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stef_foodie

What would Tchaikovsky have eaten?

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"The Nutcracker," Peter Tchaikovsky's fantasy Christmas ballet, is a feast for the eyes and the ears. It's also a feast. When little Clara helps the Nutcracker Prince defeat the Mouse King by using her slipper as a weapon of mouse destruction, she is rewarded with a voyage to the Kingdom of Sweets. There, chocolate, marzipan and sugarplums come to life as spirited dancers. Confections make the magic in this play, which has become a holiday tradition since its debut in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1892.

Two very Tchaikovsky-themed desserts might be a Nutcracker Dessert Plate and a Mouse King Dessert Plate recipes.

When you read about his life in his biography you will no doubt agree with the idea of focusing upon themes from his ballets for food-related meals ... much of his life revolved around the music he wrote and his personal 'issues'.


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Thanks for the link! I found another one last night that had shocking stories, too including a different theory about his death. LOL. I think you're right. I'll stick with the dessert plate. I also found an interesting book at Amazon that I'll be looking for today.

Nutcracker Sweet

When you read about his life  in his biography  you will no doubt agree with the idea of focusing upon themes from his ballets for food-related meals ... much of his life revolved around the music he wrote and his personal 'issues'.


stefoodie.net - now a wheatless, eggless, dairyless food blog

noodlesandrice.com (with b5media)

bakingdelights.com (with b5media, and my 15-yo-dd)

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I'll stick with the dessert plate. 

I think you can prepare a lovely Viennese sweet table to accompany the tea selection and play his music from Nutcracker in the background ... dress as the Sugarplum Fairy ..


Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Thanks for the link!  I found another one last night that had shocking stories, too including a different theory about his death.  LOL.  I think you're right.  I'll stick with the dessert plate.[...]

Yeah. Better not to serve any unboiled cholera-contaminated well water...

I would have to think that vodka should be served. I feel sure most any Russian composer would have liked to drink vodka.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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I'm actually not so sure about the vodka! I think he came from a class that probably took France as its model...for that period, maybe brandy??? And weren't the turn-of-the-century crowd fond of champagne and dessert wines??

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Here's some info about Russian cuisine (including 19th century info) that I found through Google:

A history of Russian cuisine, including the 19th century. The English is slightly and IMO charmingly stilted--I can almost hear it being spoken with an accent. :smile:

Another historic survey, this one courtesy of Aeroflot.

This Moscow restaurant put a lot of little informative notes about the history of almost every dish on its extensive menu (click the "menu" link at the top of the page).

The main things I picked up:

1) Yep, 19th century Russian cuisine definitely showed a lot of heavy influence from France and other European countries, but with a definite filtering through Russian food traditions.

2) Because of the influence of the Russian Orthodox church, which required a huge number of fast days, traditional Russian cuisine has a whole lot of fish and vegetable dishes.

3) Blini and Russian black bread apparently go back centuries, and everyone, rich and poor, ate these foods for centuries.

4) Soups and grain dishes were also popular with both rich and poor.

5) Vodka and tea (served from a samovar, sucked through a cube of sugar held between the teeth) were apparently very big in the 19th century.

Enjoy!

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Here's some info about Russian cuisine (including 19th century info) that I found through Google:

A history of Russian cuisine, including the 19th century. The English is slightly and IMO charmingly stilted--I can almost hear it being spoken with an accent. :smile:

Another historic survey, this one courtesy of Aeroflot.

This Moscow restaurant put a lot of little informative notes about the history of almost every dish on its extensive menu (click the "menu" link at the top of the page).

The main things I picked up:

1) Yep, 19th century Russian cuisine definitely showed a lot of heavy influence from France and other European countries, but with a definite filtering through Russian food traditions.

2) Because of the influence of the Russian Orthodox church, which required a huge number of fast days, traditional Russian cuisine has a whole lot of fish and vegetable dishes.

3) Blini and Russian black bread apparently go back centuries, and everyone, rich and poor, ate these foods for centuries.

4) Soups and grain dishes were also popular with both rich and poor.

5) Vodka and tea (served from a samovar, sucked through a cube of sugar held between the teeth) were apparently very big in the 19th century.

Enjoy!

I appreciate your list and links.

Now, can anybody tell me, would Checkhov have likely eathen the same? If ot, what do you think he'd have eaten?

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I'll stick with the dessert plate. 

I think you can prepare a lovely Viennese sweet table to accompany the tea selection and play his music from Nutcracker in the background ... dress as the Sugarplum Fairy ..

Better yet, play the 1812 Overture and you can shoot food out of cannons at your guests.

:blink:


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There are a few menus (and recipes) from the tail end of the Russian Imperial era on the <a href="http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/">Alexander Palace Site</a>

I know they are at the tail end of your time-frame, but I am sure the cuisine hadn't changed much for decades. They might give you some ideas as to what the upper classes ate at that time.


Happy Feasting

Janet (a.k.a The Old Foodie)

My Blog "The Old Foodie" gives you a short food history story each weekday day, always with a historic recipe, and sometimes a historic menu.

My email address is: theoldfoodie@fastmail.fm

Anything is bearable if you can make a story out of it. N. Scott Momaday

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