As you know, I finished reading The Taste of the Fire,
the Story of the Tudor Kitchens at Hampton Court
Palace, and I’ve been sharing various informative
bits with you. It’s certainly been a fascinating and
fun journey! Now, however, I must bid a fond
farewell to dear King Henry VIII and his foodways
at Hampton Court. I’m heading back “home,” back
to the early 19th century.
Before I go, however, here are a few more gobbits
(aka morsels) of information from the book:
Food supplies came
from a variety of sources,
including local farms and
gardens, town markets,
or the occasional hunt
on surrounding lands.
Much was also grown
or raised within Palace
walls. After arriving
in Hampton’s labyrinth of courtyards, it was all
then accounted for and sent along to be stored,
processed, prepared, cooked, or eaten in a series
of more than 50 different rooms, which spanned
a “staggering” 36,000 square feet.
For the most part, King
Henry VIII did not take
his meals with the other
600 or so members of his
court. Instead, he had
his own private kitchens
wherein a separate team
of cooks prepared his daily
fare, which he then ate
in private chambers that were far removed from others.
Forks were introduced
from Italy during Henry’s
reign. They were welcomed
as a cooking and serving
tool, but not as one for
eating. The King would’ve
been the only person to
have one, and he used it
mainly for eating sweet
preserves. His fellow courtiers used a Court-provided
spoon, their own knives, and their fingers. They ate
off wooden trenchers, with their napkins laid across
the left shoulder instead of the lap.
If anyone would like a copy of this marvelous,
information-packed book, just click the website
here: Hampton Court Palace.
I highly recommend it!