Truett Cathythe chain's former chairman and CEO, in
Restaurant menus, as we know them today, are a relatively new phenomenon. Food historians tell us they were a "byproduct" of the French Revolution. In the 20th century children's menus take their place at the table. Before the emergence of the restaurant, a menu had always been a list of all those foods to be served during a particular meal as at a banquet today.
Cookbooks recommended them and chefs in wealthy households composed them, but all the items on the menu were brought to the table in the course of the meal. A table d'hote had no menu; the eaters whoever in the course of the meal might be and the food whatever it might be arrived at the same moment.
The restaurant's role as a place for the exhibition and treatment of individual weaknesses, however, necessitated a new sense of the menu: In the restaurant, the vagaries of each customer-patient's malady demanded different dietary treatments; no two souls or nervous systems were "sensitive" in the same way.
When ordering from a restaurant menu, the patron therefore made a highly individualistic statement, differentiating him-or herself and his or her bodily complaint from the other eaters and their conditions.
By the mere presence of a menu, the restaurant's style of service demanded a degree of self-definition, and awareness and cultivation of personal tastes, uncalled for by the inn or cookshop Restaurants had printed menus because they offered their customers a choice of unseen dishes While a restaurant's fare might not be uniform No longer required to share each of the dishes brought to a table d'hote, but permitted to concentrate on the ones he or she explicitly requested, the restaurant patrons could make preference as much a matter of finance as of taste In a restaurant, the ostentations potlatch of baroque expenditure was replaced by the equally conspicuous and significant economy of rationalized calculation.
Spang [Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA] p.
This book contains far more information about the origin and history of the menu than can be paraphrased here. If you need more details please ask your librarian to help you find a copy. The number of courses, and the number of dishes served at each course, are period and meal dependant.
Our research confirms "classic" meals generally offer 4 to 8 courses. Examples of 12 course menus are rare, perhaps suggesting they are not "standard" at all.
Here is how A. Grimod de La Reyniere describes such a meal in his Almanach des gourmands: The first consists of soups, hors d'oeuvres, releves, and entrees; the second, of roasts and salads; the third of cold pasties and various entremets; and lastly, the fourth, of desserts including fresh and stewed fruit, cookies, macaroons, cheeses, all sorts of sweetmeats, and petits fours typically presented as part of a meal, as well as preserves and ices.
Some are defined by aspect and mode of preparation Others are defined by their position and function in the sequence Johnson [University of California Press: We have seen that between the sixteenth century and the seventeenth, fewer course came to be served at aristocratic tables.
But their number was far from fixed in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Menon's Cuisiniere bougreoise, published inoffers one three course menu and two four-course menus, which also differ in how the courses are distributed. There might also be a visit from some savoury flying saucer or assiette volante, i.
The second service comprised of roasts and salads, with the obligatory groses pieces decorating the ends of the table. In general, these remained untouched, for they were more to please the eye than the appetite and could be anything from a vast mille-feuille to a Nerac terrine, a heap of crayfish or a blue carp.
The third service involved cold pates and entremets, either sweet or savory The final service was our modern dessert, with fruits, compotes, jams, biscuits, macaroons, cheeses, petits fours and sweets as well as ices.
At a large, formal dinner, the first service could contain anything up to a hundred dishes. In general, a colour, either white or brown, predominated This colour consideration became universal in nineteenth-century cooking. Doubtless, not all the dishes which figured in the five obligatory courses which made up the gala banquets were perfectly executed, nor were they as variet as they should have been.Food & Wine Made in Madison: Flavors only found in Wisconsin's capital.
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Oct 05, · ‘Heart Attack Grill’ Owner Proudly Displays Dead Customer’s Remains on TV. The Vegas-based restaurateur says he wants you to know his food kills — . What is a "square meal?" What is a square meal? Excellent question with no simple answers. There are two primary schools of thought: (1) Symbolic/metaphoric (a "square meal" is a substantial, satisfying repast) and (2) An actual scientific analysis proposed by a British physician in the s.
Shaped, to make it easier for people to understand, like a square.