Napoleonic Pleasures : 96
Bon appetit! / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireCrèpes and pannequets (pancakes)
During the Second Empire, crèpes (as they were spelt at the time) were an integral part of home cuisine. They were traditionally sprinkled with a simple layer of sugar, as the batter would often be flavoured with eau-de-vie or brandy. However, they experienced stiff competition during the period from a similar food from across the […]
Fashion / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireWoman’s dress. Taffeta and silk. France, c.1869.
Woman’s dress. Taffeta and silk. France, c.1869. This gown bears the name of Madame Vignon, who was a known dressmaker to Empress Eugénie at this date and indeed, supplied the gown worn for Eugénie's religious marriage. Previous to 1857 all dyes used for the colouration of fabric were of organic origin; it was during this year […]
Bon appetit! / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireForcemeat for veal, turkeys, fowls, hare &c.
An anecdote is told of the prince de Soubise, who, intending to give an entertainment, asked for the bill of fare. His chef came, presenting a list adorned with vignettes, and the first article of which, that met the prince's eye, was “fifty hams.” “Bertrand,” said the prince, “I think you must be extravagant; Fifty […]
Bon appetit! / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireBoiled Turkey
The TurkeyThe turkey, for which fine bird we are indebted to America, is certainly one of the most glorious presents made by the New World to the Old. Some, indeed, assert that this bird was known to the ancients, and that it was served at the wedding-feast of Charlemagne. This opinion, however, has been controverted […]
Bon appetit! / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireCharlotte Russe
An Anglo-Russian dessert, made à la française. The Second Empire recipe for this dessert is a simpler version of the famous “Charlotte à la russe”, which was white like the St. Petersburg snow. The modern recipe is closer to the original in that it includes crème anglaise and is slightly more complex. Although originally an English creation, […]
Fashion / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireWomen in mourning
Women in mourning Just as in any other situation in 19th century society, what one wore when in mourning had strict rules to which one was obliged to adhere. Like today, black played a dominant role in what women in 1853 wore after a loss. During the initial months, clothing was to be in wool and […]
Fashion / Directory / 1st EmpireDress of muslin embroidered with wool. Circa 1808.
Dress of muslin embroidered with wool. Circa 1808. At the time of the first Empire fashions had streamlined to such an extent that the lightest and most delicate of fabrics were employed in day wear as well as evening wear. The gown depicted in this image represents the ideal in neo classical dress.1 Throughout the eighteenth […]
Fashion / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireSteel frame crinoline
Steel frame crinoline Nothing encapsulates more the idea of industry meeting fashion than the steel frame or 'cage' crinoline: the 'first great triumph of the machine age'.1 Previous to its inception women had thrust their skirts outwards with the aid of multitudinous layers of petticoats of varying weight and composition.2 As observed with mauve, this […]
Bon appetit! / Directory / 1st EmpireVerjus or verjuice
Verjus is the name given to the juice taken from unripened white grapes. At the time, there were three different sorts of grapes: one for wine, one for the table, and one for verjus. Verjus is acidic and was thus used as an alternative to lemon juice. In 19th century, a change in tastes meant […]
Bon appetit! / 2nd Republic / 2nd EmpireBoiled leg of lamb à la béchamel
The period recipe here recommends boiling (as was the French standard way of cooking meat until 1814), but we would recommend that you roast the joint.