Royal wit. It all started with a bet. Between Cleopatra and Marc Anthony on hosting the most expensive banquet. A clash of Titans.
Cleopatra served rather simple dishes. But she finished in style. By the end of the meal she took off her gigantic pearl earrings. She crushed one and added it to a goblet of wine (vinegar). A small toast to Marc and down went the pearls.
The set of earrings cost 29 million dollars (today).
The Regent's banquet
In 1817 a dinner among future royal heavyweights got the attention. The prince regent -later George IV– invited gran duke of Russia, Nicolas. The later Tsar Nicolas I.
The cooking was in the hands of Marie-Antoine Carême. And it was lavish. It featured over one hundred dishes. Knowing the table guest were just forty-five. The left overs were served at the ball that followed the meal. And probably eaten cold the following day.
Royal pizza: Margherita
There are few certainties regarding Queen Margherita and pizza. It is very unlikely the queen herself ate pizza. While it is likely someone dedicated one to her.
In 1889 the royal family visited Naples. A pizzaiolo, Raffaello Esposito concocted a pizza based on the Italian flag. Basil (green), mozzarella (white) and tomato sauce (red).
Whether or not Queen Margherita ate it or not, it is still Italy’s number one pizza.
Does one eat well in the royal families? Probably so. And what happens with the leftovers. An unconfirmed rumour whispered that the Dutch Royal family had their leftovers on Fridays.
Maybe not such a crazy idea after all. Some dishes get better the next day. Even when they are Dutch.
Victoria Sponge Cake
Queen Victoria had a sweet tooth. She loved to have her tea with sweets.
Spongecake had been around for quite a while. The royal version: two sponge cakes which are filled with cream and jam then dusted on top with sugar.
Fresh cream or buttercream? What jam? Just some of the royal secrets.