playtime in Burgundy

Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy hosted the party of the century in 1454.

On one table, there was a church with bells, stained-glass windows, and a working pipe organ and choir, which provided musical interludes throughout the evening as well as a silver ship filled with rose water.

image found here

A larger table was far more elaborate. Eight-and-twenty musicians, baked in a giant meat pie, accompanied the interludes of the church choir on the previous table. In addition, the towers of a castle squirted orange punch into its moat. A trick barrel could give either sweet or sour wine: “Take some, if you want!” was written on the scroll of a man standing nearby.

image found here

There are no dimensions or proportions mentioned in the chronicles, but it is a reasonable assumption that with the exception of the meat pie, all of these “entremets” (as they were called) were scale models.  Five more “entremets” adorned this same table: a tiger fighting a serpent; a wildman on a camel; an amorous couple eating the birds that a man was beating out of a bush with a stick; there was also a jester on the back of a bear and a ship floating back and forth between cities.

image found here

Elsewhere in the hall, a living lion was chained to a pillar protecting a statue of a nude woman who served “hypocras” from her right breast. Above the lion, it was written, “Ne touchez a ma dame.”

Dishes (Entremets) that were intended to be eaten as well as entertain can be traced back at least to the early Roman Empire.

The cook to Amadeus VIII described an entremet entitled Castle of Love in his 15th century culinary treatise Du fait de cuisine. It consisted of a giant castle model with four towers, carried in by four men. The castle contained, among other things, a roast piglet, a swan cooked and redressed in its own plumage, a roast boar’s head and a pike cooked and sauced in three different ways without having been cut into pieces, all of them breathing fire. The battlements of the castle were adorned with the banners of the Duke and his guests, manned by miniature archers, and inside the castle there was a fountain that gushed rosewater and spiced wine.

edible castle found here

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 7:10 am  Comments (36)  
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36 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. that picture… first time i have though of kynoord for months… I miss him… p.s. of course, that’s me and the mrs the day after our wedding (totally hung)

    • Which pic – the castle? and we all miss kyknoord

      (stop skiting about your hungness 😉

      • i had the same reaction when i saw the FSM. missing me some south african smart ass…

  2. the spag monster look a like! x

    • Funny… I always pictured him as being more handsome than that

      • Be careful…those who believe in the spaghetti monster are very violent if you make or post idol images of him.

  3. Sorry are we talking about Queen Willy’s places?

    • queenwilly appears to be missing in action. Probably polishing The King’s sceptre

      • I hope that’s enjoyable for each of them but they are missed.

  4. “an amorous couple eating the birds that a man was beating out of a bush with a stick” – made me chuckle ……

  5. We can see in the silver shipreflection the photographer in red in a prayer position…

    • My you’re observant! I had to enlarge the pic to see that

  6. Ethel’s edible undies are big enough to be a 3 course meal ……

    • but they taste like cake. Pound cake I assume (or perhaps mooncake)

      • mmmmmm….. cake……

  7. As Bart would say: “eat my shorts!” But eating Ethel might be preferable….

    Skoda made an edible car for an advert – reputed to have cost £500k!

  8. amazing array of things that one might enjoy nibbling on…

  9. The reincarnation of the Duke of Burgundy must have a sweet outfit as a highly paid event planner…Obviously no detail, either expected or unexpected, was left to the wind.

  10. So how are you supposed to get the hypocras from the breast of the naked lady statue if there’s a lion guarding it? Do you have to distract it with a slab of meat? Maybe I’ll just go get a drink from something that isn’t being manned by a flesh-eating beast.

  11. effing musicians always get the worst of it. also are most always baked for parties.

    • Rebecca, I’d love to leave a comment on your blog but it’s only set up for blogspot people. Do you know how to change it so wordpressers can comment too?

  12. All that grandeur and I still can’t get a decent scone anywhere in the United States.

    What has happened to the world.

  13. I can’t stand these ostentatiously Spartan soirees. Nothing worse than the rich waving their hair shirts in your face.

  14. The Flying Spaghetti Monster! Jeebus, I miss that guy.

  15. Only you could combine the flying spaghetti monster and endible undies that taste like cake.

  16. Now that sounds like my kind of party! I love the silver ship and the edible castle. But why would anyone want sour wine? I only wish they had shindigs like that nowadays, and I was invited.

  17. Amazing stuff, I’m coming back over here when I’m not at the library, as they have alerted me that there are more rude words in this article than a library can cope with!!!
    Thanks for stopping by and looking at my Exotic cushions. We aim to please but no edible undies at this stage.

  18. Nurse Myra, I think if I finally give in and switch to the new “editor” it will work. Maybe. I don’t know for sure. I will give it a shot though, since it’s time. If I lose anything I will be drawn up to the ceiling in a giant serviette and spun until water flings off my arms and legs soiling everyone gowns. Just saying.


    • I’ll just put a theatre gown on over my current dress then… spin away madam

  19. No, that didn’t work. The only people who can post comments are people who have blogger blogs. Of course they don’t have to actually use their blogger blogs they just have to have one and also maybe a gmail account although this may be fiction. I can’t open it to everyone then all those pesky anons will come in and sell me lamb tranquilizers and whatnot not to mention spew their vile death threats and etc. in my direction. DAMN BLOGGER! DAMN THEM TO HECK!

    • Lamb tranquilizers? where can I get me some of those? Maybe I’ll send someone who uses blogger over to your site with instructions then, your material is too good to go uncommented upon

  20. Send a proxy! I will send her back with lamb tranquilizers and a lime jello salad and perhaps hand crabs.


    • I sent Lulu La Bonne… was she able to help?

  21. She was wonderful. I added her to my blog roll. Thank you!

  22. Reblogged this on Traci Reynoso Summary.

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