Z is for Zoophagous

Friday 30 December 2011

Christmas Day 1870 saw the city of Paris under siege by the Prussian army. However, the fact that the enemy had stopped any food getting into the city for 99 days (and counting), wasn’t going to stop Café Voisin, 261 rue Saint-Honoré, from serving a fabulous, slap-up Christmas dinner. If you had been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be there yourself you would have enjoyed the following splendid repast:

Butter-Radishes, Stuffed Donkey’s Head, Sardines

Purée of Red Beans with Croûtons
Elephant Consummé

Fried Gudgeons, Roast Camel English Style
Jugged Kangaroo
Roast Bear Chops au Poivre

Haunch of Wolf, Venison Sauce
Cat Flanked by Rats
Watercress Salad
Antelope Terrine with Truffles
Mushroom Bordelaise
Buttered Green Peas

Rice Cake with Jam
Gruyère Cheese


First service
Latour Blanche 1861
Château Palmer 1864

Second service
Mouton Rothschild 1846
Romanee Conti 1858
Grand Porto 1827

And where did they get all the fresh meat from? Let’s just say a trip to the zoo on Boxing Day would have been a bit of a let-down.

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You will find many other such tasty morsels of information in my book What is Myrrh Anyway?- and its American counterpart Christmas Miscellany: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Christmas.


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