Table of contents:
- How meat was cooked or baked in Russia and three types of second meat dishes
- How Tatar cuisine under Ivan the Terrible began to influence Russian
- Tsarist feasts, at which the Tatar nobility attended and recommended their chefs to the tsar
- How the king was afraid of poisoning, and what he did to prevent it
Many people remember the wonderful film "Ivan Vasilyevich changes his profession", and the moment when the phrase "The Tsar wants to eat!" Is pronounced. And how did Ivan the Terrible actually feast? What did they put on the king's table? There is no doubt that the royal feasts were luxurious, and the number of dishes was enormous. However, not everyone knows that for the Russian tsar, meat was roasted exclusively by Tatar chefs. Read why this happened and what Ivan the Terrible did to prevent poisoning.
How meat was cooked or baked in Russia and three types of second meat dishes
For several centuries in Russia, meat was prepared in two ways: it was boiled or baked using a Russian oven. Combined heat treatment did not exist in Russian cuisine. In general, the stove had a particular influence on the development of the national cuisine. The dishes cooked in it were distinguished by a special, very pleasant taste; there was no incentive to develop other technological methods.
Second courses were most often prepared from meat, and conditionally they can be divided into several types: the first is offal and liver, which are usually baked with porridge in pots, the second is boiled beef or pork, cooked in large pieces, and the third is roast, stewed in the oven. …
The usual cereals, wild mushrooms, boiled vegetables were used as side dishes. Domestic chefs did not even have a thought to come up with some other methods of cooking meat. The usual cooking and baking was enough.
How Tatar cuisine under Ivan the Terrible began to influence Russian
Under Tsar Ivan IV, the famous infusion of the Kazan and Astrakhan khanates into the state took place. It was the moment from which the influence of the ancient culinary traditions of the Tatars on the traditional Russian cuisine began. In those days, the Moscow nobility began to feast on oriental sweets, dumplings, apricots and raisins.
The cooks who came from Kazan had completely different ideas about cooking meat. It was not boiled, but fried using aromatic spices and herbs. The boyars really liked this food, they began to serve fried meat during meals. Ivan the Terrible loved to eat deliciously, and during the feasts the best Tatar chefs prepared meat for him.
Foreign guests were always amazed at how abundant the feasts of the Russian Tsar Ivan were. Dishes were served from fish of valuable species, salted and dried fish, delicious Volga caviar, fragrant lean and low-grade fish soup. This delicious soup was made both with the addition of saffron chicken (this dish was called yurma-ukha), as well as with umach. On the table one could see chicken manti with chicken, kalyu (a kind of soup) with cucumbers, lemon and noodles. In other words, the dishes of the Tatar and Russian cuisines made up a kind of mix.
Tsarist feasts, at which the Tatar nobility attended and recommended their chefs to the tsar
The feasts organized by the tsar were always gorgeous, surprised by the abundance and variety. Next to Ivan the Terrible, members of his family had the right to dine, at some distance they set tables where the boyars and those close to them ate, and foreign ambassadors sat there. The guests took their places in accordance with the rank. During the evening, the servants served up to 500 dishes, and at least two hundred servants were required to serve, otherwise they could not cope. The dining scope was truly royal.
The tsar invited the Tatar nobility to feasts. By the way, many Kazan murzas became representatives of the Moscow aristocracy just at the time when Ivan the Terrible ruled. Aristocrats from Kazan began to move to Moscow, taking family members and a large number of servants with them. And, of course, the chefs who cooked meat excellently came along with them. Maybe someone from the Murzas advised the Russian tsar of his best cook, and Ivan the Terrible, having tasted amazing oriental dishes, ordered from now on to prepare the second courses only in this way. Now one can only speculate.
How the king was afraid of poisoning, and what he did to prevent it
There is another reason why the Russian tsar preferred meat prepared by visiting chefs: Ivan the Terrible was very afraid that someone from the nobility might persuade a local chef to commit a crime - to put poison in a dish that would be served to the tsar. Is it paranoia or the reasons could be real?
Historians note that Tsar Ivan had a blood relationship with a certain Tatar temnik who lost the Battle of Kulikovo. His mother was Elena Glinskaya, a descendant of the famous commander Mamai, the second wife of Tsar Vasily III. She died suddenly in her prime, when little Vanya was only seven. Moscow was full of rumors that this death was not accidental, and that the tsarina was mercilessly poisoned by the boyars rushing to power. All these conversations, of course, reached the future Ivan the Terrible, and as a result - complete distrust of all those close to him and the confidence that they killed his mother. This fact could not but affect the psyche of the king.
After becoming a ruler, the king tried to take all possible precautions, especially during the organization of feasts. Before the food was put on the table, several people had to taste it. First of all, the creator-cook himself, then the keykeeper took over the baton - with all the precautions, under guard, he had to take the dishes to the butler. He, in turn, also tasted the food, and then gave it to the steward who served during the royal dinner. But this did not end there either. From the steward, the dish passed to the extreme, he had to taste the food last, right in front of the king. Only after that was the yummy put on the table, and Ivan the Terrible proceeded to dinner. So the king was insured against poisoning.
The era of Ivan the Terrible in Russian history is well known. But not everyone remembers what was happening in the world when he ruled in Russia.