholar, the master-cook, the painter, the gastronomer, the sportsman, and the pantologist, assisted by the skill of the bookmaker and etcher, will be required to compose the cook-book par excellence.

In the interval, while it yet slumbers upon the shelves of dreamland, one must remain satisfied as nearly as may be with the manuals that are already accessible; and, like the wind in the trees, draw a note here and a chord there from the existing strings of the harp of Good Cheer.


BIBLIOGRAPHY Afew among English, American, and French works, both ancient and modern, that relate to gastronomy and cookery are presented herewith. As may be perceived at a glance, the list is not intended to be comprehensive, so multitudinous are the monographs relating to the subject, but a mere index or signboard pointing to the nature of the vast and varied literature, both good, bad, and indifferent, that the topic has inspired. Works relating strictly to wines and alcoholic beverages have not been included, as these, though intimately connected with the table, belong more properly to a volume on the cellar itself. It will be observed that works by women predominate in the English language, whereas, in French, masculinity for the greater part has superintended the larder and the saucepans and elaborated the literature of the art. The scholar who is especially interested in the bibliography of gastronomy may be referred to the valuable work of M. Georges Vicaire as the most comprehensive on the theme, particularly so far as foreign contributions to epulary literature are concerned.

Evelyn (John). Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets, 1706. (8vo.)

The American Salad-book. By Maximilian De Loup. Second Edition. New York: McClure, Phillips & Co., 1900. (8vo.) pp. 144.

Warner (Rev. Richard). Antiquitates Culinariæ; or, Curious Tracts Relating to the Culinary Affairs of the Old English. London: Printed for R. Blamire, 1791. (4to) pp. 137.

Apician Morsels; or, Tales of the Table, Kitchen, and Larder. By Dick Humelbergius Secundus. New York: J. & J. Harper, 1829. (8vo) pp. 212. (A volume largely pirated from Grimod de la Reynière.)


King (Wm.). The Art of Cookery. A Poem in Imitation of Horace's Art of Poetry. By the Author of a Tale of a Tub. Coqus omnia miscet—Juven. London: Printed, and are to be Sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster, 1708. (Small folio) pp. 22.

King (Wm.). The Art of Cookery. With some Letters to Dr. Lister and Others, etc., to which is added Horace's Art of Poetry, in Latin. Printed for Bernard Lintott, 1740. (8vo) pp. 160.

Hayward (Anthony). The Art of Dining; or, Gastronomy and Gastronomers. London: John Murray, 1852. (4-1/2 x 7 in.) pp. 137.

Banquett of Dainties: For All Suche Gests that Loue Moderatt Dyate. By Theo. Hackett. London, 1566. (8vo) pp. 42.

Murrey (Thomas J.). The Book of Entrées. New York: White, Stokes & Allen, 1886. (4-1/4 x 6 in.)

Farmer (Fannie Merritt). The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. By Fannie Merritt Farmer, Principal of the Boston Cooking School. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1896. (8vo) pp. xxx, 567.

Breakfast, Dinner, and Tea: Viewed Classically, Poetically and Practically. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1869. (6 x 7-1/2 in.) pp. 351.

Breakfasts, Luncheons and Dinners at Home. How to Order, Cook, and Serve Them. By Short. Sixth Edition. London: Kerby & Endean, 1886. (8vo) pp. 204.

Cassell's Dictionary of Cookery. With Numerous Engravings and Coloured Plates, Containing About 9000 Recipes. London, Paris, and New York: Cassell, Petter & Galpin. n. d. (Large 8vo) pp. xcvi, 1178.

Ronald (Mary). The Century Cook-book. New York: The Century Co., 1895. (8vo) pp. 587.

The Chafing-dish Supper. By Christine Terhune Herrick. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1899. (12mo) pp. 112.


A Closet for Ladies and Gentlemen; or, The Art of Preserving, Conserving and Candying. With the Manner how to make Diverse Kindes of Syrupes, and All Kinde of Banquetting Stuffes, etc. London: Printed for Arthur Johnson, 1618. (16mo) pp. 190.

The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digby, Kt., Opened. Whereby is Discovered several ways for Making of Metheglin, Syder, Cherry-Wine, etc., Together with Excellent Directions for Cookery, as also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, etc. London, 1677. (12mo.)

Carter (Charles). The Compleat City and Country Cook; or, Accomplish'd Housewife. Containing Several Hundred of the Most Approv'd Receipts in Cookery, Confectionary, etc. Illustrated with Forty-nine large Copper-plates. London, 1732. (8vo) pp. 280.

Peckham (Ann). The Complete English Cook; or, Prudent Housewife. Being a Collection of the Most General, yet Least Expensive Receipts in Every Branch of Cookery and Good Housewifery, etc. By Ann Peckham, of Leeds. The Third Edition. Leeds, 1770. (12mo) pp. 242.

The Complete Family Piece. A very Choice Collection of Receipts in Cookery. Seventh Edition. London, 1744. (8vo.)

Smith (E.). The Complete Housewife; or, Accomplished Gentlewoman's Companion. Being a Collection of upwards of Seven Hundred of the Most Approved Receipts in Cookery, Pastry, Confectionary, etc., etc. The Seventeenth Edition, with Additions. London: Printed for J. Buckland, etc., 1766. (8vo.) pp. 364.

The Complete Servant-maid. London, 1682. (12mo.)

The Cook-book. By "Oscar" of the Waldorf (Oscar Tschirky, Maître d'Hôtel, the Waldorf). Chicago and New York: The Werner Co., 1896. (Large 4to) pp. 907.

Reeve (Mrs. Henry). Cookery and Housekeeping. A Manual of Domestic Economy for Large and Small Families. Fourth Edition. London and New York: Longmans, Green & Co., 1888. (8vo) pp. 540.


Kitchener (Dr. Wm.). The Cook's Oracle. Fourth Edition. London, 1822. (4-1/2 x 7-1/2 in.) pp. xviii, 545.

Athenæus. The Deipnosophists; or, Banquet of the Learned of Athenæus. Literally Translated by C. D. Yonge, B.A. 3 vols. London: Henry C. Bohn, 1854. (5 x 7-1/2 in.)

Child (Theodore). Delicate Feasting. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1890. (5-1/2 x 6-1/2 in.) pp. 214.

Newnham-Davis (Lieut.-Col.). Dinners and Diners: Where and How to Dine in London. A New Enlarged and Revised Edition. London: Grant Richards, 1901. (5 x 7 in.) pp. 376.

Harland (Marion). The Dinner Year-book. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1878. (8vo) pp. 713.

Domestic Cookery (A New System of), Formed Upon Principles of Economy. By a Lady. A New Edition, Corrected. London: John Murray, 1814. (4 x 7 in.) pp. xxx, 352.

Early English Meals and Manners. London: The Early English Text Society, 1868. (5-1/2 x 8-1/2 in.)

Hoy (Albert Harris, M.D.). Eating and Drinking: The Alkalinity of the Blood. The Test of Food and Drink in Health and Disease. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1896. (5-1/2 x 8 in.) pp. 304.

Egg Cookery: One Hundred and Fifty Ways of Cooking and Serving Eggs. By Alfred Suzanne, Twenty-eight Years Chef to the Earl of Wilton, now Chef to the Duke of Bedford. Second Edition. London: Newton & Eskell, 1887. (12mo) pp. 97.

The Encyclopædia of Practical Cookery. A Complete Dictionary of all pertaining to the Art of Cookery and Table Service, Illustrated with Coloured Plates and Engravings by Harold Furness, George Cruikshank, W. Munn Andrew, and others. Edited by Thomas Francis Garrett, etc., etc., etc. London: L. Upcott Gill. Philadelphia: Hudson Importing Co. 8 vols. (Large 4to) pp. 1898.

Markham (G.). The English Housewife. Containing the Inward and Outward Vertues which ought to be in a Compleat[453] Woman, etc., etc. Eighth Edition. London: George Sawbridge, 1675. (6 x 7-3/4 in.) pp. 188.

An Englishman in Paris. Notes and Recollections. Two vols. in one. New York: D. Appleton & Co. (Town and Country Library). (12mo) pp. 478.

The Epicurean. A Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art. By Charles Ranhofer, Chef of Delmonico's. Illustrated with 800 Plates. New York: Charles Ranhofer, 1894. (Large 4to) pp. 1183.

Raffald (Elizabeth). The Experienced English Housekeeper. For the Use and Ease of Ladies, Housekeepers, and Cooks, etc. Wrote purely from Practice, etc. The Third Edition. London: R. Baldwin, 1773. (8vo) pp. 366.

The Expert Waitress. A Manual for the Pantry, Kitchen, and Dining-room. By Anne Frances Springsteed. New York and London: Harper & Bros., 1902. (12mo) pp. 131.

Pennell (Elizabeth Robins). The Feasts of Autolycus: The Diary of a Greedy Woman. London: John Lane. New York: The Merriam Co., 1896. (5 x 7 in.) pp. 264.

Fifty Dinners. By A. Kenney Herbert ("Wyvern"). London and New York: Edward Arnold, 1895. (12mo) pp. 188.

Food and Feeding. By Sir Henry Thompson, Bart. Tenth Edition. London and New York: Frederick Warne & Co., 1899. (8vo) pp. 312.

Food Materials and Their Adulterations. By Ellen H. Richards. New Edition. Boston: Home Science Publishing Co., 1898. (Small 4to) pp. 183.

Gastronomy as a Fine Art. A Translation of the Physiologie du Goût of Brillat-Savarin. By R. E. Anderson, M.A. London: Chatto & Windus, 1877. (5-1/4 x 7-1/4 in.) pp. xxxvii, 280.

Dawson (Thos.). The Good Huswiuve's Jewell. In two Parts. London, 1596-7. (16mo.)

Brugière (Sarah Van Buren). Good Living. A Practical Cookery-book for Town and County. Second Edition. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1890. (8vo) pp. 606.


A Handbook of Gastronomy. New and Complete Translation of Brillat-Savarin's Physiologie du Goût. With 52 Original Etchings by A. Lalauze; Preface by Charles Monselet. London: John C. Nimmo. New York: J. W. Bouton, 1884. (Tall 8vo) pp. 516.

Blot (Pierre). Handbook of Practical Cookery. For Ladies and Professional Cooks. New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1888. (5 x 7-1/2 in.) pp. 478.

Health's Improvement; or, Rules Comprising and Discovering the Nature, Method and Manner of Preparing all Sorts of Food used in this Nation. Written by that ever Famous Thomas Muffett, Doctor in Physick; Corrected and Enlarged by Christopher Bennet, Doctor in Physick, and Fellow of the Colledge of Physitions in London, 1655. (Small 4to.)

Larwood (Jacob) and Hotten (John Camden). The History of Signboards. Third Edition. London: John Camden Hotten, 1866. (5-1/2 x 6-1/2 in.) pp. 536.

Harrison (Mrs. Sarah). The Housekeeper's Pocket Book, and Compleat Family Cook. Containing above Seven Hundred Curious and Uncommon Receipts, etc., etc. London: Printed for R. Ware, 1751. (12mo) pp. 268.

Ice-Cream and Cakes. A New Collection of Standard Fresh and Original Receipts for Household and Commercial Use, by an American. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1883. (8vo) pp. 384.

I Go a-Marketing. By Henrietta Sowle ("Henriette"). Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1900. (8vo) pp. 237.

Leaves from Our Tuscan Kitchen; or, How to Cook Vegetables. By Janet Ross. London: J. M. Dent & Co., 1899. (12mo) pp. 150.

Mrs. Lincoln's Boston Cook-book. What To Do and What Not To Do in Cooking. Revised Edition. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1901. (8vo) pp. 578.

Farley (John). The London Art of Cookery and Housekeeper's Complete Assistant. On a New Plan made Plain and[455] Easy to every Housekeeper, Cook, and Servant in the Kingdom, etc., etc. London: Printed for J. Scatcherd and J. Whitaker, 1790. (8vo) pp. 459.

The Majestic Family Cook-book. By Adolph Gallier. Containing 1300 Selected Recipes Simplified for the Use of Housekeepers. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1897. (8vo) pp. 419.

Mrs. A. B. Marshall's Large Cookery Book of Extra Recipes. With 284 Illustrations. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton Kent & Co., 1894. Sixth thousand. (Tall 8vo) pp. 656.

Ellwanger (George H.). Meditations on Gout: With a Consideration of Its Cure Through the Use of Wine. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1898. (5 x 6-3/4 in.) pp. xvi, 208.

Memoirs of a Stomach. Written by Himself, That All Who Eat May Read. With Notes Critical and Explanatory. By a Minister of the Interior. London: W. E. Painter, 1853. (5-1/4 x 6-3/4 in.) pp. 135.

Francatelli (Charles Elmé). The Modern Cook. A Practical Guide to the Culinary Art in All its Branches. Twenty-sixth Edition. Philadelphia: David McKay. (Tall 8vo) pp. 592.

La Chapelle (Vincent). The Modern Cook. By Mr. Vincent La Chapelle, Chief Cook to the Right Hon. the Earl of Chesterfield. London: Printed for the Author, and sold by Nicolas Prevost, 1733. 3 vols. (8vo) pp. 328, 316, 307.

Modern Method of Regulating and Forming a Table Explained and Displayed. Containing a great Variety of Dinners laid out in the most elegant taste, finely represented on 152 large copperplates with descriptions, also 12 elegant dinners for different seasons of the year, list of such particulars as are in season for the use of Ladies Housekeepers. London, 1750. (Folio.)

Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. Receipts Collected by the Young Ladies' Society, First Baptist Church, Rochester, N. Y. Rochester: Scrantom, Wetmore & Co., 1895. (8vo) pp. 87.


A Noble Boke of Cookry (1467). Edited by Mrs. Alexander Napier. London: Elliot Stock, 1882.

Hazlitt (W. Carew). Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine. London: Elliot Stock, 1886. (4-1/2 x 6-1/4 in.) pp. 263.

Walker (Thomas, M.D.). The Original. Fifth Edition. (Part II. The Art of Attaining High Health. The Art of Dining.) London: Henry Renshaw, 1875. (6 x 8-1/2 in.)

Soyer (A.). The Pantropheon; or, History of Food and Its Preparation from the Earliest Ages of the World. London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1853. (6-1/2 x 9-1/2 in.) pp. 474.

Miss Parloa's Kitchen Companion. A Guide for All who would be Good Housekeepers. By Maria Parloa. Twenty-first Edition. Boston: Dana, Estes & Co., 1887. (8vo) pp. 966.

Marnette (M.). The Perfect Cook. Being the most exact Directions for the making of all kind of Pastes, etc., as also the Perfect English Cook, or right method of the whole Art of Cookery, with the true ordering of French, Spanish, and Italian Kickshaws, with A-la-mode Varieties for Persons of Honour. London: Printed for Obadiah Blagrave, 1686. (12mo.)

Philosopher's Banquet (The). Newly furnished and decked forth with much variety of many several Dishes, etc. By W. B. London, 1633. (12mo.)

Hill (Janet McKenzie). Practical Cooking and Serving. A Compleat Manual of How to Select, Prepare, and Serve Food, with many Illustrations. New York: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1902. (8vo) pp. xiii, 712.

Cook (Ann). Professed Cookery. Third Edition. London, 1760.

The Queen's Closet Opened. Incomparable Secrets in Physick, Chyrurgery, Preserving and Canning, etc. London: Printed for Obadiah Blagrave, 1679. (12mo) pp. 190.

Mrs. Rorer's Philadelphia Cook-book. A Manual of Home Economics. Philadelphia: Arnold & Co. (8vo) pp. 581.

Round the Table: Notes on Cookery and Plain Recipes. With a Selection of Bills of Fare for Every Month. By "The G.[457] C." London: Horace Cox, 1873, 2nd edition. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1876, reprint. (5 x 7 in.) pp. 303.

Gouffé (Jules). The Royal Cookery Book (Le Livre de Cuisine). Translated and adapted for English use by Alphonse Gouffé, Head Pastry-cook to Her Majesty the Queen. Comprising Domestic and High-class Cookery; 16 full-page coloured plates and 161 woodcut illustrations. (Thick royal 8vo) 1883.

Lamb (Patrick). Royal Cookery; or, The Compleat Court-Cook. Containing the choicest Receipts in all the several Branches of Cookery, viz., for making of Soops, Bisques, Olios, Terrines, Surtouts, Ragoos, Forc'd-meats, Sauces, Pattys, Pies, Tarts, Tansies, etc., etc. Second Edition. London: E. Nutt, at the Middle Temple Gate, 1716. (8vo) pp. 302.

Cozzens (Frederic S.). The Sayings of Dr. Bushwhacker and Other Learned Men. New York: A. Simpson & Co., 1867. (5-1/2 x 6-1/2 in.) pp. 213.

Mrs. Seely's Cook-book. A Manual of French and American Cookery, etc., etc. By Mrs. L. Seely. New York and London: The Macmillan Co., 1902. (4to) pp. 432.

Spon's Household Manual. A Treasury of Domestic Receipts and Guide for Home Management. London: E. & F. N. Spon. New York: Spon & Chamberlain, 1894. (Tall 8vo) pp. 1010.

The Table. How to Buy Food, How to Cook It, and How to Serve It. By Alessandro Filippini. Revised Edition. New York: The Merriam Co., 1895. (Large 8vo) pp. 505.

Three Hundred and Sixty-six Menus and Recipes of the Baron Brisse. In French and English. Translated by Mrs. Matthew Clark. Sixth Edition. London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1888. (8vo) pp. xvi, 400.

Peck (Harry Thurston). Trimalchio's Dinner. Translated from the Original Latin of Petronius Arbiter. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1898. (5 x 7 in.) pp. 202.

Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books. Harleian MS. 279 and Harleian MS. 4016. London: The Early English Text Society, 1848. (5-1/2 x 8-1/2 in.) pp. xix, 151.


The White House Cook-book. A Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information for the Home, Containing Cooking, Toilet and Household Recipes, Menus, Dinner-giving, Table Etiquette, etc. By Hugo Ziemann and Mrs. F. L. Gillette. Chicago: The Saalfield Publishing Co., 1900. (Large 4to) pp. 508.

Almanach de la Salle à Manger rédigé par des Gourmets Littéraires et des Maîtres de Bouche. Paris: Bureau du Journal la Salle à Manger, 1865. (16mo) pp. 176.

Almanach de la Table, 1846. Avec la carte gastronomique de Paris. Paris, 1845. (32mo) pp. 128.

Almanach des Chasseurs et des Gourmands. Paris: Au Dépot de Librairie, Rue des Moulins. s. d. (12mo) pp. 144.

La Reynière (Grimod de). Almanach des Gourmands; ou, Calendrier Nutritif Servant de Guide dans les Moyens de Faire Excellente Chère. Suivi de l'itinéraire d'un Gourmand dans divers quartiers de Paris, et de quelques variétés morales, nutritives, anecdotes gourmandes, etc. Par un vieil amateur. Paris: Chez Maradan, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808; chez Joseph Chaumerot, 1810, 1812. (18mo) pp. 247, 282, 342, 336, 362, 331, 340, 360.

Raisson (Horace). Almanach Perpétuel des Gourmands. Contenant le Code Gourmand. Sixième édition, et des explications et méditations de gastronomie transcendante. Paris, au Palais Royal, 1829. (18mo.)

Almanach perpétuel des pauvres diables pour servir de correctif à l'Almanach des Gourmands. A Paris, chez Madame Caillot, 1803. (18mo) pp. 124.

Gérard (Charles). L'Ancienne Alsace à Table. Etude Historique et Archéologique sur l'Alimentation, les Mœurs et les Usages Epulaires de l'Ancienne Province d'Alsace. Colmar: Camille Decker, 1862. (8vo) pp. 301.


Antigastronomie (L'); ou, L'Homme de Ville Sortant de Table. Poème en IV chants. Manuscrit trouvé dans un pâté et augmenté de remarques importantes, avec figure. A Paris, chez Hubert et Cie, 1806. (12mo) pp. 215.

Fulbert-Dumonteil. L'Art de Bien Manger. Fins et joyeux croquis gastronomiques, écrits pour les gourmets. Paris: Nilsson, 1901. (12mo) pp. 716.

Colnet. L'Art de Dîner en Ville à l'Usage des Gens de Lettres. Poème en IV Chants. Seconde édition revue et corrigée. Paris: Delaunay, 1810. (12mo) pp. 144.

Carême (A.). L'Art de la Cuisine Française au Dix-Neuvième Siècle, etc., etc. Paris, l'Auteur, 1833-1835. 3 vols. (8vo).

Mangenville (Feu le chavalier de). L'Art de ne jamais Déjeûner chez soi et de Dîner toujours chez les Autres. Enseigné en huit leçons, indiquant les diverses recettes pour se faire inviter tous les jours, toute l'année, toute la vie. A Paris, à la Librairie Universelle, 1827. (18mo) pp. 140.

Beauvilliers (A.). L'Art du Cuisinier. Par A. Beauvilliers, Ancien Officier de Monsieur, Comte de Provence. A Paris: Chez Pillet Ainé, 1824. 2 vols. (8vo), pp. xx, 388, 408.

Vincard (Pierre). Le Banquet des Sept Gourmands, Roman Gastronomique. Paris: Gustave Sandré, 1853. (12mo) pp. 210.

Vicaire (Georges). Bibliographie Gastronomique. La cuisine—La Table—L'Office—Les Aliments—Les Vins—Les Cuisiniers et les Cuisinières—Les Gourmands et les Gastronomes. L'Economie domestique—Facéties—Dissertations singulières. Pièces de Théâtre, etc., etc., depuis le XVe. siècle jusqu'à nos jours. Avec des fac-similés. Paris, chez P. Rouquette et Fils, Editeurs, 1890. (Large 8vo) pp. xviii, 971.

Dubarry (Armand). Le Boire et le Manger. Histoire Anecdotique des Aliments. Paris: Furne, Jouvet et Cie, 1884. (16mo) pp. 256.

Souchay (Léon). Le bon Cuisinier Illustré. Paris: Audot, 1886. (8vo) pp. 780.


Dumont (Emile). La Bonne Cuisine Française, tout ce qui a Rapport à la Table. Manuel-guide de la cuisinière et de la maîtresse de maison. Dessins de A. B., gravés par Ysabeau. Paris: Degoree-Cadot, 1873. (12mo) pp. 674.

Croizette. La Bonne et Parfaite Cuisinière Grande et Simple Cuisine. Paris: Bernardin-Béchet et fils, 1885. Dix septième édition. (18mo) pp. 283.

Hachebée. Cent Trente Recettes pour Apprêter le Lapin. Paris: Librairie Centrale d'Agriculture et de Jardinage, 1879. (18mo) pp. 176.

Remy (Jules). Champignons et Truffes. Paris: Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique, 1861. (18mo) pp. 173.

Chansonnier (Le Nouveau) de la Table et du Lit. Paris: Davi et Locard, 1816. (32mo) pp. 125.

Jobey (Charles). La Chasse et la Table. Nouveau traité en vers et en prose donnant la manière de chasser, de tuer, et d'apprêter le gibier. Paris: Furne et Cie, 1864. (12mo) pp. 204.

Classiques (Les) de la Table, à l'Usage des Practitiens et des Gens du Monde. Beau volume de 550 pages, avec les portraits gravés au burin par nos premiers artistes, de M. le Prince de Talleyrand, M. Grimod de la Reynière, Berchoux, Marquis de Cussy, Colnet, feu le Docteur Marcel Gaubert, Carême, Appert, etc. Des illustrations sont entremêlées au texte. Paris, 1844. (8vo) pp. 550.

Asseline (Alfred). Le Cœur et l'Estomac. Paris: Michel Lévy Frères, 1853. (16mo) pp. 162.

Contenance (La) de la Table. Nouvellement imprimée à Paris. (Poème.) (8vo.) s. d.

Dupertuis (Mme.). La Cuisine au Chocolat. Dédiée aux dames. Neuchâtel: Delachaux et Niestlé, 1885. (12mo.)

Dubois (Urbain). La Cuisine Classique. Etudes pratiques, raisonnées et démonstratives de l'école française par Urbain Dubois et Emile Bernard, chefs de cuisine de LL. M.M. l'Empereur et l'Impératrice d'Allemagne. Douzième édition. Paris: E.[461] Dentu, 1886. 2 vols. (4to), pp. 467, 491. Do. Paris, Flammarion, 1899. 2 vols. (4to), pp. 500, 500.

Dubois (Urbain). La Cuisine d'Aujourdhui, École des Jeunes Cuisiniers. Service des déjeûners—Service des dîners, 250 manières de prépares les œufs, 260 dessins, dont 40 planches gravées. Par Urbain Dubois, auteur de la Cuisine de Tous les Pays, etc. Paris: E. Dentu, 1889. (4to) pp. xv, 760.

Cuisine (La) de nos Pères. L'Art d'accomoder le Gibier suivant les Principes de Vatel et des Grands Officiers de Bouche. Deux cents recettes à la portée de Tout le Monde. Paris: Librairie Illustrée, 1886. (8vo.)

Cuisine (La) de Santé. Préservatif des Maladies. Paris: Audot; Crochard, 1831. (12mo.)

Dubois (Urbain). Cuisine de Tous les Pays. Paris: Dentu, 1901. (Large 8vo, illustrated) pp. 900.

Durand (C.). Cuisine du Midi et du Nord. Paris: Garnier Frères, 1877. 9e. édition. (8vo.)

Le Cointe (Jourdan). Le Cuisinier Des Cuisiniers; ou, L'art de la Cuisine enseigné économiquement d'après les plus grands Maîtres anciens et modernes, etc. 18e. édition. Paris: Laplace, 1867. (12mo) pp. 684.

Martin (Alexandre). Le Cuisinier des Gourmands; ou, La Cuisine Moderne. Enseignée d'après les plus grands maîtres par A. Martin, auteur du Bréviaire du Gastronome. Paris: Ch. Froment, 1829. (18mo) pp. 320.

Cuisinier (Le) de Tout le Monde, ou la Cuisine sans Cuisinier. Paris: Bureau de l'Encyclopédie, 1835. (18mo) pp. 240.

Cuisinière (La) Bourgeoise. Suivie de l'office à l'usage de tous ceux qui se mêlent de dépenses de maisons. A Paris, chez Guillyn, 1746. (12mo) pp. 400. 22e. édition. Paris: Moronval, 1866.

Audot (Louis-Eustache). La Cuisinière de la Campagne et de la Ville. Paris: Audot, 1818. (12mo) pp. 248. Do. 1887. 65th édition. Do., 1902. 400 illustrations. (12mo) pp. 700.


Cuisinière (Nouvelle) Canadienne. Montréal, 1865. (18mo.)

Ebert (Jenny-Lena). La Cuisinière Suisse. Nouveau manuel de cuisine bernoise pour la ville et la campagne. Berne: R. Jenni, 1871. (8vo.)

Breteuil (Jules). Le Cuisinier Européen. Ouvrage contenant les Meilleures Recettes des Cuisines Française et Etrangère. Paris: Garnier Frères, 1860. (12mo.)

La Varenne. Le Cuisinier François; ou, l'Ecole des Ragoûts. Où est enseigné la manière d'apprêter toutes sortes de viandes, de pâtisseries et confitures. Par le Sieur de la Varenne, écuyer de cuisine de M. le Marquis d'Uxelles. A Lyon, 1699. (12mo.)

Garlin, de Tonnere. Le Cuisinier Moderne; où Les Secrets de l'Art Culinaire. Menus—Haute Cuisine—Pâtisserie—Glaces—Office, etc. Suivi d'un Dictionnaire Complet des Termes Techniques. Paris: Garnier Frères, 1887. 2 vols. (4to), pp. xliv, 278, 357.

Carême (A.). Le Cuisinier Parisien; ou, L'Art de la Cuisine Française au Dix-Neuvième Siècle, etc., etc. Paris, l'Auteur, 1828. (8vo) pp. 422.

Place (Charles). De l'Alimentation des Classes Ouvrières. Choix, conservation et préparation hygiénique et économique des substances alimentaires. Bruxelles: Philippe Hen, 1859. (12mo) pp. 166.

Moynier (M. M.). De la Truffe: Traité Complet de ce Tubercule, etc., etc. Paris: Barba; Legrand et Bourgougnioux, 1836. (8vo) pp. 404.

Délices (Les) de la Campagne. Suitte du Jardinier François où est Enseigné à Préparer pour l'Usage de la Vie tout ce qui croist sur la Terre & dans les Eaux. Dédié aux Dames Mesnagères. A Paris, chez Pierre des-Hayes, 1654. (12mo) pp. 384.

Dessert (Le) du Gastronome, chansonnier des Amateurs de la Table. A Paris, chez Tiger, s. d. (16mo.)


Burnet. Dictionnaire de Cuisine et d'Economie ménagère. A l'usage des Maîtres et Maîtresses de Maison, Fermiers, Maîtres d'Hôtel, Chefs de Cuisine, Chefs d'Office, Restaurateurs, Pâtissiers, etc. Par M. Burnet, ex-officier de bouche. Paris, à la Librairie Usuelle, 1836. (8vo) pp. 788.

Le Page (Auguste). Les Dîners Artistiques et Littéraires de Paris. Paris: Frinzine, Klein et Cie, 1884. (12mo) pp. 360.

Gardeton (César). Le Directeur des Estomacs; où, Instruction Pratique sur la Nature, les Qualités et les Propriétés de chaque espèce d'Aliments. Paris: Pillet aîné, 1827. (18mo) pp. 248.

Buc'hoz (J. P.). Dissertation sur le Cochon. Paris, l'Auteur, 1789. (Folio.)

L'Ecole Parfaite des Officiers de Bouche qui Enseigne les Devoirs du Maître-d'Hôtel et du Sommelier, etc. Huitième édition. A Paris, chez Pierre Ribon, 1716. (12mo) pp. 507.

Husson (C.). Etude sur les Epices, Aromates, Condiments, Sauces et Assaisonnements: leur Histoire, leur Utilité, leur Danger. Paris: Dunod, 1883. (8vo) pp. 350.

Festin Joyeux; où, La Cuisine en Musique, en Vers Libres. A Paris, chez Lesclapart Père, 1738. (12mo.)

Gargantuina (Le Nouveau); où, Le Gastronome des Gastronomes. Recueil amusant et curieux sur les plus fameux Gastronomes de France et de tous les autres pays, etc., etc. Paris: Chassaignon, 1839. (12mo) pp. 110.

Fos (Léon de). Gastronomania. Proverbes—Aphorismes—Préceptes et Anecdotes en Vers, précédés de Notes relatives à l'Histoire de la Table. Paris: Rouquette, 1870. (18mo) pp. 169.

Gastronome (Le) Français; où, L'Art de Bien Vivre. Par les anciens Auteurs du Journal des Gourmands, MM. G. D. L. R***, D. D***, Gastermann, G***, Clytophon, Charles Sartrouville, C. L. C***, C***, Marie de Saint-Ursin, B***, etc. Paris: Charles-Béchet, 1828. (8vo) pp. 503.

Gastronome (Le Manuel du); où, Nouvel Almanach des Gourmands. Paris: Lébige, 1830. (3-1/2 x 6 in.) pp. 246.


Gastronomiana; ou, Recueil Curieux et Amusant d'Anecdotes, Bons Mots, Plaisanteries, Maximes et Réflexions Gastronomiques. Précédé d'une Dissertation Historique sur la Science de la Gueule. Paris: Librairie Economique, 1809. (18mo) pp. 175.

Berchoux (J. de). La Gastronomie. Poème en Quatre Chants publiée avec une Notice et des Notes par Félix Desvernay. Paris: Librairie des Bibliophiles, 1876. (18mo) pp. 87.

Gardeton (César). La Gastronomie pour Rire; ou, Anecdotes, Réflexions, Maximes et Folies Gourmandes sur la Bonne Chère, les Indigestions, le Vin, les Ivrognes, les Buveurs d'Eau, les Gourmands, la Gourmandise, les Cuisiniers, les Alimens, les Boissons, etc. Paris: J. G. Dentu, 1827. (18mo) pp. 281.

Gastronomie (La), Revue de l'Art Culinaire Ancien et Moderne. Redigé par une Société de Gens de Lettres et de Gastronomes formés à l'Ecole de Grimod de la Reynière et de Brillat-Savarin. Paris, 1839-1841. (Periodical, 59 numbers published.)

Dumas (Alexandre). Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine. Paris: Alphonse Lamerre, 1873. (8vo) pp. 1152.

Desnoiresterres (Gustave). Grimod de la Reynière et son Grouppe. D'Après des documents entièrement inédits. Paris: Librairie Académique, Didier et Cie, 1877. (12mo) pp. 399.

Nicolardot (Louis). Histoire de la Table. Curiosités Gastronomiques de Tous les Temps et de Tous les Pays. Paris: E. Dentu, 1868. (12mo) pp. xxiv, 435.

Verdot (C.). Historiographie de la Table; ou, Abrégé Historique, Philosophique, Anecdotique et Littéraire des Substances Alimentaires et des Objets qui leur sont relatifs, des Principales Fêtes, Mœurs, Usages et Coutumes de tous les Peuples Anciens et Modernes. Deuxième édition. Paris, chez l'Auteur, 1833. (18mo) pp. 384.

Gaubert. Hygiène de la Digestion. Suivi d'un nouveau dictionnaire des alimens par le Dr. Paul Gaubert, de la Légion d'Honneur, etc. Paris, 1845. (8vo) pp. 552.


Porte (Dr. J. P. A. de la). Hygiène de la Table. Traité du choix des aliments dans leurs rapports avec la santé. Paris: F. Savy, 1870. (Large 8vo) pp. 516.

La Reynière (Grimod de). Journal des Gourmands et des Belles; ou, L'Epicurien Français. Rédigé par l'auteur de l'Almanach des Gourmands, etc. Paris: Capelle et Renaud, 1806.

Loire (Louis). Les Joyeux Propos de Table. Anecdotes—bons mots—traits plaisants—boutades entremêlées de curieuses recettes culinaires recueillis par Louis Loire. Paris: E. Dentu, 1879. (18mo) pp. 216.

Gouffé (Jules). Le Livre de Cuisine. Par Jules Gouffé, ancien officier de bouche du Jockey Club de Paris, comprenant la Cuisine de Ménage et la grande Cuisine. Cinquième édition. Paris: Hachette et Cie, 1881. (Tall 8vo) pp. 864. Do. Hachette et Cie, 1902. pp. 760.

Gouffé (Jules). Le Livre de Pâtisserie. Paris: Hachette et Cie, 1873. (Tall 8vo) pp. 506.

Seignobos (Mme.). Le Livre des Petits Ménages. Ouvrage contenant 206 gravures. Paris, Hachette, 1894. (12mo) pp. 474.

Taillevent (Guillaume Tirel). Le Livre de Taillevent, Grand Cuisinier de France. Suivi du livre de honneste volupté, contenant la manière d'habiller toute sorte de viandes—le tout revue nouvellement. Lyon: pour Pierre Rigaud, 1602. (l6mo.)

Fournier (Edouard). Livre d'Or des Métiers. Histoire des hôtelleries, cabarets, hôtels garnis, restaurants et cafés et des anciennes communautés et confréries d'hôteliers, des marchands de vins, de restaurateurs, de limonadiers, etc., etc. Paris, 1851. 2 vols. (8vo), pp. 348, 410.

Najac (Emile de). Madame est servie. Paris: E. Dentu, 1874. (18mo) pp. 284.

Carême (A.). Le Maître d'Hôtel Français; ou, Parallèle de la Cuisine Ancienne et Moderne, etc., etc. Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1822. 2 vols. (8vo).


Manuel de la Cuisinière Provençale. Contenant la Préparation et la Conservation des Aliments particuliers à la Provence; suivi de la Cuisine bourgeoise. Marseille: Chauffard, 1858. (12mo) pp. 276.

Manuel (Le) de la Friandise; ou, les Talents de ma Cuisinière Isabeau mis en Lumière. Contenant l'Art de faire soi-même une excellente Cuisine, et de manger de bons morceaux sans faire trop dépense, etc. Par l'Auteur du petit cuisinier économe. A Paris, chez Janet, 1796. (18mo) pp. xxxviii, 264.

Martin (Alexandre). Manuel de l'Amateur de Melons; ou, L'Art de reconnaître et d'acheter de bons Melons. Précédé d'une histoire de ce fruit, avec un traité sur sa culture, etc. Paris: Aug. Udron, 1827. (18mo) pp. 156.

Martin (Alexandre). Manuel de l'Amateur des Truffes; ou, L'Art d'obtenir des Truffes. Au moyen des plants artificiels, dans les parcs, bosquets, jardins, etc., etc., précédé d'une histoire de la truffe et d'anecdotes gourmandes, et suivi d'un traité sur la culture des champignons. Seconde édition. Paris: Leroi; Audin, 1829 (18mo) pp. xii, 143.

La Reynière (Grimod de). Manuel des Amphitryons. Contenant un Traité de la Dissection des Viandes à Table, la Nomenclature des Menus les plus Nouveaux pour chacque Saison, et des Elemens de Politesse Gourmande. Ouvrage indispensable à tous ceux qui sont jaloux de faire bonne chère, et de la faire faire aux autres. Orné d'un grand nombre de planches gravées en taille-douce. A Paris, chez Capelle et Renand, 1808. (8vo) pp. 384.

Cardelli (M.). Manuel des Gourmands; ou, l'Art de faire les Honneurs de sa Table. Paris: Librairie Roret. s. d. (18mo).

Courchamps (Maurice Cousin, Comte de). Néo-Physiologie du Goût par Ordre Alphabétique; ou, Dictionnaire Général de la Cuisine Française Ancienne et Moderne, etc., etc. Enrichi de plusieurs menus, prescriptions culinaires, et autres opuscules inédits de M. de la Reynière, auteur de l'Almanach des Gourmands; suivi d'une collection générale des menus français[467] depuis le douzième siècle. Paris, 1839. (8vo) pp. 635. (Dumas' favourite work on cookery.)

Périgord (A. B. de). Nouvel Almanach des Gourmands. Paris: Bandouin Frères, 1825. (8vo) pp. xxiv, 224.

Cardelli (M.). Nouvel Manuel Complet du Cuisinier et de la Cuisinière à l'Usage de la Ville et de la Campagne. Nouvelle Edition. Paris: Librairie Roret, 1818. (18mo) pp. 472.

Briffault (Eugène). Paris à Table. Illustré par Bertall. Paris: J. Hetzel, 1846. (8vo) pp. 184.

Pastissier (Le) François. Où est enseigné la manière de faire toute sorte de Pastisserie, très-utile à toutes sortes de personnes. A Amsterdam, chez Louys et Daniel Elzevier, 1654. (12mo) pp. 252.

Carême (A.). Le Pâtissier Pittoresque, etc., etc. Nouvelle édition. Paris, au Dépôt de la Librairie, 1854. (8vo) pp. 56.

Carême (A.). Le Pâtissier Royal Parisien; ou, Traité Elémentaire et Pratique de la Patisserie Ancienne et Moderne, etc., etc. Paris: J. G. Dentu, 1815. 2 vols. (8vo), pp. 482, 447.

Brisse (Baron). La Petite Cuisine. 3ème Edition. Paris: E. Donnaud, 1875. (18mo) pp. 429.

Geair (Mlle. J.). La Petite Cuisinière Bourgeoise, avec Renseignements Utiles aux Familles. Par Mlle. Julie Geair, professeur. Paris, impr. Barnagaud, 1889. (16mo) pp. 738.

Brillat-Savarin. Physiologie du Goût; ou, Méditations de Gastronomie Transcendante. Ouvrage théorique, historique et à l'ordre du jour, dédié aux gastronomes parisiens, par un professeur, membre de plusieurs sociétés littéraires et savantes. Paris: A. Sautelet et Cie, 1826. 2 vols. (8vo), pp. 390, 422. (First edition of the "Physiologie.")

Delveau (Alfred). Les Plaisirs de Paris. Guide pratique et illustré. Paris: Achille Faure, 1867. (16mo) pp. 299.

Promenade Gastronomique dans Paris. Présentant un tableau fidèle, anecdotique et comique des faits et gestes des cuisi[468]niers et cuisinières de tous les étages, ainsi que des traiteurs, restaurateurs, consommateurs, etc. Par un Amateur. Paris: Librairie Orientale de Dondey-Dupré, 1833. (18mo) pp. 171.

Reiber (Emile). Les Propos de Table de la Vieille Alsace. Illustrés tout au long de Dessins originaux des anciens Maîtres alsaciens. Paris: chez Launette, 1886. (4to) pp. xvi, 231.

Rouvière. Quelques Conseils sur l'Hygiène du Cuisinier. Par F. Rouvière, restaurateur. Bordeaux, impr. J. Durand, 1886. (18mo) pp. 108.

Chavette (Eugène). Restaurateurs et restaurés. Dessins par Cham. Paris: A. Le Chevalier, 1867. (16mo) pp. 126.

Cauderlier. La Santé par les Aliments. Pour vivre de 50 à 80 ans et plus. Gand: Imprimerie de Léon de Busscher, 1882. (8vo) pp. 304.

Gogué. Les Secrets de la Cuisine Française. Par A. Gogué, ancien chef des cuisines du Comte Ducayla, de Lord Melville, etc. Ouvrage illustré de 45 gravures sur bois par Rouyer. Paris, Librairie Hachette, 1856. (12mo) pp. 438.

Les Soupers de la Cour; ou, L'Art de Travailler Toutes Sortes d'Alimens pour Servir les Meilleurs Tables, suivant les Quatre Saisons. A Paris, chez Guillyn, 1755. 4 vols. (12mo).

Staffe (Bonne). Traditions Culinaires et l'Art de Manger Toutes Choses à Table. Paris, Havard, 1896. (12mo) pp. 400.

Bontou. Traité de Cuisine Bourgeoise Bordelaise. Bordeaux: Feret et Fils, 1898. (12mo) pp. 682.

Ferry de la Bellone (De). La Truffe: Etude sur les Truffes et les Truffières. Paris: J. B. Baillière et Fils, 1888. (16mo.)

Chatillon-Plessis. La Vie à Table à la Fin du XIXc. Siècle. Theorie pratique et historique de Gastronomie moderne, etc. Paris: Librairie de Firmin-Didot et Cie, 1894. (8vo) pp. 411.

Franklin (Alfred). La Vie Privée d'Autrefois ...Les Repas. [469]Paris: Plon, Nourrit et Cie, 1887. (18mo) pp. 300.


INDEX "Accomplish'd Cook (The)," Robert May's, 99 Ahasuerus (King), feast of, 12 Aigrefeuille (M. d'), as an epicure, 69, 70, 129 Aldergrove (John), on game, 354 "Almanach des Gourmands," quoted, 70; referred to, 73, 112 et seq., 157, 184, 233, 336; its purpose, 132; aphorisms of, 138-139. Vide also "G. de la Reynière" "Almanach Gourmand (L')," referred to, 225 "Almanach Gourmand (Le Double)," quoted, 258 Alsace, excellence of its cooks, 149 "Ancienne Alsace à Table (L')," 148-150 Angelica, 434 Anne (Queen), as a gourmande, 102 "Apician Morsels," a piratical volume, 336 Apicius, as a cook, 29; referred to, 40, 41, 50, 200 Apios tuberosa, or ground-nut, 255 Appetites (great), anecdote of the Vicomte de Viel-Castel, 214; anecdote of a Swiss guard, 218; anecdote of a French drummer, 218; anecdote of an English chaplain, 288 Archestratus, his lost poem on gastronomy, 13 "Art Culinaire (L')," 121, 347, 408 "Art de Diner en Ville (L')," 76 "Art de la Cuisine Française au Dix-neuvième Siècle (L')," 206 "Art du Cuisinier (L')," 71-72 Arthus (Désiré), on old tavern-signs, 68 "Art of Cookery (The)," Mrs. Glasse's, 107-111, 316 "Art of Cookery (King's)," quoted, 93, 344 "Art of Dining (The)," Thos. Walker's, 319; Abraham Hayward's, 331 et seq. Arts (the) and their masters, 131 Athenæus, quoted, 8, 13, 16, 18, 21-23 Attendance, importance of perfect, 321 Audubon, on game, 362, 363, 370 Autumn, glories of, 373 et seq., 398 "Avalanche" (the), of Carême, 200 Azincourt (Albouis), referred to, 130 Baba, its history and virtues, 434 Babiroussa (the), anecdote of, 212 Bakers, the art of the German, 146, 171 Baking, an ancient form of cooking, 10 Balzac, quoted, 5, 351; referred to, 177; as a gastronomer, 219 Banquets, early English, 90, 91 Banville (Théodore de), quoted, 227; referred to, 341, 445 Baron Brisse, quoted, 32, 180, 344, 371, 405, 417; as a gastronomer, 227-228; his splendid gastronomic axiom, 228 Barras (Vicomte de), dinner of, 65 Baryé, referred to, 246 Basting, importance of, 228 Baudelaire (Charles), referred to, 445 Beauvilliers, referred to, 6, 69, 70, 199, 202, 213, 386, 435; quoted, 71, 110, 234, 442 Béchamel, referred to, 54-55 Beecher (Rev. Henry Ward), on pies, 436 Beef, baron of, a royal dish, 92; sirloin of, its origin, 99 Beer, quotation in praise of, 145 Beer-gardens, German, 151 et seq. Beers, of Germany, 163-164, 168 Bellone (Dr. de la), on the truffle, 390, 395 Bénédictine, liqueur of, its history, 283-284 Béranger, poem on the restaurant, 140 Berchoux, referred to, 58, 72, 184; his poem on gastronomy, 73 et seq., 385 Bernard (Gentil), referred to, 73 Bertinazzi (Carlin), referred to, 129 Beverages, importance of, 4; their relation to national cookery, 151-152, 163-164 Bignon, anecdotes of, 342-343 Bishop (a) of Burgundy, anecdote of, 304 Blaze de Bury, on women, 433 Blot (Pierre), 435 Boar, the wild, 26, 39, 234, 236, 243, 246-247, 366 Boar's-head, carols on the, 91, 93 Boileau, axiom on punctuality, 269 Boiling, a primitive method of cooking, 11 "Boke of Keruynge," quoted, 85-87 "Boke of Nurture," quoted, 84-85 Bonaparte, Napoleon, as a gastronomer, 76 Bonnechose (Cardinal), his famous mot, 284 Bossuet, his "Oraison Funèbre" referred to, 232 Bramble (Mathew), referred to, 324 Bratwurst-Glöcklein, 163 Breadstuffs, the first, 7; used by the early English, 83 Breckenridge (Vice-Pres.), anecdote of, 253-255 Brontë (Charlotte), on the curate's dinner, 288 Brouwer (Adrian), referred to, 445 Browne (Wm.), sonnet on the mushroom, 400 Bryant, "Lines to a Waterfowl," 292 Bubble and Squeak, 278 Buckland (Frank), referred to, 243 Buffon, anecdote of, 385 Bulwer, on the fox, 161 Cæsar, his prodigal feasts, 44 Café (vide also "Restaurant,") Véry, referred to, 6, 52, 213, 220, 258; Voisin, referred to, 52; Hardy, referred to, 52, 69, 220; Riche, referred to, 52, 220, 250; Véfour, referred to, 213, 258; de Paris, referred to, 214, 219, 220, 221, 222, 258; its great vogue in the '40's, 219; Anglais, referred to, 220, 258; Philippe, referred to, 258 Caligula, referred to, 43 Cambacérès, as a gastronomer, 69, 205; referred to, 195 Camerani (M.), referred to, 129 Capon (the), as a favourite of the clergy, 306 Caraway-seed, abuse of, in Germany, 169 Carême, referred to, 13, 70, 194, 199-207, 211, 223, 229, 348-349, 350, 385, 408, 443; eulogy of, 207 Carp (the), as a favourite of the clergy, 306, 308 Carver, Vatel's definition of a, 60 Carving, importance of, 87, 138; a novel monastic method of, 307 "Castle of Indolence (The)," quoted, 238 Cèpes. Vide "Mushrooms" Charles II, as an epicure, 99 Châteauroux (Duchesse de), 63 Chatillon-Plessis, gastronomical axiom of, 265 Cheese, Martin Schookius' book on, 146; German varieties of, 167; its proper place at dinner, 263; its place and mission at dinner, 440 Child (Theodore), as a false dietetic mentor, 417 Civet of hare, 51 Claré, 96 Claudius, his great dining-room, 43 Clergy (the), elaborate banquets given by, 90; table excesses of, in old Alsace, 149. Vide also individual references Climate vs. alimentation, 168, 270, 334 Clough (Arthur Hugh), poem on "The Dinner," 336 "Cobbe's Prophecies," quoted, 80 Cocktail, physiology of the, 196 Coffee, remote use of, 9 Colbert, referred to, 55 "Compleat Housewife (The)," Mrs. E. Smith's, 98, 106, 109 "Compleat Practical Cook (The)," Charles Carter's, 103 Compots, 157, 174, 432 Condé (Prince de), referred to, 54, 58, 60 Contades (Maréchal de), referred to, 159 Cook, Montaigne's reference to a, 51-52; Berchoux's reference to a, 74; importance of a good, 113; attributes necessary for a good, 203, 207; anecdote of a new, 259; anecdote of a, 393 Cook-book, the ideal, defined, 442-446 Cook-books, early Italian, 49; early Spanish, 50; early French, 52; early English, 81 et seq., 317; 17th-century English, 93 et seq.; old German, 147-148, 150; modern (vide specific references), written by the clergy, 281 Cookery, its relation to life and health, 3, 70, 71, 251, 257-258, 286, 430; modern progress in, 4; vs. matrimony, 6; Italian school of, 6, 49, 51, 195; compared to painting, 6, 203; in Biblical times, 7, 8, 9; of the ancient Persians, 11, 12; of the ancient Greeks, 13 et seq.; of the ancient Sicilians, 14; of the ancient Romans, 24 et seq.; period of its greatest distinction in Rome, 25; decline of ancient, 48; vs. literature and art, 48; the renaissance of, 49 et seq.; of Spain, 50, 423; its relation to the mind, 64, 176; vs. diplomacy, 70; home vs. the haute-cuisine, 72, 350, 429; cry of its decadence, 79, 258; Parisian school of, in England, 99; of the English rural classes, 101, 102; modern English, 111, 269 et seq.; importance of good writers on, 113, 199; period of its greatest distinction in France, 116; complementary to national beverages, 151, 153; excellence of German, 156, 174; Carême's and the Marquis de Cussy's opinion of old Roman, 201; of America, 249 et seq.; of the modern French, 259 (vide also special references); its relation to the church, 280 et seq.; a difficult art, 442. Vide also "Gastronomy" Cooking-schools, 251, 260 Cooks, jealousy of, 14, 202; regulating the health of, 136 "Cook's Oracle (The)," 316 et seq. Cordon-bleu, origin of the term, 62 Cucumber, remote use of, 9; its virtues, 425 Cuisine, the ideal, defined, 258 Cuisine classique (the), 200 "Cuisinier Parisien (Le)," quoted, 203; referred to, 206, 349 Curaçoa sec, as a digestive, 192 Curé, anecdote of a, 293 Cussy (Marquis de), referred to, 67, 127, 211, 213, 225, 305; quoted, 120, 181, 201, 346, 383, 408 Cuyp, referred to, 6, 203, 245 Davis, Lieutenant-Colonel Newnham, 337-339 De Candolle, referred to, 256 Deffand (Mme. du), on strawberries, 144 Delavigne (Cassimir), on dinners, 112 "Délices de la Campagne (Les)," 59 Délille (l'Abbé), on gardening, 71 De Quincey on midday dining, 146 "De re Culinaria," 29, 41, 50 Désaugiers, poem on women, 119 Dessert, its mission defined, 430; etymology of the term, 438 Dickens (Charles), on dining, 329 Dinner, hours of, 83; a good one, a simple one, 116, 320, 322, 324; punctuality at, 126, 269, 291, 318, 319; a wineless, 127, 263-266, 294, 295; inhuman hours of, 145-146, 150; its true hygienic hour, 146, 268, 269; Savarin's definition of a perfect, 190; Carême's classic, at the Baron Rothschild's villa, 200; Dumas' definition of a good, 213; of the Vicomte de Viel-Castel, 214; the Sunday engorgement, 266; evils of the "theatre", 267; a good, as defined by an eminent Baptist ecclesiast, 299; by the Ettrick Shepherd, 309; by Thackeray, 315; by Kitchener, 318; by the Earl of Dudley, 320; French definition of a perfect, 320; importance of variety in the bill of fare, 329; the graceful liar as an adjunct to, 331; Arthur Hugh Clough's poem on the, 336 Dinners, poor "company," 126, 261, 321, 329; ministerial, 195; similarity of, 195, 325, 328; false etiquette of, 331 "Dinners and Diners," 337-339 Dish, the first recorded, 7 Dishes, new, 72, 353, 380; testing of, 135; Hungarian, 167; abuse of certain, 261 Dom Gobelot, anecdote of, 310 Domitian, referred to, 43 Dom Pérignon, the inventor of champagne, 283 Don Quixote, referred to, 50 "Double Almanach Gourmand (Le)," referred to, 340 Douw (Gérard), referred to, 197 Drayton (Michael), quoted, 360 Dreams, viands provocative of, 197 Drinking-Cups, of the ancients, 31 Du Barry (Mme.), a supper of, 62 Dubufe, referred to, 234 Duck, wild, the art of carving a, 87; "When Father carves the" (poem), 87; canvasback, 249, 369; canvasback, Rev. Joseph Barber's poem on, 292; wild, 359, 366, 369 Dumas (Alexandre), quoted, 5, 49, 56, 206, 213, 214, 224, 225, 383; referred to, 131, 149, 211-225, 321; as a cook, 211; as a gastronomer, 221; anecdote of, as a chef, 222, 223 Dumas fils (Alexandre), referred to, 5 Dumonteil (Fulbert), his saying about truffles, 10 Eating, evils of irregular, 267 Egyptians, table appointments of, 10 Elephant, proper sauce to eat one with, 345 Ely (Rev. Joseph A.), translation of poem on the pig, 232 Emerson, his mot on pies, 437 Emetics, use of, among the ancients, 15 English, meals of the early, 82; not appreciative of fine cooking, 210, 274 "Englishman in Paris (An)," quoted, 222 Epicure, definition of an, 128, 131 "Epicurean (The)," referred to, 353 Epicurus, his maxims, 15 Evelyn (John), on salads, 411 Exercise, virtues of, 75, 378 "Faerie Queene (The)," quoted, 235 Fairy-rings. Vide "Mushrooms" Fayot (M.), quoted, 3, 5; referred to, 321 "Feasts of Autolycus (The)," quoted, 343 Fête champêtre. Vide "A shooting jaunt" Fieldfare, 361 Fig-pecker (the), 44, 192, 361 Fish, fondness of the old Latins for, 26; days in Elizabeth's era, 90, 308; omelettes and pâtés of, 149; variety and superiority of American, 251; its complementary wine, 309; proper cookery of, 368 Flamingo (the), as a table bird, 44 Fletcher (John), quoted, 96 Flint cracker, origin of the, 263 Fouquet, referred to, 54, 55, 58 Francatelli, referred to, 6, 106, 199, 208, 226, 350 France (Anatole), his mot on the pâté de Chartres, 434 Frederick the Great, his poem to his cook, 146 Frog (the), his first leap into the frying-pan, 150 Fruit, after dinner, 267 Fruits, the first cultivated, 9; glass-grown in England, 273; superiority of those of western New York, 274 Frying, theory of, 179 Fuger (Bishop), anecdote of, 310 et seq. Game, Savarin's references to, 192, 193, 197; Anthony Hayward on its cookery, 333; preservation and protection of, 357-358; definition of the term, 358; effect of food upon flavour of, 359-360, 362-363, 370; proper wines to accompany, 372; species, haunts, pursuit, protection, value, and cookery of, Vide chapter "The Spoils of the Cover" Garum, of the ancients, 46 Gastaldy (Dr.), anecdote of, 120; as an epicure, 130 Gastronomer, the ideal, defined, 442-446 Gastronomic tests, Savarin's illustration of, 190 Gastronomy, Archestratus' lost poem on, 13; Berchoux's poem on, 73-76, 184; as defined by M. de Borose, 81; as defined by La Reynière, 128; French vs. German, 145, 151, 152; finesse of its ethics, 157-158; one of the most important arts, 176; as defined by the "Dictionnaire de la Conversation," 184; as defined by Savarin, 184; cry of its decadence, 194; its mainspring the pig, 229 et seq.; as promoted by the religious orders, 285 et seq., 335; in relation to sauces, 345; St. Ange's disquisition on, 378-381; in relation to sport, 354, 356, 445. Vide also "Cookery," "Dinners," and individual references Gavarni, his mot on the mushroom, 407 Gemüthlichkeit, of the Germans, 153, 174 Gérard (Charles), referred to, 148-150 Gerarde, quoted, 256, 400, 411 Gibson (W. Hamilton), 406, 407 Glacer à la flamme, 203 Glatigny (Albert), quoted, 63, 341 Gluttony, as defined by woman, 343 Goethe, referred to, 147, 430; poem on game, 169 Goldsmith (Oliver), quoted, 108 Gonthier (Johann), referred to, 52 Good-will, a sportsman's waste of, 381 Goose (the), merits of, in Germany, 156; in Strassburg and Alsace, 159-161; and applesauce, 244 "Goret (La Mort du)," poem, 232 Gouffé (Jules), referred to, 199, 225-226, 227, 229, 445 Gourmand, La Reynière's definition of a, 127-128 Gourmandise, as defined by Savarin, 186; vs. beauty, 187; Gérard (Charles), quoted, 199 Gout, 143, 270, 346, 444; prevalence of, among the ancients, 46; prevalence of in England, 96, 102; vs. pâté de foie gras, 162 Grace before meat, 291, 297 Graces, the three spirituous, 196 "Grad' aus dem Wirthshaus," German convivial song, 173 "Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine," 211 et seq. Greeks, meals of the ancient, 19; gluttony of the ancient, 23 Greeley (Horace), anecdote of, 239 Grog, origin of the word, 97 Grouse, ruffed, 356, 359, 364, 366, 370, 375, 376, 411; pinnated, or prairie-chicken, 363, 365 Hafiz, quoted, 423 Hagenmark, 432 Hamerton, referred to, 243 "Hare, first catch your," origin of the term, 110 Harvest-home, poem on the celebration of, 101 Hasenbraten and Hasenpfeffer, 168 Hayward (Abraham), referred to, 331 et seq. Hayward (Anthony), on a chaplain's appetite, 288 Heidelberg, a dinner at the Wolfsbrunnen, 152 Heliogabalus, gluttony of his reign, 46-48; inventor of vol-au-vent à la financière, 48 Henry VIII, his fondness for sweets, 430 Herodotus, quoted, 10 Herrick, quoted, 79, 102 Herring, the "marinirte," 167 Hertford (Lord), anecdote of, 333 Hervilly (Ernest d'), referred to, 233 Hippocras, 57, 93, 94, 96 Hirztag, a strange custom of that festival, 150 Hollar, quoted, 358 Homer, quoted, 20 Hone (Wm.), poem on mince-pie, 435 Hood (Thomas), referred to, 316 Horace, quoted, 11, 26, 39, 40, 113, 398; referred to, 38, 39; his fondness for sweets, 428-429 Host, a delicate, as defined by La Reynière, 139; vs. guest, Baron Brisse's aphorism on, 228; his duty to his guests, 264-265, 330-331 Housewife, troubles of the, 260 Hugo (Victor), referred to, 341 Hunt (Leigh), on pig-driving, 239 Ice-cream, discoverer of, 434 Indian summer, poem on, 373 Indigestion, La Reynière on the causes of, 133 Ingoldsby (Thomas), referred to, 289; quoted, 280, 291, 306, 438 Jacque (Charles), referred to, 233, 245 Janin (Jules), referred to, 5, 211, 213, 348, 445 Jefferies (Richard), on feasting the chapel-pastor, 287 Johnson (Dr.), quoted, 111, 248 Jordaens, referred to, 6 Jury dégustateur (the), 120 et seq. Juvenal, referred to, 34, 37, 40; quoted, 37, 42 "Kalendare de Potages dyuers," 88, 90 Kempis (Thomas à), his fondness for salmon, 309 King (Wm.), poem on cookery, 279 Kitchener (Dr. Wm.), referred to, 106 Kuchen, merits of the German, 169, 174 "Kuchenmeisterey," 171 La Bruyère, quoted, 229, 380 Lacroix (Octave), his tribute to Dumas, 211 La Fontaine, referred to, 116 Laguipière, referred to, 6, 201, 202 Lamb (Charles), referred to, 17, 239, 240-242, 430; his apology to the pig, 240 Lampridius, quoted, 47 Larding (art of), its discoverer, 281 La Reynière (Grimod de), referred to, 66, 72, 112 et seq., 178, 196, 213, 225, 317, 336, 361, 443; poem of, 117; quoted, 118, 233, 236, 287, 345, 348, 383, 411; his home kitchen, 131, 132; as a gastronomer, 132; denounced by Savarin, 158; his tribute to Savarin, 177. Vide also "l'Almanach des Gourmands" La Rochefoucauld, quoted, 5 Leckerbissen and Frauenessen, 172 Lennox (Lady), anecdote of, 335 Liar, charm of the accomplished, 331 Liqueurs (celebrated), of monastic invention, 283-285 "Livre de Cuisine (Le)," 225 Locust (the), as an article of diet, 7 Louis XIII, as a gastronomer, 53; XIV, as a gastronomer, 64 et seq.; XV, as a gastronomer, 61; XVIII, as a gastronomer, 76, 78 Lucullus, as an epicure, 41-43; referred to, 45, 200, 201 Luncheon, an ideal woodland, 375 et seq. Lyne (Bishop de), referred to, 149 Macaroni, Dr. Gastaldy on, 120 Macaroni, Rossini's lost recipe for, 220 Madeleine (the), Dumas' story of, 169 Mæcenas, referred to, 38, 39 Magee (Bishop), anecdote of, 394 Mahony (Rev. Francis), poem on pâté de foie gras, 161; his "Watergrasshill Carousal," 309 Maintenon (Mme. de), referred to, 67, 63, 340 Maître d'hôtel, duties and importance of the, 136-138, 204 "Maître d'Hôtel Français (Le)," 206 "Manuel des Amphitryons," quoted, 69; referred to, 93-95 Markham (Gervaise), referred to, 93-95; quoted, 409 Marriage, Balzac's definition of, 351 Martial, quoted, 24, 31, 33, 44; referred to, 37, 38, 40 Marvell (Andrew), referred to, 81, 252 Mauri (Cardinal), his fondness for "Est, Est, Est," 311 Mead, its composition, 97 Medici (Catherine de), 52, 433 Melons, 9, 273, 298 "Memoirs of a Stomach," quoted, 271 "Memorials of Gormandizing," 329 Metheglin, 96, 98, 439 Metzelsuppe, Uhland's poem on, 166 Mézeray (Mlle.), referred to, 117-119, 125, 126 Mind vs. stomach, 5 Mistletoe-thrush, 361 "Modern Cook (The)," 208 Mohrenkeller, of Nürnberg, 163 Molière, referred to, 57, 58, 113 Monselet (Charles), quoted, 175, 194, 206, 264; referred to, 211, 225, 232, 340 Montaigne, quoted, 6, 51, 200, 376, 414; referred to, 147, 283 Montauron (Seigneur de), 54 Montausier (Duc de), 54, 55 Montespan (Mme. de), 58, 63 Montgomery (James), poem on the daisy, 424 Morellet (l'Abbé), anecdote of, 304 Morgan (Lady), referred to, 62; quoted, 200 Mouchy (Maréchal de), anecdote of, 64 Moynier (M. M.), referred to, 394, 396 Müller (Wilhelm), poem of, quoted, 311 Mullet, a much-valued fish, 32, 47; origin of the name, 33 Murger (Henri), referred to, 341 Mushrooms, 362; species, qualities, history, haunts, literature, and cookery of, 397-408 Musset (Alfred de), quoted, 219 Mutton, Pré-Salé and Southdown, 359, 380 Napoleon I, as a gastronomer, 61 Nasidienus, the feast of, 39, 40 Nero, his Domus aurea, 43 Ninon de l'Enclos, referred to, 175, 178, 200 North, (Christopher), 309, 316 "Nouvel Almanach des Gourmands," quoted, 220 Nudels, 167 Oaks, list of truffle-producing, 391 Oil and vinegar, 415-416 "Old Cookery Books," quoted, 275 Olive-oil, remote use of, 8 Olla podrida, 50; en grande, 50 Omelette (the curé's), anecdote of, 299-302 Onderdonk (Bishop), anecdote of, 295 Onion, an ancient vegetable, 9; tribe, virtues of the, 100, 107, 231, 387 "Original (The)," 319 et seq. Orsay (Comte d'), on French cookery, 258 Ortolans, 76, 361 Ostade, referred to, 74, 445 Oudry, referred to, 234 Ovens, Carême's remarks on, 202 Oyster-beds, first artificial, 27 Oysters, ancient modes of cooking, 89; superiority of American, 252 Pain perdu, 89 Painting, Italian school of, 6, 48, 245; Dutch and Flemish schools of, 6, 246, 445; French school of, 246 "Panthropeon, or History of Food (The)," 17, 209 Papabotte (the), 362-363 Parkinson (John), 81, 411 Parsley, virtues of, 106, 231 Pastry, La Reynière's definitions of, 138; Carême's definition of, 202 Pâte de foie gras, 7, 130, 156, 158, 161, 162, 189, 235, 236, 397; La Reynière's account of a, 123; its history, 159; d'écrevisses, 203; de Chartres, 434 "Pâtissier français (Le)," 59 Pennell (Elizabeth Robins), quoted, 107, 342 Pensey (Henrion de), his famous gastronomic axiom, 252 Pepper, superiority of adulterated, 417 Pepys (Diary of), quoted, 99-101 Perdrix à l'espagnol, 50 Perfumes, use of, at feasts, 13, 28 Petit-Radel (M.), anecdote of, 77 "Petite Cuisine (La)," 227 Petrarch, on wine, 293 Petronius Arbiter, referred to, 35, 37 Pheasant (the), 289, 359 Philippe d'Orléans, as a gastronomer, 61 "Philosopher's Banquet (The)," quoted, 106 Physicians, as gastronomers, 78, 267 "Physiologie du Goût (La)." referred to and quoted, 175 et seq., 206, 351, 395. Vide also "Savarin" Pie (pumpkin), its origin, 273; a game, 372 Pies, 249, 430 et seq.; wild boar, 89; strange early English, 95 Pig (the), his popularity as a signboard, 67; of Westphalia and Rothenburg, 164; as a factor of gastronomy, 229 et seq.; "Dissertation sur le Cochon," 231; "Gli Elogi del Porco," 231; M. Pouvoisin's eulogy of, 232; Rev. Joseph A. Ely's eulogy of, 232; Monselet's eulogy of, 232; Southey's eulogy of, 232; La Reynière's eulogies of, 233, 236; Ernest d'Hervilly's sonnet to, 233; Spenser's and Thomson's unjust strictures on, 235, 238; the Southern razorback, 235, 306; fondness for truffles, 236, 389; Leigh Hunt's essay on, 239; Charles Lamb's apology to the elder animal, 240; as a retriever of game, 244; a German eulogy of, 244; his influence upon the polite arts, 245-246; "Rôti-Cochon," 261, 414 "Pig-Driving, On the Graces and Anxieties of," 239 Planked shad, origin of, 253 et seq. Pliny, quoted, 31; referred to, 40, 384, 395 Plover, upland or grass, 361 et seq. Plum-porridge, 435 Plum-pudding, and history of, 334, 434-435 Pompadour (Marquise de), 63 Pope, quoted, 83, 103 Pork, the favourite dish of the ancients, 17; origin of, 230 Pork-pie, 89 Porridge, use of, by the ancients, 24 Potato, history of the, 255-256, 306 Potatoes, in England, 272, 330 Pot-au-feu, importance of the, 224 Propertius, quoted, 38 Prout (Father). Vide Rev. Francis Mahony "Psalm, a penitential," 286 Puff-balls. Vide "Mushrooms" Punch, origin of the word, 97 Punctuality. Vide "Dinner, punctuality at" Pumpkin, an ancient vegetable, 9 Quail, 363, 365, 366, 375, 382 Recipes A Blue-violet Salad ("The Story of My House"), 426 "A Bride's Pie" (Mrs. Glasse), 110 A good brown gravy (Mrs. Glasse), 109 A liver-pudding boiled (Mrs. Glasse), 109 Bakewell pudding, 276 Bouillon, Dumas' mode of preparing, 224 Brook trout (Savarin), 179; (Baron Brisse's formulas), 180 Cabbage, Apicius' recipes for, 29 Cèpes (Vuillemot's recipe for), 405 Chicken, Artimidor's recipe for, 18 Cock ale, Markham's formula for, 98 "Dish of Roses" (the). Laurentius' recipe for, 18 Flounder-souchy (Kitchener), 327 Gigot de mouton à la Richelieu (St. Ange), 380 Guisado, the Spanish, 51 How to collar a pig (Mrs. Smith), 109 How to roast a pig (Mrs. Glasse), 110 Kalter Aufschnitt, 169 Mutton Cutlets (Mrs. Walter Ellis), 276 Partridge aux choux (Baron Brisse), 371 Pheasant à la Sainte-Alliance (Savarin), 193 Potage aux choux (Dumas), 224 Quail à la financière (Gouffé), 226 Roast goose à l'allemande, 157 Sack-posset (Sir Fleetwood Fletcher), 439 Sauce for venison, mutton, and game (Francatelli), 208; for green geese and ducklings, 278; à la Schönberg (Her Gracious Serenity), 352 Spare-rib (Charles Lamb's new formula), 242 "The Curé's Omelette" (Savarin), 302 The hunter's sandwich, 441 Ranhofer (Charles), referred to, 353 Récamier (Mme.), referred to, 300 Reed-birds, 359, 361 Rembrandt, referred to, 6 Restaurants, first Parisian, 64, 66; excessive charges of Parisian, 140, 220, 342; Bignon, referred to, 219; American, 250; advantage of dining at, 339; Glatigny's sonnet on, 341; Bignon's, 341-343; Trois Frères Provençeaux, referred to, 258; a dinner at, in 1860, 297; English, 270, 275, 338. Vide also "Cafés," and specific references Retz (Cardinal de), referred to, 171 Réveillé-Parise (Dr.), referred to, 339 Richelieu (Cardinal de), 54, 302, 380; (Maréchal, Duc de), 303, 348 Riquette, referred to, 202 Ristori (Mme.), referred to, 220 Roasting, as defined by the Marquis de Cussy, 120 Robert, referred to, 6, 69, 194, 201, 202 Rocher de Cancale (restaurant of), 52, 115, 117, 118, 187, 221; a celebrated menu of, 140-142 Rohan (Cardinal), referred to, 150 Romans, luxury of the ancient, 25 et seq.; meals of the ancient, 27 Ronsard, referred to, 52; quoted, 79 Roques (Joseph), 408 "Royal Cookery" (Patrick Lamb's), 102 Rubens, referred to, 6, 245 Ruffs and reeves, 335 Ruysdael, referred to, 6 Sack-posset, 96 St. Ange, gastronomic homily of, 378-382 Ste. Beuve, quoted, 381 Saint-Simon, quoted, 55 Salad, 362; virtues of, as defined by Savarin, 301, 411; virtues of, as defined by La Reynière, 411; its mission and place at the dinner, 418 Salads, remote use of, 10 Salmis. La Reynière's lost monastic recipe for, 286 Sandpiper (Bartramian). Vide "Plover" and "Papabotte" Sanzai (Archbishop), anecdote of, 304 Sardanapalus, as a gastronomer, 12 Sauce, a good, as defined by Baron Brisse, 334; a good, as defined by La Reynière, 345; anchovy, 345; (a good), its qualification, 349 Sauce tartare, a novel, 256 Sauces old English, 84; best for brook trout, 191; (Francatelli's), for mutton and game, 209, 368; (English), 277; merits of, 249, 345; Harvey's, origin and anecdote of, 277; bread, 289, 368; their relation to gastronomy, 345; Marquis de Cussy on, 346; mayonnaise, its history and etymology, 348-349, 421; à la Schönberg, 352; a list of, for the home cuisine, 352; apple, 368; à la Richelieu, 381 Saucier (the), 346 Sauerkraut, 371; when invented, 150; (French), not to be commended, 223 Sausages, the German the master-maker of, 152, 423; German species and varieties of, 163-166 Savarin, referred to, 75, 113, 114, 225, 305, 351, 370, 434, 443; denounced by M. de Courchamps, 158; as a gastronomer, 181, 206; his discourtesy to La Reynière, 195; poem of, 197; quoted, 300-302, 383, 395, 411. Vide also "Physiologie du Goût (La)" Scott (Sir Walter), referred to, 309 Seasonings, used by the ancients, 28-30; used by the English, 83, 108; importance of, 446 Seneca, quoted, 5, 31, 32, 41, 46; referred to, 40, 44 Sévigné (Marquis de), referred to, 175, 200 Shakespeare, quoted, 246, 441 Shelley, referred to, 234 Shooting jaunt, a, 375 et seq. Shuttleworth (Canon), his famous "grace," 291 Signboards (old), and their mottoes, 67 Smell (the), its influence on the taste, 182 Smith (Rev. Sydney), his mot on pâté de foie gras, 158; gastronomic anecdote of, 249; his mot on the pheasant, 286; his poem on roast mutton, 290; on fanatics, 294; his poem on salad, 412 Sneyders, referred to, 6, 234, 445 Snipe, 356, 359, 365, 366, 411 Société des Mereredis, 118, 129, 130 Solomon, his table, 11 Sora, or rail (the), 360 Soubise (Prince de), anecdote of his chef, 37 Soup, bisque d'écrevisses, 150; aux choux, 224; croûte-au-pot, 224, 275; Julienne, 281; first mention of, 281 "Soupers de la Cour (Les)," 62 Soups, German, 167 Southey, referred to, 232 Soyer, referred to, 17, 106, 199, 209-210 Spartan black broth, 13 Spätzle, 167 Speaking-tube, invented by La Reynière, 126 Speisekarte, a typical, 154 Spenser, quoted, 235; referred to, 238 Sport. Vide chapter "The Spoils of the Cover" Stimulants, before dinner, 196 Stomach (the), its joys and sorrows, 5; its offices, 267, 317, 319 Strawberries vs. gout, 143, 432 —— —— —— (Rev. Dr.), anecdote of, 296-299 Sweetmeats, 379 Sweet potato, 256 Sydney (Sir Robert), anecdote of, 89 Tables volantes, 62 Talleyrand (Prince de), as a gastronomer, 69, 202 Talon (Joseph), discoverer of truffle culture, 388 Taste (the), Savarin's analysis of, 181-184; influence of smell on, 182 Teniers, referred to, 6, 445 Tennyson, referred to, 316 Thackeray, referred to, 159, 195, 387; as a gastronomer, 315, 329; quoted, 327, 340 Thomson, quoted, 238 Thoreau, on the mushroom, 402, 403 Tiberius, death from poisoned mushrooms, 43; as an epicure, 44; his fondness for cucumbers, 425 Timon (Bishop), of Buffalo, anecdote of, 293 Toast, a celebrated French, to femininity, 283 Toasts, form of, among the ancients, 27 Tobacco, introduction of, 28 Total abstainer, anecdote of a, 265; abstinence, poem on, 295 Total abstainers vs. guests, 263-266; brandied peaches, 433 Trimalchio, dinner of, 35 Trout, brook, best sauce for, 181; of the English chalk-streams, 364; American vs. the European, 365 "Truffe (De la)," 394 "Truffe (La)," 390 Truffles, 143, 159, 210, 235, 434; species, qualities, history, cultivation, cookery, literature, and phenomena of. Vide chapter "Two Esculents par excellence" Turbot (the), 33 Turkey, a truffled, 122, 304, 385; history of the, 304, 305; wild, 369-370; wild vs. the domestic, 369, 370 Turtle feasts, American, 267 Ude, referred to, 6, 106, 190, 207 Uhland, referred to, 163, 166 Ulric (St.), festival of, 308 Urbain-Dubois, referred to, 199, 226 Van Mieris, referred to, 197 Vatel, referred to, 6, 54, 58, 130; on carving, 59 Vegetables, used by the ancients, 9, 10, 28, 29; poor cookery of, in Great Britain, 272; importance of good, 330 Verneuil (G. de), referred to, 130 Véron (Dr.), anecdote of, 221; on the restaurant, 339 Verres, referred to, 43 Viel-Castel (Vicomte de), anecdote of, 214 Vienna roll (the), origin of, 171 Vincent La Chapelle, 61 Vineyards (celebrated), first founded by the ecclesiasts, 282 Virgil, referred to, 234 Vitellius, referred to, 43, 44 Vol-au-vent à la financière, 203; inventor of, 48 Vopallière (Marquis de), referred to, 71 Vuillemot, referred to, 212, 213 Walker (Thos.), 106, 195, 319 et seq.; as a gastronomer, 326 Walton (Isaac), referred to, 81 Ward (Artemus), his mot on hasty pudding, 134; his mot on pies, 437 Weenix, referred to, 234, 445 Wheat, original home of, 9 Wheatears, 335, 361 White (Gilbert), referred to, 243, 272; quoted, 360 Whitebait, as eulogized by Thackeray, 328, 387 Whitefish (the), 45 Wines, of the ancients, 13, 17, 30, 40; of the ancient Romans, 30; in use in England, 96-98; difficulty of testing, 135; German, 168; of old Alsace, 159; brut champagne, 262, 431; importance of good, 262, 264, 265; champagne, 262, 270, 323, 337, 438; champagne, its virtues, 283, 379; their relation to the clergy, 282, 291, 293, 295, 309 et seq.; "Est, Est, Est," history of, 310 et seq.; importance of a sufficient variety, 322-323; their relation to game, 356, 372; to truffles and mushrooms, 394, 408; Château Yquem, crême, of 1861 and 1864, 427; as a medium of hygiene, 444 Woman, jealousy of, 14; imitating man's excesses, 46; Talleyrand's precept regarding, 79; compared to peaches, 119; as gastronomers, 125, 343, 351; La Reynière's distinction of, as guests, 139; created for the selfish wishes of man, 174; her fondness for sweetmeats, 174, 429, 430, 433; Savarin's references to, 192; as an addition to a shooting-party, 192-193, 378; a French toast to, 283; as an adjunct to the dinner, 320; disadvantages of dining with, 338, 340; in the eighteenth century, 347; how she may hypnotise the sterner sex, 350, 429; a toast in sparkling St. Péray to her, 351; Balzac's reference to, 351; the wise one defined, 351; vs. champagne, 379, 429; compared to mushrooms, 398; pretty one should mix a salad, 420; her relation to cookery, 429; a foil for man's mistakes, 431; as a garnish to an omelette, 432; her pet tipples in colonial times, 438, 439 Woodcock, 355, 359, 365, 366, 376 Wordsworth, referred to, 240 Yellowshank (the), 361 Yuan Mei, quoted, 6 FOOTNOTES: [1]That the onion, garlic, and radish were held in particular esteem is attested by Herodotus, who says in his time (450 B.C.) there was an inscription on the Great Pyramid, stating that a sum amounting to sixteen hundred talents had been paid out for these three forms of food, which had been consumed by the workmen during the progress of its erection.

[2]The world has scarcely been as liberal to literature as to gastronomy; although the graceful French poet, the Abbé Philippe Desportes, who so celebrated his mistresses Diane, Hypolite and Cléonice in verse, was munificently rewarded for his lyrical talent by Henry III, and presented besides with an abbey worth an annual rental of ten thousand crowns for having written a sonnet which captivated the Duc de Joyeuse, brother-in-law of the king.

[3]Rev. Philip Francis' transl.

[4]Sir Theodore Martin's transl.

[5]Tobacco, unknown to the ancients, did not come into use among Asiatic and European peoples until the latter half of the sixteenth century, or a long period after the discovery of America—nearly all its species being of American origin. Its name, Nicotiana, was derived from that of John Nicot of Nismes, ambassador from the King of France to Portugal, who procured the first seeds from a Dutchman who had them from Florida.

[6]Rev. Philip Francis' transl.

[7]"My red wing gives me my name; but it is my tongue that is considered savory by epicures. What if my tongue had been able to sing?"—Martial, Epigrams: "The Flamingo."

[8]The Duc de Montausier used to say, Qu'a sa tenue de convive on reconnaissait un gentilhomme.

[9]Les Delices de la Campagne. Suitte du Jardinier françois ov est enseigne a preparer pour l'vsage de la vie tout ce qui croist sur la Terre & dans les Eaux. Dedie avx dames Mesnageres. À Paris, chez Pierre Des-Hayes, 1654.

[10]The cause assigned to Vatel's death has been disputed, some having maintained it was not owing to the non-arrival of the fish, but because on cooking the fish they were found "not to be so fresh as they might be."

[11]Les Soupers de la Cour, ou l'art de travailler toutes sortes d'alimens. Pour servir les meilleures Tables, suivant les quatre Saisons. A Paris chez Guillyn, Libraire, 1755.

[12]L'Art du Cuisinier, par A. Beauvilliers, Ancien Officier de Monsieur, comte de Provence, Attaché aux Extraordinaires des Maisons Royales et actuellement Restaurateur, rue de Richelieu, No. 26 à la grande Taverne de Londres. A Paris, chez Pillet Ainé, 1814, 2 vols.


Défendez que personne, an milieu d'un banquet, Ne vous vienne donner un avis indiscret; Ecartez ce facheux qui vers vous s'achemine— Rien ne doit déranger l'honnête homme qui dîne. [14]L'Art de dîner en ville à l'usage des gens de lettres, poème en iv chants. Seconde édition revue et corrigée. Paris, Delaunay; Colnet, 1810.

[15]Herrick, "Hesperides."

[16]The English housewife; containing the inward and outward Vertues which ought to be in a compleat Woman; as to her skill in Physicke, Cookery, Ordering of Great Feasts, etc., etc. London, 1631.

[17]Elizabeth Robins Pennell: "The Feasts of Autolycus."

[18]The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, which far Exceeds Every Thing of the Kind Ever yet Published. By a Lady. London: Printed for the Author; and sold at Mrs. Ashburn's, a China Shop, the Corner of Fleet Ditch.

[19]Almanach des Gourmands, Suivant de Guide Dans Les Moyens de faire excellente Chère; Par Un Viel Amateur. Troisième Edition. Revue, Corrigée et Considérablement Augmentée. A Paris. Chez Maradan, rue Pavés-Saint-André-des-Arcs, 1804, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808. Chez Joseph Chaumerot, Libraire, au Palais Royal, Galeries de Bois, 1810, 1812.

[20]Manuel des Amphitryons; contenant Un Trait de la Dissection des viandes à table, la Nomenclature des Menus les plus nouveaux pour chacque saison, et des Elémens de la Politesse gourmande. Ouvrage indispensable à tous ceux qui sont jaloux de faire bonne chère, et de la faire faire aux autres. Orné d'un grand nombre de Planches gravées en taille-douce. Par l'Auteur de l'Almanach des Gourmands. A Paris, Chez Capelle et Renand, MDCCCVIII.

[21]"We shall never forget a dinner that eight of us had at M. Tailleur's, in which he made us drink forty bottles of his best wine of all kinds, and each service of which attested the competent master of the alimentary art."

L'Almanach, 4me année, p. 152.


(In depths of Seidels tall we Germans find our power, As did in years agone our ancestors of yore; For in the noble barley-wine there lingers still a might divine.) [23]L'Ancienne Alsace à Table. Etude Historique et Archéologique sur l'Alimentation, les Mœurs et les Usages Epulaires de l'ancienne Province d'Alsace: par Charles Gérard, Avocat à la Cour Impériale de Colmar. Colmar, Imprimerie et Lithographie de Camille Decker, 1862. Large 8vo, pp. 269.

[24]Diese Zahl bedeutet die ununterbrochenen Dienstjahre der betr. Kellnerin.

[25]It should be distinctly stated that the rendition is by the late Rev. Francis Mahony (requiescat in pace!). Recalling his scathing stricture on "The Rogueries of Tom Moore," one were unwise not to mention the name of the scholarly paraphrast and poet, for fear that he might arise to wreak summary vengeance. But inasmuch as no authorship is assigned to the poem by the versatile bard, and as one must be on guard most of the time against the subtile spirit of fun and malice which pervades his pages, it is probable that both the French song and the rendition are by the same accomplished hand.


"Es lohnet mir heute Mit doppelter Beute Ein gutes Geschick; Der redliche Diener Bringt Hasen und Hühner Zur Küche zurück; Hier find ich gefangen, Auch Vogel noch hangen. Es lebe der Jäger, Es lebe sein Glück!" [27]The reader who is interested in pastoral luncheons and all their possibilities should compare the "Halts of a Shooting Party" with the chapter entitled "Des Parties de Campagne Gourmandes" in the fourth volume of the "Almanach des Gourmands."

[28]"Grand Dictionnaire de Cuisine, par Alexandre Dumas. Paris, Alphonse Lemerre, Editeur, Passage Choiseul, 1873."

[29]"Propos d'Art et de Cuisine."

[30]Rev. Joseph A. Ely's transl.

[31]"Le Gastronome Français" (1828). G. D. L. R., "De La Truffe."

[32]"Roti-Cochon ou Méthode Très-Facile pour bien apprendre les Enfants a Lire en Latin et en Francais, par des Inscriptions moralement expliquées de plusieurs Representations figurées de différentes choses de leurs connoissances; très utile et meme necessaire, tant pour la vie & le salut, que pour la gloire de Dieu. A Dijon, chez Claude Michard, Imprimeur & Marchand Libraire à Saint Jean l'Evangéliste."

[33]"The English system of cookery it would be impertinent for me to describe; but still, when I think of that huge round of parboiled ox-flesh, with sodden dumplings floating in a saline, greasy mixture, surrounded by carrots looking red with disgust and turnips pale with dismay, I cannot help a sort of inward shudder, and making comparisons unfavourable to English gastronomy."—Memoirs of a Stomach. Written by Himself. London, 1853.

[34]"Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine," by W. Carew Hazlitt, London, Elliot Stock, 1886.

[35]"Lo Scalco prattico di Vittorio Lancellotti da Camerino All'Illustrissimo, e Reuerendiss. Prencipe il Card. Ippolito Aldobrandino Camerlengo di Santa Chiesa. In Roma Appresso Francesco Corbelletti. 1627."

[36]Cardinal Bonnechose, who was most appropriately surnamed, is especially remembered for his bon-mot, "Le clergé est un régiment; il faut qu'il marche."


Whither, 'midst falling dew, While glow the heavens with the last steps of day, Far through their rosy depths dost thou pursue Thy solitary way? Vainly the fowler's eye Might mark thy distant flight to do thee wrong, As, darkly painted on the crimson sky, Thy figure floats along.... Bryant: Lines to a Waterfowl. [38]Mme. Récamier.


"Hart an dem Bolsener See, Auf des Flaschenberges Hoh', Steht ein kleiner Leichenstein Mit der kurzen Inschrift drein: Propter nimium Est, Est, Dominus meus mortuus est! "Unter diesem Monument, Welches keinen Namen nennt, Ruht ein Herr von deutschem Blut, Deutschem Schlund und deutschem Mut, Der hier starb den schönsten Tod— Seine Schuld vergeb' ihm Gott!" [40]"The Cook's Oracle; Containing Receipts for Plain Cookery on the Most Economical Plan for Private Families, etc. The Fourth Edition. London: Printed for A. Constable & Co. 1822."

[41]"The Original, by the Late Thomas Walker, M.A., Trinity College, Cambridge. Fifth Edition. Edited by Wm. A. Guy. London, Henry Renshaw, 1875."

[42]"The Art of Dining, or Gastronomy and Gastronomers. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1852." 12mo, pp. 137.

[43]"Dinners and Diners, Where and How to Dine in London. By Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis. A New Enlarged and Revised Edition. London: Grant Richards, 1901." Chapters LIII, pp. 376.

[44]"L'Hygiene des Hommes livrés aux Travaux de l'Esprit."

[45]"The Feasts of Autolycus—The Diary of a Greedy Woman. Edited by Elizabeth Robins Pennell. London: John Lane. New York: The Merriam Co. 1896."

[46]Coulis—a thick gravy, and also a term formerly applied to the fundamental sauces.

[47]"L'Art Culinaire."

[48]"All the entrées having the name Bayonnaises (a corrupt term for Mahonnoise) were the invention of the Maréchal, Duc de Richelieu."—Manuel des Amphitryons.

[49]The recipes for sauce à la Richelieu and Francatelli's sauce are presented respectively in the following and in a previous chapter.

[50]"Those which feed much on cantharides require to be very carefully cleaned, otherwise persons eating them are liable to suffer severely. Several gentlemen of New Orleans have assured me that they have seen persons at dinner obliged to leave the room at once, under such circumstances as cannot well be described."—Audubon: The Birds of America.

[51]"La Petite-Cuisine."

[52]"I have not defined the truffle as yet, but the definition of this subterranean mushroom which embraces within its outer covering the sporangiums filled until spores subsequently destined to reproduce it, is the result of all I have said."—Ibid.: La Truffe. Etude sur les Truffes et les Truffières. Par le Dr. C. de Ferry de la Bellone, Ancien Président de la Société de Médecine de Vaucluse, Président du Comice Agricole, etc., etc. Paris, Librairie J. B. Baillière et Fils, 1888. 8vo, pp. 312.

[53]"De la Truffe, Traite Complet de ce Tubercle, contenant sa Description et son Histoire Naturelle la plus détaillée, son Exploitation Commerciale et sa Position dans l'Art Culinaire; suivi d'une Quatrième Partie contenant les meilleurs moyens d'employer les truffes en apprêts culinaires; les meilleures méthodes d'en faire des conserves certaines; les indications, recettes et moyens les plus positifs et les plus compliqués stir tout ce qui concerne cette substance; par M. M. Moynier. Paris, Barba. 1836." pp. 400.

[54]"Our Edible Toadstools and Mushrooms, and How to Distinguish Them. A Selection of Thirty Native Food Varieties Easily Recognizable by Their Marked Individualities, with Simple Rules for the Identification of Poisonous Species. By W. Hamilton Gibson. With Thirty Colored Plates and Fifty-seven Other Illustrations by the Author. New York, Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1895."

[55]"Annual Report of the State Botanist of the State of New York. Made to the Regents of the University, Pursuant to Chapter 355 of the Laws of 1883. By Charles H. Peck. Albany, James B. Lyon, Publisher, 1895. Second Edition, 1897."

[56]"Studies of American Fungi, Mushrooms Edible, Poisonous, etc. By George Francis Atkinson, Professor of Botany in Cornell University and Botanist of the Cornell University Experiment Station, Author of 'Studies and Illustrations of Mushrooms,' 'Biology of Ferns,' 'Elementary Botany,' 'Lessons in Botany.' With a Chapter on Recipes for Cooking Mushrooms, by Mrs. Sarah Tyson Rorer; on the Chemistry and Toxicology of Mushrooms, by J. F. Clark; on the Structural Characters of Mushrooms, by H. Hasselbring. With 200 Photographs by the Author, and Coloured Plates by F. R. Rathbun. Ithaca, N. Y.: Andrus and Church, Publishers, 1900."

[57]"Toadstools, Mushrooms, Fungi, Edible and Poisonous. One Thousand American Fungi. How to Select and Cook the Edible; How to Distinguish and Avoid the Poisonous, Giving Full Botanic Descriptions Made Easy for Reader and Student. By Charles McIlvaine, President Philadelphia Mycological Centre, Honorary Member Salem County and Gloucester County, N. J., Medical Societies; Assisted by Robert K. Macadam. Toadstool Poisons and Their Treatment, Instructions to Students, Recipes for Cooking, etc., etc. Indianapolis, U. S. A.: The Bowen-Merrill Company, Publishers. Edition limited to 750 copies."


"Two large potatoes, passed through kitchen sieve, Unwonted softness to the salad give. Of mordant mustard add a single spoon, Distrust the condiment that bites so soon; But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault To add a double quantity of salt. Three times the spoon with oil from Lucca crown, And once with vinegar procured from town. True flavour needs it, and your poet begs The pounded yellow of two well-boiled eggs; Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl, And, scarce suspected, animate the whole. And, lastly, on the flavoured compound toss A magic teaspoon of anchovy sauce. Then though green turtle fail, though venison's tough, And ham and turkey are not boiled enough, Serenely full, the epicure may say, 'Fate cannot harm me, I have dined to-day.'" [59]"As for the pepper, never use the powdered pepper that you buy at the grocer's and which has generally lost its flavour before it reaches the depths of the pepper-caster. The only pepper worthy to titillate the papillæ of a civilised man is that ground out of the peppercorn, at the moment of use, in a little hand-mill."—Theodore Child: Delicate Feasting.

[60]"The Story of My House": "A Blue-Violet Salad."

[61]"Jam! jam! I yield me to thy potent charm."

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