Friday, 15 May 2009

If this does not impress your dinner guests...

I’m neglecting my ‘weird food’ posts. We have had Kentucky Burgoo and Deep Fried Twinkies. Today’s post is on two types of roasted fowl. One, the most magnificent walking the earth and the other, the most graceful on water. I am talking of course of the peacock and the swan. Both were popular from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance at the banquet tables of Europe. If you don’t believe me, consult the most authoritative Larousse Gastronomique. After roasting the cooks dressed it again in its feathers, added a few spectacular embellishments and served with a lot of pomp and circumstance. Here is an excerpt from the Larousse: “The peacock was served with great ceremony, roasted and entirely reconstituted, sometimes spitting fire (the beak covered with camphor and lit). It was skinned, roasted (the head wrapped in a wet cloth to protect the crest), then re-covered with its skin (still bearing the plumage), and its feet were gilded. The task of carving it was allotted to the most eminent guest, who carried it out to the applause of the company present and then made a vow to perform some exceptional deed, for example in a war venture or in the service of his lady or of God.” The entry in the Larousse on ‘Swan’ reads more or less the same. I am an adventurous eater, but in this case I think I shall stick to chicken and duck. I am glad that ever since the peacock and swan gained status as ornamental birds only.

4 comments:

Betty said...

I had a look at the deep fried Twinkies recipe. I am a deeply offensive, utterly committed foodsnob that has NEVER eaten a Twinkie, and somehow, right now, I cannot think of anything else. I would serve them with custard, myself. But still.

Where do you get this stuff?

angel said...

OMW I want a deep fried Twinkie or six...

Spear said...

Hahaha, Betty, I had such a good laugh because of your comment just now! Isn't it just so! A while back I saw an episode of 'The Apprentice' during which the candidates had to promote the 'Outback' chain of restaurants at a football game. One of the things which they served was a blooming onion. I looked it up on the web, found the recipe, but also a page of the American version of Mens Health. It was an article rated the most unhealthy fast food available in the us. I think that is where I found the Deep Fried Twinkies link.

Angel - I think it will be one of those comfort food deluxes.

Betty said...

I went to Scotland but never had one of the things that the Scots are apparently famous for: the deep-fried Mars Bar. Can you imagine?

I did go to a place called Chocolate Soup in Edinburgh... it really was astonishing. I think one must have the same endorphin rush eating a deep-fried Twinkie.