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 Dish of the Day - II

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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 30 Apr 2018, 10:56

30 April 1598 – In a move to promote civil unity after decades of religious conflict, the Edict of Nantes was signed by Henry IV of France, granting Calvinist Protestants, the Huguenots, substantial rights. (The exact date isn’t actually known: the Edict itself just says "avril" but it is generally held to have come into effect on the last day of the month).

Henry IV also had personal reasons for supporting the Edict. Prior to assuming the throne in 1589 he had espoused Protestantism, and he remained sympathetic to the Protestant cause: he had converted to Catholicism in 1593 only in order to secure his position as king, supposedly saying "Paris is well worth a Mass". The Edict succeeded in restoring peace and internal unity to France, though it pleased neither party: Catholics rejected the apparent recognition of Protestantism as a permanent element in French society and still hoped to enforce religious uniformity, while Protestants didn't think the Edict went far enough in giving them parity with Catholics.


Henry IV, aka, le bon roi Henry, or Henry le Grand.

The story goes that in April 1598 after a game of jeu de palme (tennis) Henry was discussing the planned Edict and the future of the kingdom with the Duc de Savoie, and famously said:
"Si Dieu me donne encore de la vie, je feray qu’il n’y aura point de labourer en mon royaume, qui n’ait moyen d’avoir une poule dans son pot."
"If God continues to give me life, I will ensure that there is no labourer in my kingdom who lacks the means to have a chicken in his pot."


However the quote is first recorded only some 60 years later by Hardouin de Pérefixe in his 'Histoire du Roy Henry le Grand' (1661). Hardouin was Archbishop of Paris and also the private tutor of Henry’s grandson, Louis XIV, the Sun King, and his Histoire was a didactic work whose primary purpose was to educate the young king into a better understanding of the caring nature of his regal duties. Furthermore while Henry’s word, labourer, often gets translated as peasant, in 16th century French un labourer was not quite like its modern meaning of just a lowly unskilled manual worker. Labourer then meant a ploughman, husbandman or small-holder, but crucially someone who worked their own land and so who was financially independent (and already taxed), and not a landless peasant working someone else's land. Henry certainly didn’t expect, nor was he encouraging, the impoverished masses as a whole to aspire to having a chicken in the pot every Sunday, and his words were directed at those, rather fewer families, who were somewhat higher up the social and financial scale than the dirt poor peasants. Nevertheless even for these agricultrural labourers, a whole chicken for a family once a week, was generally far more extravagant than they could ever hope for.

Nevertheless the phrase became a rallying cry for the French peasant. Shortly before the French Revolution, in the mid 1770s, a popular song was doing the rounds celebrating the fall of René de Maupeou, who had been Louis XV’s Chancellor, but was dismissed on the accession of Louis XVI in 1774. [The song also mentions Robert Turgot, who was an economic advisor under Maupeou, and Joseph Terray who had been Controller-General of Finance, until they too both fell from power with the death of Louis XV].

La poule au pot
Depuis longtemps était promise.
La poule au pot
Attendait dès longemps.
Turgot Terray n'est plus, la nappe est mise; 
L'on va bientôt mettre à sa guise,
La poule au pot.

Maupeou n'est plus,
Thémis reprendre la balance;
Maupeou n'est plus,
Ce monstre a fait aux vertus
Reparaissez Dieu d'abondance,
Riez français, faites bonbance.
Maupeou n'est plus.


The chicken in the pot
Had long been promised.
The chicken in the pot
Had long been awaited.
Turgot Terray is no more, the table is set;  
We'll soon put him in the spot,
The chicken in the pot.


Maupeou is no more,
Thémis [ie good council or fairness] recaptures the balance;
Maupeou is no more,
This monster has given way to virtues.
Reappear, God of plenty,
Laugh, Frenchmen, and revel.
Maupeou is no more.


And during the Revolution "a chicken in every pot!" was an oft-repeated slogan. The phrase even found its way to the USA where in 1928 Herbert Hoover’s Presidential campaign promised, "a chicken in every pot and a car in every backyard", albeit to much ridicule from his Democrat rivals.

So today’s dish is that French classic one-pot dish, poule au pot ... that is a whole chicken, suitably stuffed and seasoned, and then boiled with vegetables to give both a soup and a chicken dish. Recipes abound and it is one of the staples of any rural French housewife’s repertoire, however just for historical interest there is this particular one from the rather odd little cookbook entitled, '99 practical methods of utilizing boiled beef and the original recipe for stewed chicken', written by the pseudonymous 'Babet', and "translated from the French by A.R." (published in New York in 1893). In the introduction it claims, rather implausibly, to be the recipe for the actual dish that was once served at Henry IV’s court:

King Henry the Fourth's Recipe for Stewed Chicken.
(The Poule-au-pot)

The poule-au-pot, which good King Henry desired to have form the Sunday dinner of every peasant in the land, is a succulent dish too much neglected in these days, when dainty living is tending to replace the rustic cooking of the good old days.
But as the mere suggestion of a dish usually arouses a desire to taste it, we will give the recipe for the famous chicken, which, in spite of its apparent simplicity, is a choice morsel.
Get a good, fat hen, and buy it alive if possible, or at least, not drawn. Put aside the liver, gizzard, heart, lungs, head, neck, and wings, and any eggs which it may contain. Bone the head, neck, and wings, and mince the whole with ham, lard, bread crumbs dipped in milk, salt, pepper, spices, sweet herbs, parsley, and garlic, for we must remember that Henry the Fourth was a Béarnais, and that garlic is found in all the cooking of that part of the country.
When the hash is ready, add the yolks of eggs and put the stuffing into the hen. (Chestnuts and slices of truffle may also be put in the stuffing, but are not in the ancient, classic recipe.) Sew the opening, tie with string, and cook as follows:
All is in readiness for the pot-au-feu. Skim it, add the vegetables, and put in the chicken, which you allow to cook gently. Withdraw it before the flesh loosens from the bones, which would occur very quickly in the case of a young bird. From time to time lift it on a skimmer and prick with a knife, to ascertain the degree to which it has cooked.
Prepare upon a platter a bed of parsley, or, better yet, of cress. Take the hen from the pot, remove the strings, and lay it on the platter, sprinkling fine salt over it. It should be eaten very hot. The stuffing should be firm enough to cut in slices. The bouillon obtained by this process is exquisite, and the fowl loses none of its flavor. Taste it, and become convinced of King Henry the Fourth's solicitude for the well-being of the peasants of France.


Or for something much more authentic and closer to Henry IV’s time, there is this recipe for a stuffed and boiled capon from 'L’Ouverture de Cuisine', written by Lancelot de Casteau and published in 1604. Lancelot de Casteau had been the mastercook to three successive Prince-Bishops of Liege, and his cookbook was one of the first to go beyond medieval-style recipes and to describe the then, very new, French-style of haute cuisine. His book was very popular in its time and was referenced by several other later writers, but it was believed that all copies had been lost until a single privately owned copy came up for sale in 1958, and this copy is now held in the Royal Library of Belgium (and can be browsed online via the Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique):

    

Chappon boully farcy.
Prennez des castaignes qui soyent cuites, & les hachés auec vn peu de graisse de boeuf, & mettez dedans quatre iaulnes d'oeuf, muscade, & poiure, vn peu de mariolaine haschee, & mettés de cela tout plein le ventre du chapon, & couderés le ventre qu'il n'en sorte rien dehors: puis le mettez boulir qu'il soit bien cuit, puis prennés des cardes qui soient aussi bien cuites, & les mettés bien estuuer auec du vin, mariolaine hachee, du beurre, vn peu de muscade estampee de capes de Maiorque qui soyent bien laués en eau chaude, & mettez les boullir auec: estant bien boullis iettez sur le chapon, & point autre bouillon.

Stuffed boiled capon.
Take chestnuts that have been cooked, & chop them with a little beef fat, & put therein four egg yolks, nutmeg, & pepper, a little chopped marjoram, & put it there to fill the capon's stomach, & sew the stomach that nothing can come out: then put it to boil that it will be well cooked, then take cardoons that are also well cooked, & put them to stew well with wine, chopped marjoram, butter, a little ground nutmeg, some the capers of Majorca that have been well washed in hot water, & put to boil with it: when well boiled cast on the capon, & no other broth.


King Henry might have been full of solicitude for the peasants of France, but aside from the unlikely chance of their ever becoming sufficiently prosperous to be able to slaughter a chicken every week, to make this recipe they'd also need beef-suet, eggs, wine, and expensive imported nutmeg. They'd have to be pretty well-off peasants indeed to afford all that!


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 04 May 2018, 16:56; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : re-worked the tortuous prose of the last paragraph)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Tue 01 May 2018, 16:26

1 May 1851 – The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, or just The Great Exhibition, opened in Hyde Park, London. Housed in a huge temporary glass structure, the Crystal Palace, it remained open until 15 October 1851, during which time it was visited by over 6 million people – equivalent to a third of the population of Britain at the time. Although the Great Exhibition was a platform on which countries from around the world could display their achievements, Britain sought to prove its own superiority. in almost every field where strength, durability, utility and quality were concerned, whether in iron and steel, steam engines, machinery, textiles, domestic appliances, scientific instruments, musical instruments, sculpture or jewellery.


1st May 1851 - Queen Victoria opens the exhibition.

Despite the doom-mongers predicting the masses of visitors would be just an accident waiting to happen or that they might even become a revolutionary mob, the exhibition suffered no major incident. At its close it was judged a great success and had made a financial surplus of £186,000 (approaching £20 million at current rates). This money was used to found the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, which were built in the area to the south of the exhibition alongside the already existing Imperial Institute. Some of the surplus was also used to set up an educational trust to provide grants and scholarships for industrial research; which it continues to do today.

The thousands of visitors (average daily attendance was 42,800) required catering on an almost unheard of scale. For example records show that 943,691 “London Bath buns” were sold just by the food outlets at the exhibition itself, while the Schwepps stand alone sold over a million bottles of their soda water (The commissioners of the Exhibition would not allow the sale of any alcoholic drinks). At the other end of the business, so to speak, there were the first coin-operated public toilets. Designed by George Jennings and installed in the "Retiring Rooms", these saw 827,280 visitors paying the 1 penny fee to use them (and thereafter "Spending a penny" became a euphemism for using a toilet).


The main gallery of the Crystal Palace during the Great Exhibition.

Such was the demand for cheap take-away food that the exhibition has been credited with initiating the popularity of the Bath bun, while at the same time devaluing it. It certainly seems that it is from about this time that a clear distinction starts to be made between the true Bath bun made in the environs of Bath, and the rather cruder version made outside of Somerset, now generally called the London Bath bun or even sometimes simply the London bun.

According to the traditional story, popularised by the Sally Lunn House (bakery and tea-room) in Bath, in 1680 a Huguenot refugee, Solange Luyon (or Sally Lunn as she came to be called) came to Bath via Bristol from France. She found work with a baker in the city and introduced a light, rich, egg and butter, brioche ‘bun’ topped with caraway seeds or crushed caraway comfits, similar to many traditional French festival breads. These Sally Lunn buns became popular amongst visitors taking Bath’s spa waters and the original recipe was passed on with the deeds to Sally Lunn’s house and is still made "by hand" to this unique, secret recipe, exclusively by, yes, you guessed it, the Sally Lunn House bakery. But there is no evidence to support this story nor even that a person called Solange Luyon or Sally Lunn ever existed. In fact the name may well be simply a corruption of solilem, which is a similar brioche type of cake from Alsace.

There is a passing mention of "Sally Lunn and saffron cake" in a 1776 poem about Dublin by the Irish poet William Preston, and the first recorded mention of the bun in Somerset is as part of a detox regime in Philip Thicknesse's 1780 guidebook to taking the waters at Bath. Thicknesse describes how he would daily see visitors drinking 2-3 pints of Bath water and then "sit down to a meal of Sally Lunns or hot spungy rolls, made high by burnt butter", but he didn't recommend the practice as he says his brother died after this kind of breakfast!


A modern Sally Lunn.

The first known published receipt for Sally Lunns is a delightful verse version; from 'The Monthly magazine' (vol.2) of 1796:

RECEIPT TO MAKE A SALLY LUN
A well-known cake at Bath
Written by the late Major DREWE, of Exeter

NO more I heed the muffin zest
The Yorkshire cake or bun
Sweet Muse of Pastry teach me how
To make a Sally Lun.

Take thou of luscious wholesome cream
What the full pint contains
Warm as the native Mood which glows
In youthful virgin's veins

Hast thou not seen in olive rind
The wall-tree's rounded nut
Of juicy butter just its size
In thy clean pastry put

Hast thou not seen the golden yolk
In Chrystal shrine immur'd
Whence brooded o'er by sostring wing
Forth springs the warrior bird?

Oh save three birds from savage man
And combat's sanguine hour
Cush in three yolk, the seeds of life
And on the butter pour

Take then a cup that hold the juice
Fam'd China's fairest pride
Let foaming yeast its concave fill
And froth adown its side

But seek thou first for neatness sake
The Naiad's crystal stream
Swift let it round the concave play
And o'er the surface gleam

Of salt more keen than that of Greece
Which cooks not poets use
Sprinkle thou then with sparing hand
And thro the mass diffuse

Then let it rest disturb'd no more
Safe in its steady feat
Till thrice Time's warning bell hath struck
Nor yet the hour compleat

And now let Fancy revel free
By no stern rule confin'd
On glittr'ing tin in varied form
Each Sally-Lun be twin'd

But heed thou west to lift thy thought
To me thy power divine
Then to the oven's glowing mouth
The woud'rous work consign


..... certainly a classier presentation than your average Jamie Oliver recipe.

Meanwhile recipes for similar brioche buns can be found in publications dating back to early in the 18th century. In particular what are called Bath buns are very similar to Sally Lunns. The Bath physician, William Oliver, claimed to have been the first to coin the name Bath Bun in 1763 for his bun recipe that he prescribed for people taking the curative waters, but Elizabeth Cleland already had a recipe for Bath Cakes in her book 'A New and Easy Method of Cookery' published in 1755 . In any event Oliver’s Bath buns proved too rich and fattening for his rheumatic and gouty patients, and so he then invented the Bath Oliver biscuit and prescribed them instead. Regardless of who first created the Bath bun, they soon became very popular in Georgian England, not just in Bath but also in and around London (Jane Austen wrote in a letter in 1801 of, "disordering my stomach with Bath Bunns", ie she’d scoffed too many).

To meet the huge demand for Bath buns during the Great Exhibition, inevitably some corners were cut. In particular there were dark rumours that the butter was being adulterated, or even completely replaced, by pork lard, while the delicate French-style sugar dragée and caraway seed coating was all too often replaced by artificially-coloured icing, scattered with cheap raisins or bits of sugared peel.  Nevertheless these ‘London Bath buns’ still sold like, well, hot cakes.


Modern Bath buns.

Here’s Elizabeth Cleland’s recipe for Bath cakes from 'A New and Easy Method of Cookery' (1755).

Bath Cakes.
TAKE a Quart of Flour, a Pound of Butter, ten Ounces of confected Carraways, six Eggs, and but three Whites, six Spoonfuls of Barm, and a little Cream; mix all together, then put them in the Flour, the Butter and Cream must be melted; don't let it be too hot, then put it to the Barm and Eggs; work the Dough well, and set it to the Fire to rise; the shake in the Carraways, and make it into little Cakes, and bake them on floured Papers in a quick Oven.


And here's another recipe for Bath buns from 'A modern system of domestic cookery' (1822)  by Mary Radcliffe.

Excellent Bath Buns.
Take two pounds of fine flour, a pint of ale yeast, with a glass of mountain wine and a little orange-flower water, and three beaten eggs; knead the whole together with some warm cream, a little nutmeg, and a very little salt. Lay it before the fire till it rises very light; and then knead in a pound of fresh butter, and a pound of large round caraway or Scotch comfits. Make them up in the usual form of buns, or any other shape or size, and bake them on floured papers, in a quick oven. These buns are truly excellent; and, by leaving out the comfits, and substituting milk for the cream, and mountain wine, &c a very good, cheap, and common bun may be easily made.

You can see how the Bath bun then became somewhat debased by comparing Mary Radcliffes "Excellent" recipe to that written towards the end of the century as given in 'The Bread and Biscuit Baker's and Sugar-Boiler's Assistant', written by Robert Wells in 1890. He also includes a recipe for a Bath-type "London bun":

Bath Buns.
1 lb. of flour, 8 ozs. of butter, 8 ozs. of sugar, 4 eggs, a little warm milk, 1 oz. of Parisian yeast, some citron peel cut small, and half a nutmeg grated. This will make fourteen two penny buns.
Rub the butter in with the flour, make a bay and break in the eggs, add the yeast with sufficient milk to make the whole into a dough of moderate consistency, and put in a warm place to prove. When it has risen enough mix in the peel, a little essence of lemon, and the sugar, which should be in small pieces about the size of peas. Divide into pieces for buns, prove and bake in gentle heat. They may be washed with egg and dusted with sugar before proving.

Another Way. - 4 lbs. of flour, 1 lb. of butter, 6 ozs. of sugar, 4 ozs. of yeast, 4 eggs, and sufficient milk to make all into a dough; add essence of lemon.
Warm the milk, add the sugar and yeast with sufficient flour to make a ferment; when ready, add butter, eggs, and remainder of flour, with currants or peel to taste. Weigh or divide into 3 ozs. each, mould them up round egg on top rolled in castor sugar; slightly prove, bake in moderate oven.

[i]
London Buns.
Take 1 pint of milk warmed in a basin, add 2 ozs. of yeast, 8 ozs. of moist sugar, and make a dough with sufficient flour.
When the sponge is ready add 12 ozs. of butter, a pinch of salt, and have ready 4 ozs. of chopped peel. Mix all in the dough with 2 eggs and lemon, and prove. When about half proved wash over with yolk of egg. Put sugar on top when full proved.

Although frankly even that recipe suggests a considerably better bun than the sad travesty I was once served some years ago at a company training "do" . It was a cloyingly sweet but otherwise completely bland ordinary bread roll, , sugar-iced, somewhat perfunctorily, and then sprinkled with 'hundreds-and-thousands', yet it still had the effrontery to call itself a 'Bath bun'.


Last edited by Meles meles on Fri 04 May 2018, 17:49; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : some typos)
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Wed 02 May 2018, 22:50

@Meles meles wrote:
Today is also the anniversary of this:

9 March 1839 – The end of the First Franco-Mexican War.

Few wars can claim to have been sparked by a dispute over some fancy cream cakes and custard tarts, but in the annals of culinary-inspired combat, the so-called ‘Pastry War’ (Spanish: Guerra de los pasteles, French: Guerre des Pâtisseries) between France and Mexico takes the cake, so to speak.

It all began in 1821 when Mexico broke away from the Spanish Empire. The result was a series of governments with about 20 different presidents over the next 20 years, as different factions vied for control of the new country. In 1828, President Guadalupe Victoria kicked Lorenzo de Zavala (Mexico’s state governor) out of office. Unfortunately for Victoria, Zavala had the support of General Antonio López de Santa Anna. As a result, Mexico City was plunged into its usual chaos as supporters of both sides battled each other for control of the government. In the aftermath, Zavala won. Neither side cared about civilian casualties or the damage they wrought – something all of Mexico would later regret for decades to come. For among the things destroyed was a pastry shop in the Tacubaya district belonging to French-born Monsieur Remontel: not only had Mexican soldiers destroyed his shop but they had also looted his supplies and merchandise. Furious, Remontel asked the government for compensation, but they ignored him. Rebuffed by the Mexican government in his attempt at compensation Remontel took his case directly to his native country and the French King Louis-Philippe. 

The pastry chef found a welcome ear in Paris. The French government was already angered over unpaid Mexican debts that had been incurred during the Texas Revolution of 1836, and in the Spring of 1838 it demanded compensation of 600,000 pesos, including an astronomical 60,000 pesos for Remontel’s pastry shop, (which had been valued at less than 1,000 pesos). When the Mexican Congress rejected the ultimatum, the French navy began a blockade of key seaports along the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula to the Rio Grande. To get around the blockade, Mexicans had to smuggle goods in and out of Corpus Christi in the Republic of Texas (which hadn’t yet joined the American Union).

But then America also entered the fray. Distrustful of Mexico and anxious to maintain cordial relations with France, the US joined the blockade by sending an armed United States revenue schooner. This put the neutral Texans in a bind. They were concerned over how the Americans might react and they feared that the French might blockade them as well. Still, the money was good, so for the time being they continued to aid the smugglers. However things changed in July 1838 when Mexico sent soldiers into Corpus Christi Bay to secure their supplies. Texas responded by raising a large militia which reached the bay on 7 August. The Mexicans fled, leaving behind over 100 barrels of flour and some steam engine parts, which is how Flour Bluff in Texas got its name.

The stalemate dragged on until 27th November 1838 when French warships bombarded the island fortress of San Juan de Ulua that guarded the important port city of Veracruz. Mexico declared war on France, and its president ordered the conscription of all men who could bear arms. Within days however French marines raided the city and captured nearly the entire Mexican navy. Desperate to repel the invaders, Mexico turned to grizzled warrior Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the former president and military general who only the year before had returned home in disgrace after his humiliating defeat at the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto, which had led to the creation of the independent Republic of Texas. Brought out from his forced retirement, the general who had proven so ruthless at the Battle of the Alamo left his Veracruz hacienda and organized a makeshift army that drove the French forces from the city and back to their ships. But unfortunately for Santa Anna, as he galloped after the invaders, some grapeshot fired from a cannon killed his horse and severely wounded his left leg. Doctors determined the limb could not be saved and were forced to amputate the leg, which Santa Anna buried at his home in Veracruz.

Less than four months later the Pastry War was over. British diplomats brokered a peace agreement in which Mexico agreed to pay France’s demand of 600,000 pesos, including the cost of Remontel’s pastry shop. On 9 March 1839 Remontel got his money and French forces withdrew from the country.



Mexico however was broke ... and then things just got worse.

Santa Anna the self-proclaimed ‘Napoleon of the West’ was none too shy to remind Mexicans that he had sacrificed a limb for his country and in 1842 reclaimed the Presidency. The dictatorial Santa Anna exhumed his shrivelled leg from Veracruz, paraded it to Mexico City in an ornate coach and buried it beneath a huge monument in an elaborate state funeral that included cannon salvos, poetry and lofty orations. But Santa Anna’s severed leg did not remain in its second resting place for long. In 1844 public opinion again turned against him: rioters tore down his statues and dug up his leg, which they dragged through the streets of Mexico City while shouting, "Death to the cripple!". Santa Anna duly stepped (hopped?) down, and went into exile in Spanish Cuba.

Then in 1845 the United States of America annexed Texas, which immediately prompted the Mexican-American War (1846–1848). Santa Anna was once again dragged out of retirement to lead the Mexican army into Texas. However during the Battle of Cerro Gordo on 18 April 1847, the Fourth Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry launched a surprise attack on Santa Anna’s camp. He escaped but left his wooden leg behind – which is why it now rests in the Illinois State Military Museum. Following defeat in the Mexican-American War, in 1848 Santa Anna again went into exile, this time in Jamaica.

But Texas was lost and Mexico was still broke and struggling to pay its reparations to France.

On 17 July 1861 Mexican President Benito Juarez suspended all loan-interest payments to foreign countries. This primarily affected France but Britain and Spain were also creditors and so on 31 October 1861, France, Britain and Spain agreed to a joint effort to extract repayment from the Mexican government (the US were occupied with the American Civil War and thus were unable to enforce their Monroe Doctrine). However when the British and the Spanish discovered that France had unilaterally planned to seize Mexico in pursuit of its own imperial ambitions, they withdrew from the coalition. The subsequent French invasion of the Mexican Republic created the Second Mexican Empire (1861–67) with the country as a client state of France. In Mexico the Roman Catholic Church, upper-class conservatives, and some Indian communities welcomed, accepted, and even collaborated with the French to install an Austrian archduke, as the Emperor Maximillian I of Mexico. But after much guerrilla warfare the French Empire eventually withdrew from Mexico and abandoned Maximillian, who was subsequently executed on 19 June 1867.

After Mexico took back its independence, one of its early leaders was Porfirio Díaz, who would eventually serve seven terms as president over almost 30 years. Díaz, a well-known Francophile, commissioned French-style architecture and collected French artwork and during his time French customs, culture and cuisine became more widely established than ever they had been during the time when Mexico was a French client state.

So here is a brief selection of typical Franco-Mexican pastries ... which are just the sort of things Monsieur Remontal probably made in his patisserie, until it was ransacked by soldiers in 1839 and the whole sorry saga kicked off.

Cuernos ("horns" in Spanish) can be either single or double-shaped, the latter revealing its French croissant ancestry. Like croissants cuernos are very light flaky pastry constructions made by repeatedly folding layers of filo pastry and butter. In Mexico there are traditional plain versions, but also some filled with vanilla cream, chocolate, or caramel, like a French cream horn.


Orejas ("ears" in Spanish) are very similar to what in France are known as palmiers or as palmeras in Spain (both meaning palm trees) from their resemblance to palm leaves. They seem to have originally come to France from north Africa probably following the French conquest of Algeria (1830–34) but possibly even as early as Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt (1798–1801). Again they are made of light flaky pastry, but sweet, and in Mexico they often come dusted with cinnamon or chocolate.


Orejas

Crepas con cajeta are the Mexican iteration of the French sweet crepe but the popular cajeta filling (sweetened caremelized goat’s milk) gives it a unique Mexican identity.


Crepas

.... and then there are the numerous entirely indigenous creations like, conchas (shells), besos (kisses) and marranitos / cochinitos / puerquitos (little pigs).

Meles meles,

" In Mexico the Roman Catholic Church, upper-class conservatives, and some Indian communities welcomed, accepted, and even collaborated with the French to install an Austrian archduke, as the Emperor Maximillian I of Mexico. But after much guerrilla warfare the French Empire eventually withdrew from Mexico and abandoned Maximillian, who was subsequently executed on 19 June 1867."

Yes Maximilian I
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximilian_I_of_Mexico
And his wife: our Charlotte, sister of Leopold II and first cousin of both Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlota_of_Mexico
She had a tragic life: from the wiki:
"The empress was sent to Europe in 1866 to find help from family.[4] She was received both by the French Emperor and later by the Pope in audience, without success. She was possessed by the idea that she would be killed by poison and refused to eat normal food. Her secretary Batti was horrified when she drank public water from the fountains in Rome,[4] she even bought a cat to taste her food. King Leopold was shocked and sent the count of Flanders to Italy to visit his sister. The Empress who was very depressed and unstable took her court to Miramare, Maximilian's castle near Trieste, Italy, on advice of her brother the Count of Flanders.[4] Dr. Riedel, Director of the Lunatic Asylum of Vienna visited her, to report the Emperor.

While the Empress was resting the Emperor of Austria and the King of Belgium sent delegations to Miramare Castle. The Count of Bombelles,[4] and Dr Von Jilek a friend of the Emperor of Mexico were sent to Miramare.[4] The King of Belgium sent baron Auguste Goffinet on mission to get his sister home. Emperor Maximilian was captured by Mexican Republican forces and executed on 19 June 1867. Now archduchess again, she was obedient to the Austrian court, and Count Karl of Bombelles tried to keep her in Miramare. Discussions between the imperial court and Brussels became more important, because of the heritage. The emperor placed Charlotte under custody of his brother Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria. The king sent his wife to Vienna to visit her Cousin emperor Franz-Josef and take care of Charlotte.
There she was kept in observance by a team of medical and imperial guards. The king sent Jan Frans Bulckens (1813–1876) [4] Psychiatrist of Belgium to his sister.[4] The medical team decided that the empress could not be told of the execution of her husband. With medical approval, Queen Marie Henriette gave her sister-in-law a faked Telegram, from her husband to come back to Brussels.
This worked and the empress-dowager left Miramare for the last time. Together with her sister-in law, Queen Marie Henriette and the Belgian delegation they left for Belgium. After she left Miramare was returned property to the imperial Court.
Historians think that after the death of the Emperor in Mexico, Charlotte only had status of a rich dowager. For the Viennese court and imperial family it was of financial interest to keep her in Miramare. There her fortune was guarded under care of Eduard von Radonetz, the prefect of Miramare. When she was in Belgium the Viennese court would need to pay her dowry to Leopold in Belgium. This theory is confirmed by André Castelot.[5]

At the end the Austrian delegation allowed the empress and her sister in law leave to Belgium where the king gifted her court at Bouchout Castle in Meise, Belgium. During the final years of his life the king cared for his sister. The dowager wrote notes of profound gratitude of the care she received of her brother and nephews.[6]
During World War I, her Belgian estate was surrounded by the occupying German army, but the estate itself was sacrosanct because Austria-Hungary was one of Germany's chief allies and she was the widowed sister-in-law of the Austrian emperor.
As Carlota's illness progressed, her paranoia faded. She remained deeply in love with her husband. After his death, she cherished all of the surviving possessions they had enjoyed in common. The bias of the historiography of the time makes it difficult to assess to what extent she suffered from alleged mental conditions such as psychosis, paranoia and monomania.[citation needed]
Carlota died of pneumonia brought on by influenza at Bouchout Castle on 19 January 1927, and is buried in the Royal Crypt of the Church of Our Lady of Laeken.

She was the last surviving child of Leopold I."

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Thu 03 May 2018, 23:26

@Meles meles wrote:
30 April 1598 – In a move to promote civil unity after decades of religious conflict, the Edict of Nantes was signed by Henry IV of France, granting Calvinist Protestants, the Huguenots, substantial rights. (The exact date isn’t actually known: the Edict itself just says "avril" but it is generally held to have come into effect on the last day of the month).

Henry IV also had personal reasons for supporting the Edict. Prior to assuming the throne in 1589 he had espoused Protestantism, and he remained sympathetic to the Protestant cause: he had converted to Catholicism in 1593 only in order to secure his position as king, supposedly saying "Paris is well worth a Mass". The Edict succeeded in restoring peace and internal unity to France, though it pleased neither party: Catholics rejected the apparent recognition of Protestantism as a permanent element in French society and still hoped to enforce religious uniformity, while Protestants didn't think the Edict went far enough in giving them parity with Catholics.
Meles meles,

just lost a post, the first in a few weeks, just by tapping on the "preview" after my elaborated message was finished. Again the fearfull "no post specified" window...tomorrow I will repost while I have it still all in my head. And I know, I can divide the window in two halves and type my text in the other half and then copy and past, but I find that so cumbersome Embarassed

Nevertheless kind regards and good night from your friend Paul.
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PostSubject: nd perhaps   Sat 05 May 2018, 23:21

@PaulRyckier wrote:
@Meles meles wrote:
30 April 1598 – In a move to promote civil unity after decades of religious conflict, the Edict of Nantes was signed by Henry IV of France, granting Calvinist Protestants, the Huguenots, substantial rights. (The exact date isn’t actually known: the Edict itself just says "avril" but it is generally held to have come into effect on the last day of the month).

Henry IV also had personal reasons for supporting the Edict. Prior to assuming the throne in 1589 he had espoused Protestantism, and he remained sympathetic to the Protestant cause: he had converted to Catholicism in 1593 only in order to secure his position as king, supposedly saying "Paris is well worth a Mass". The Edict succeeded in restoring peace and internal unity to France, though it pleased neither party: Catholics rejected the apparent recognition of Protestantism as a permanent element in French society and still hoped to enforce religious uniformity, while Protestants didn't think the Edict went far enough in giving them parity with Catholics.
Meles meles,

just lost a post, the first in a few weeks, just by tapping on the "preview" after my elaborated message was finished. Again the fearfull "no post specified" window...tomorrow I will repost while I have it still all in my head. And I know, I can divide the window in two halves and type my text in the other half and then copy and past, but I find that so cumbersome Embarassed

Nevertheless kind regards and good night from your friend Paul.


Meles meles,

I know it is a "what if" and mostly there are too much intangibles and possibilities to guess what would be the result of that what if. But it is always interesting to construct the what if with the real events as starting point to better understand what later happened in reality...

Of course the pragmatic Henry IV was able to bring again a certain level of peace in the kingdom and perhaps that other pragmatist his grandson Charles II of Britain had it learned too from Henry IV.

But what if, Louis XIV, going against the will of the Catholics, had maintained the Edict? Couldn't he do that as an absolutist monarch?
Wouldn't that have been better for the economy of his country...the Hugenots not flying to the Dutch Republic and the several monarchies in the HRE? A bit as in the Dutch Republic with the Catholics, allowed to do their thing as long as they didn't came in the public with their religion? But even there there was a lot of trouble between the liberals of the Staten-Generaal of Holland and those of the other provinces. The later William III of Britain as Stadhouder in the Republic supporting the more populist Protestant faction (perhaps for his proper gain?).
And yes perhaps it wasn't possible for the Sun King to have two factions in the kingdom not tended at a reconciliation as proven by documents about the hate between the factions exploited by their respective leadership...9 religious wars in French history...that's perhaps more than in Britain...although one can't perhaps compare, while they both had their specificity in that field?

And perhaps the absolutist king (l'état c'est moi) wasn't interested at all to have a trouble maker as the Protestant faction in his kingdom? (see the nordmann replies in the recent religion authority thread here on the same forum...)

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 06 May 2018, 11:25

Indeed Paul, the flight of the Huguenots to the Dutch Republic, Britain and Scandinavia certainly gave an economic boost to all those countries, with commensurate harm to France. But I suppose Louis XIV would have argued that the presence of Protestants within France was already damaging the state in that they were a potentially seditious movement. Religious tolerance in France was always by royal edict (Henry IV's Edict of Nantes giving tolerance; and Louis XIV's Edict of Fontainbleau removing tolerance) - it was never a popular policy, and even before Louis revoked Henry's Edict there had been years of widespread unofficial persecution of Protestants. As you say, Louis was very much an absolutist king ruling by divine right, and I think he essentially saw the Huguenots and other heretical sects simply as an affront to his vision of a perfect autocracy. Also remember that at this time nearly every other European state only permitted the majority state religion, so Henry IV's experiment in religious tolerance was actually almost unique.

Nevertheless when Louis XIV was younger (aged 19 and so admittedly still largely under the influence of his chief minister, Mazarin) France had briefly, and rather untypically, entered into a league with that arch-Protestant state the Commonwealth of England and Scotland under Oliver Cromwell, against the Spanish. The French feared the Spanish with their Habsburg possessions in the Netherlands were getting close to completely encirling France; while Cromwell's Commonwealth was concerned about Spanish influence in the Carribean and the Low Countries, as well as their support for Charles (later Charles II) the exiled claimant to the British throne. At the Battle of the Dunes (Dunkuerque) in 1658 this Anglo-French league actually saw Puritan English 'Roundheads' fighting shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Royalist, Catholic, French soldiers ... against a Catholic Spanish army, which also included English and French soldiers loyal to the English Royalist cause.


Last edited by Meles meles on Wed 09 May 2018, 14:21; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spellin')
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Sun 06 May 2018, 22:56

Meles meles,

thank you very much for your reaction.

"Nevertheless when Louis XIV was younger (aged 19 and so admittedly still largely under the influence of his chief minister, Mazarin) France had briefly, and rather untypically, entered into a league with that arch-Protestant state the Commonwealth of England and Scotland under Oliver Cromwell, against the Spanish. The French feared the Spanish with their Habsburg possessions in the Netherlands were getting close to completely encirling France; while Cromwell's Commonwealth was concerned about Spanish influence in the Carribean and the Low Countries, as well as their support for Charles (later Charles II) the exiled claimant to the British throne. At the Battle of the Dunes (Dunkuerque) in 1658 this Anglo-French league actually saw Puritan English 'Roundheads' fighting shoulder-to-shoulder alongside Catholic French soldiers ... against a Catholic Spanish army, which also included English and French soldiers loyal to the English Royalist cause."

Yes "raison d'état" (and also "il principe", "the end justifies the means) the French as a Cardinal de Richelieu made even an alliance with the Turks all to counteract the Habsburgs both in Spain and in Austria. And this cooperation dated already from the time of Francis I (François I)
I knew only from my lessons history about Richelieu but now see that it already was long term...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Ottoman_alliance
And there was even a minor role from Persia...about that too... it is since my research about the history of the tulip, that I read about Persia and its relation with Turkey...perhaps it is interesting to remember that there was also a Turkey and a Persia (although minor) in the European history of that time...
I wonder, as we are on the dish thread, if that Jean Frangipani has something to do with you can guess...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Frangipani

And while I wanted to point to the emergence of the nation state in Europe there was a hint to that for France in this related question:
https://www.quora.com/Why-did-France-side-with-the-Protestants-during-the-30-Years-War
"We are also at the beginning of absolutism in France since 1648 settles the question of the Burgundian inheritance (passed to the Holy Roman Empire after the Hundred Years War), which is thus recovered in large part and that there are no longer any great opponents to the King within France (There still will be the episode of the Fronde, a sort of rebellion of the princes of no great consequences from 1649 to 1653). Society ceases to be founded on a conception of the good accepted by all, and civil peace is established by resorting to what men have in common: the fear of violent death. In the form of absolutism, theorized by Bodin and Hobbes, the modern State was born, an entity exercising within its borders the monopoly of legitimate violence and defending itself outside by a national army."

Although I guess the Britain of Queen Elisabeth I was already the first socalled nationstate...and that because both had already a history of nations?...Burgundy was a newcomer?...Italy were city states...as the HRE, where Austria emerged and Spain only reborn since the Reconquista?

Kind regards from Paul.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 07 May 2018, 11:41

Another one that courted the Ottomans was Charles XII of Sweden. Once known as 'the Lion of the North' and the 'Swedish Meteor' for his early military prowess, Charles, who acceded to the throne in 1697 at the age of 15, had bitten off rather more than he could chew when he took on Russia (in almost exactly the same way that both Napoleon and Hitler under-estimated the size and resources of Mother Russia). The Swedish march on Moscow was initially successful but then with the supply lines over-extended they were defeated by a huge Russian army at the battle of Poltava (June 1709) and Charles was forced to surrender. Charles and the remnants of his army took refuge in what is now Moldova, then part of the Ottoman empire and he spent the following six years in exile in the Ottoman Empire's Balkan provinces and in Turkey. He returned to Sweden in 1714 to lead an assault on Norway, trying to evict the Danish king from the war once more in order to aim all his forces at the Russians. The campaign met with frustration and ultimate failure, concluding with his death at the Siege of Fredriksten in 1718.

And since we are indeed in a foody thread I should mention that during his years of exile Charles acquired a taste for Ottoman cuisine and so returned to Sweden with the recipe not just for köfte, the spiced lamb and beef meatballs that in time became the Swedish staple köttbullar, but also for the popular stuffed cabbage dish now known in Sweden as kåldolmar. He is also considered responsible for importing and popularising the Turkish habit of drinking coffee, which became so widespread in Sweden in the later 18th century that King Gustav III briefly banned it.
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PostSubject: Re: Dish of the Day - II   Mon 07 May 2018, 22:39

Meles meles,

thank you for this story that I wasn't aware of...one as I thinks that he knows a lot about European history...and has to be exposed to his lacunes in his knowledge Wink ...chapeau MM for you broader knowledge...where learned you that all...
The Swedes and the köfte...one wouldn't believe it...
And coffee...it can be that we have it overhere via Austria and the Turks..have to check...
And about that "frangipane" that delicious thing from our belgian "pâtissiers"...not Jean Frangipane as I asked as a suggestion... but an even greater can of worms...
http://khkeeler.blogspot.be/2017/01/plant-story-mysterious-marquis.html
https://www.marthastewart.com/1157490/frangipane-filling


Kind regards from Paul.
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