Louis XIV and his meals: the incredible gluttony of the Sun King
Louis XIV and his meals: the incredible gluttony of the Sun King
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Louis XIV and his meals

Name of the French monarch Louis XIV associated with the "golden age" of monarchical power in the country. Under the Sun King, balls and festivities were held on a truly royal scale. Much has been written about the irrepressible appetite of Louis XIV: at one meal, the monarch ate an incredible amount of dishes.

Dauphin Louis and the Nurse

During the reign of Louis XIV, the court ceremonial began to gain strength, and then the court ceremonial reached its climax. Every step had to be strictly etiquette. The royal meal was no exception.

It is worth noting that Louis XIV had an excellent appetite from infancy. The monarch was born with two teeth, in which everyone saw a happy omen. The wet nurse alone had a hard time. And by the age of 40, the king had become practically toothless, which, however, did not affect his appetite in any way.

Moliere at Louis XIV. Jerome Jean-Leon, 1863

Immediately after awakening, Louis XIV was offered a tincture of sage or a cup of broth on an empty stomach. This gave him an appetite. The king's breakfast began at 12 noon. The monarch ate alone, but an incredible number of dishes were brought to his table. At the first, the king was served a soup of two capons (fattened castrated roosters), a soup of four partridges, a broth of cock's scallops, a broth of pigeons. Often the king would pour the soups into one bowl.

Kitchen Still life. Frans Snyders

This was followed by hotter. On the table were huge portions of game, a quarter of a calf, and a pate of 13 pigeons. And for a snack they served fried turkeys, partridges, chickens. For dessert, in front of the king there was a huge vessel with fresh fruit, next to a smaller bowl with dried fruit, jam and compotes. Surely the monarch did not touch some of the dishes, but he regularly sent servants to the kitchen for more.

Moliere is having dinner with Louis XIV. Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1857

Since the king in adulthood was left without teeth, he did not chew food, but swallowed it in pieces. This manner of eating food was called "Rabelaisian", keeping in mind the insatiable characters of the writer Francois Rabelais "Gargantua and Pantagruel". Compared to the Sun King's breakfast, the same meal of his father, Louis XIII, was no match. The monarch's father was served broth, soft-boiled eggs and baked apples or cherries.

Game trader

The Sun King's next meal came at 5 pm. Louis XIV encouraged those who were as voracious as himself. If someone could eat the head of a pig in one go, then he was honored with the royal favor.

Since Louis XIV was a Catholic, he had to fast, like everyone else. The king's abstinence consisted of a soup of just one capon, four pounds of veal, beef, and lamb. Instead of meat roast, fish was served: one carp, a hundred shrimp, salmon, two flounders and several other types of fish.

Louis XIV. Pierre Mignard, c. 1695 g

The scope of Louis XIV's meals is discouraging. But there was still a positive moment in this - the monarch's irrepressible appetite laid the foundation for the development of culinary delights in France.

Louis XIV - King of France

In addition to haute French cuisine, Louis XIV laid the foundation for fashion for shoes with heels and red soles.

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