Treat Your Family Like Nobility

Historical Recipes from the European Aristocrats of the Past.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Recipes To Treat Your Family Like Nobility

Hi, my name is Michelle.

When I started developing the site RussianCuisine.us, I faced a problem. You see, a lot of recipes enjoyed by Russian nobility were not exactly Russian. Say, Vienna steak, as you can guess, comes from Vienna. That’s Austria. The Russian nobility was heavily entwined with the nobility of the whole Western Europe, sharing the ideas, the dress, and the recipes with others. Thinking of the past century Russia it seems hard to believe, however, that was the reality of life. Ever read “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas? See a few quotes from there:

“You are young and rich - leave Paris - all is soon forgotten in this great Babylon of excitement and changing tastes. You will return after three or four years with a Russian princess for a bride...” (Chapter 87 – The Challenge)

"Perhaps you are right," said Morcerf; "meanwhile, who is in the Russian ambassador's box?" (Chapter 53 – Robert Le Diable, of course, the box could only go to the fantastically rich Count of Monte Cristo)

“Now, then, Franz, when, for services so promptly and unhesitatingly rendered, he but asks me in return to do for him what is done daily for any Russian prince or Italian nobleman who may pass through Paris - merely to introduce him into society - would you have me refuse?” (Chapter 38 – The Compact)

Sometimes the recipes were shared in the easiest form available to the European nobility, by hiring each other’s cooks. Or, sometimes, with an even more direct method. Say, Count G. Stroganoff (ever heard of “beef stroganoff”?) learned French cuisine while being an officer of the Russian Imperial Army occupying Paris to make sure that Napoleon could not return. Anyway, how would you present the recipes that are essentially international and characteristic to a class of people, not a specific country? Thus, the idea of this blog was born.

“Recipes to Treat Your Family Like Nobility” will be devoted to the recipes of the old aristocratic families of Europe. Aside from Count Stroganoff and his family, it will feature the recipes of many historical personages, you’ve heard or read about in school. Say, how about the hero of the American Revolution Marquis de Lafayette (Marie-Joseph-Paul-Roch-Yves-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de La Fayette.) Have you ever passed by the city of La Fayette in AL or IL or one of the cities named LaFayette in one of 13 other states?

Anyway, enjoy the recipes and thank you for coming!
Michelle

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