Hosting a dinner party required more than an elegant setting and congenial guests, it required the host or hostess’s utmost skill in planning a menu. The general serving pattern was hors d’oeuvres, soup, fish, entree, removes, meat, salad, savoury, sorbet, dessert, but the best planners and cooks knew which dishes would complement during a long meal, and how to mix the latest fashions with traditional fare. For the hostess, it was also imperative that the menus be printed in French, and books were published to help ladies with even the slightest knowledge of the language turn plain boiled Artichokes with butter sauce into the more florid Artichauts sauce au beurre.
Here are a few sample menus written in French. Can you decipher the dishes using Nancy Lake’s Menus Made Easy?