Some of the famous Mrs Beeton's desserts.
Still hooked on all things Victorian as I make my way through George Eliot's Middlemarch and Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Once again though, having last night watched The Supersizers Go Victorian, I am very glad I didn't actually have to live in this era. I am astounded that people who lived - at the latter end of the era - only 109 years ago ate as differently from what we do today.
The programme focussed mainly on a fairly affluent diet but still! Enormous pies made of eight different meats. Roasted squirrel. Calves' heads (with calves' ear fritters). Roasted snipe (a snipe is a bird. The trick was to suck the brains out of its head with your mouth, eat the brains and then pick your teeth with its beak). Enormous wobbling jellies and blancmanges. It would seem that the extent to which human behaviour was repressed in the Victorian era found a way of bursting out in extravagant food. The poor, on the other hand, were served a soup composed mainly of water and flour. No wonder there were not long life expectancies!