Author Topic: Food, Wine and Meals  (Read 32514 times)

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Offline Sarai

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2004, 01:24:41 PM »
Above I posted the menu for Alexander III's coronation, and here now is the menu for Nicholas's coronation banquet, from Nicholas and Alexandra:
1. Borshch
2. Pepper-pot soup
3. Turnovers filled with meat
4. Steamed fish
5. Whole spring lamb
6. Pheasants in cream sauce
7. Salad
8. Asparagus
9. Sweet fruits in wine
10. Ice cream

Offline Mike

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2004, 12:21:40 PM »
Numerous recollections exist (in Russian) about eating and drinking habits of the last two tzars. Briefly, both of them (especially Alexander III) preferred simple food in private, but were confined to gourmet - mostly French - cuisine by strict ceremonial rules of the court dining. While Russian "national" meals were also served on a daily basis, an European influence was quite apparent in their recipes. The only places where more traditional, peasant-style meals were allowed, were imperial hunting reserves - Belovezh, Spala, etc.

Nicolas II was careful not to express his gasronomic preferences, except probably to his immediate family, because any such statement would have been interpreted as an "august will" and could affect public tastes, market prices etc.

As to the drinking, Nicolas always gulped two small glasses of vodka (sometimes flavored) just before breakfast and dinner, and savored a large glass of Madeira wine during the meal. His dad Alexander III preferred cognac - at any time.

Offline Forum Admin

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2004, 01:32:38 PM »
I must confess that there is some confusion from those closest contemporary sources about exactly what Nicholas II would drink.  Most sources agree he drank little vodka, but there are some very reliable references that he might have one small one with Zakuskis before dinner when with his officers or at state occassions.  He definately loved his Madeira, and also enjoyed the wines from the Hesse family vineyards.  He drank Charles Heidsieck Monopole champagne NOT Roederer's Cristal as commonly believed, but even then only rarely. I have NEVER seen a single reference to his drinking vodka ever in the morning. Spiridovitch also repeats several times that when the Tsar was "toasting" his troops on Parade, his "vodka" glass was actually filled with white wine, while the others were drinking vodka.

Nicholas was not ever a heavy drinker, ever. But Rod, palace records indicate that he would drink wine and champagne with guests, even when "not State" occassions, and he did sometimes have Madeira in the evening after dinner when alone with Alexandra.  He would also drink wine when served it as a guest of someone else for a meal so as not to offend the host.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2004, 01:43:23 PM »
Here is the portion of my menu from the first night of Nicholas' coronation festivities in 1896, I have enlarged out just the meal itself.  Im afraid that I can't make out what was served, perhaps some one can translate it for us? I thought people might enjoy seeing it:

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by admin »

Offline Greg_King

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2004, 12:33:16 AM »
The children also drank wine-a glass of St. Raphael-according to Voikov, as it was said to have a medicinal benefit.

Greg King

Offline Mike

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #20 on: May 31, 2004, 05:38:45 AM »
About Nicolas' drinking vodka: see e.g. General Mosolov's memoirs (he was chief of office ["direktor kantsellyarii"] at the Ministry of Imperial Court till 1916).

Nicolas definitely was not a heavy drinker, unlike his father. However, it was customary to drink one or two small (30-50 ml) glasses of vodka while standing at the zakuski table just before breakfast and dinner. Please note that breakfast was served at noon or even 12:30, so it hardly would be considered "morning drinking".  As to gulping, every true Russian (and even not so true - like me :D) gulps vodka rather than sips it.

Offline Mike

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #21 on: June 01, 2004, 12:50:15 AM »
What assertion?... Have you read Mosolov?

Offline Sarai

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #22 on: June 01, 2004, 12:43:50 PM »
I found another interesting reference to Nicholas's favourite foods in Nicholas & Alexandra, pg. 127. It says that Nicholas especially enjoyed "slices of suckling pig with horseradish, taken with a glass of port." He also enjoyed cabbage soup or borshch or kasha (buckwheat) with boiled fish and fruit. So there are a few more items to add on to his favourite foods list.

Offline neva

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2004, 10:00:51 PM »
How could they make ice-cream in the summer when there was no electricity (fridge) to make ice?

Offline neva

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2004, 10:02:19 PM »
Was there no proper dining room at the AP? Why would they eat food in different rooms?

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2004, 11:19:23 PM »
Ice was gathered in winter and stored in underground ice houses in hay and salt to keep it over summer.
There was no dining room 'per se' in the AP. The Semi Circular hall was used for formal dining. Other rooms were used for family and smaller informal dining.

Offline Sarai

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2004, 06:44:53 PM »
Not sure if this is true or not (seeing as how Nicholas was not known for his drinking), but according to this article http://www.mosnews.com/feature/2004/11/15/hangovercures.shtml, there is a hangover cure allegedly discovered by Nicholas called "Nikolashka," which involves the following:

"Another curing “snack” was allegedly discovered by Tsar Nicholas II, and is called “Nikolashka”: take a slice of lemon, put a teaspoon of sugar and a teaspoon of coffee on top, and eat in one bite."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Sarai_Porretta »

Offline mek

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2004, 08:40:24 PM »
Neva - Ice cream was and still can be made with a hand churn. No electicity required. The mixture is placed in a sealed cylindar with paddles inside.  This is placed in a bucket with alternating layers of ice and salt. As the ice melts you crank the handle to turn the paddles inside which scrape the frozen mixture off of the inside can. You continue churning until all of the mixture is frozen. What a treat! We used to do this when I was young at my grandmother's house - in those days few people bought comercially frozen ice cream at the market and kept it in their freezers,(which were very small back in the early '50's).

Offline RichC

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2004, 05:51:19 PM »
I don't have my copy handy, but I know there is a passage in Nicholas and Alexandra where Massie quotes Nicholas' diary from the early 1890's: "Wallowed in the grass and drank...got soused...the officiers carried me out..."

It sounds to me that he was guilty of youthful drinking bouts, just like many of the rest of us!   :D

I've read that book so many times, I can almost quote it verbatim....


Offline La_Mashka

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Re: Food, Wine and Meals
« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2005, 05:41:32 PM »
About the kitchen

What happened to this building?  was it torn down???
Tishie mushi kot na krushie