Monday, June 8, 2015

Historical Food Fortnightly Bonus Challenge 27: Bonus! Breakfast Foods

A simple breakfast in 18th century France.

The Challenge: BONUS! Breakfast Food 
May 29 - June 11
For a bonus challenge, make a breakfast dish. Get creative, but make sure to provide your documentation for its place at the breakfast table!

The Recipe:
This breakfast is not so much a recipe as it is a collection of foods. In the European medieval days, breakfast did not exist as a meal unless it was specially requested by certain members of the household (aristocratic) who needed to be up earlier than others to see to their duties. Instead, dinner, the main meal of the day, was served as early as 10 in the morning and served to break the fasts for the majority of the upper class people. Over the course of the centuries, a specially designated breakfast did emerge usually comprised of leftovers from the previous day's meals. Therefore, lots of meats (particularly beef), oysters, vegetables, bread, beer, an/or wine, among other things, may have been served. The modern notion of breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, toast, coffee, tea or chocolate did not really emerge until the 17th century. You can read a detailed historical description of the origins of breakfast at Chez Jim.

According to a 1799 phrasebook for emigres by a Madame de Genlis, (see Chez Jim for the full account) several suggestions for breakfast are stated such as: tea, chocolate, coffee, punch, bread, butter, soft-boiled eggs, hard-boiled eggs, cheeses, bacon, sausages, ham, cold mutton, biscuits, cakes, preserves, and lots of fruits.

Therefore, I have opted to prepare a simple breakfast off of this list: hot chocolate, a soft-boiled egg, and toast fingers.

Date/Year and Region
18th century France

How Did You Make It
No recipe is needed, just simmer your egg, toast the bread, and make your favorite hot chocolate!

Time to Complete
About 10 minutes.

Total Cost
I had everything on hand so there was no cost.

How Successful Was It?
It tasted exactly as you would expect!

How Accurate Is It?
I made it as accurately as I could apart from modern equipment and ingredients. The historic message of the breakfast comes through despite the modern nod to ingredients.

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