The medieval times were very important for gastronomy in Europe. Many exotic herbs and spices were brought for the first time from India and East Asia and contributed to the creation of new delicacies.
The old books show that people treated these spices with admiration. People believed Pepper was grown near paradise, ginger and cinnamon were found in the deeps of the Nile river. Worse, some people actually believed spices arrived to earth with winds coming from paradise. The spices who changed completely the dull food were divine and sacred.
The price of spices was very expensive and for that reason it was only the nobles who enjoyed them.
The French noblemen lived to eat and meal time was the favorite time in the day. The meal was served in a “confusion order” (“Service de confusion”), meaning that all plates were served at the same time. There were no table cutlery and people ate with their hands or using the French bread – La Baguette. Yes it wasn’t pleasant sight to assist in a medieval meal.
People were aggressive and cruel in these days, and food poising was common, that’s why they always looked in the eyes of the other before drinking wine, to see if he makes a “funny face”. Until today there is custom to watch each other eyes when making a toast.
Why French eat frogs legs?
The story started in a southern city in France called Avignon. In the medieval times to pope didn’t live in the Vatican, but in this city. He thought that the priests are too fat and disallowed eating meat or fish. The hungry priests were hungry and didn’t know what to do until they came up with a solution – Frogs are not fish, and their meat wasn’t considered meat (“viande”). The villagers copied the god servants and since than frogs’ leg became a French delicacy served in three michelin stars restaurants.
Written by Eve Bernard – Paris Tourism Expert and Writer for http://www.jtmparis.com