This is the all-you-can-eat buffet I had Christmas dinner at in Napa Valley. It had a LOT of high class food to choose from and it was an experience I will never forget. While I was there, an interesting thought crept into my mind. What if you could have a buffet for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day? This is pretty much how the nobility and royalty of medieval times ate. They were presented with many options and they decided what they liked the look of and what they were going to eat. That was how Henry VIII ate his meals, which resulted in him being literally over 400 pounds. I am thinking of incorporating this into my third volume as I depict in full detail the lifestyle of the Emperor of Gradaia.
I had a Christmas dinner to remember this year! My family and I went to an all-you-can-eat buffet that served the best high-class food we had in a long time. I went to the buffet four times and a lot of the food I had I never had before. It was a serious culinary adventure! Among these new foods was the dark meat of a goose. It was so juicy and succulent that it relaxed me to the point in which I was mentally like play dough. The dark goose meat was so good that I effectively stripped the kitchen of all its dark goose meat. The light meat of the goose just tasted like pork tenderloin so it was nowhere near as special as the dark meat. I had caviar that smelled like the ocean but did not have the crunchy/nutty texture that the caviar I had weeks earlier. I had oysters and mussels, which were slimy, salty, and roughly tickled the back of my throat. The desserts were divine and included a raspberry torte that had the same relaxing effect the goose meat had. Overall, it was a great Christmas dinner that I did not want to end because it was too f***ing good!
To further celebrate Christmas, I went to a mixture between a deli and winery and sampled a piece of classic gouda cheese. It was creamy and tasted similar to cheddar cheese, but with a stronger aftertaste. Overall, that was some good gouda! In medieval times, cheese was a common dish because it was a way to preserve milk and help with digestion. They believed that it helped calm down the “cauldron” of the stomach. I shall keep this in mind as I continue to write the delicacies in my fantasy world.
I participated in wine tasting for the first time in my life. I asked for the closest thing they had to French Bourdeaux and they provided it. I am all for tasting the wine and spitting it out, but I NEVER swallow. So I took a taste, analyzed it, and spat it out in a jar. At first, it was smooth and sweet, but I was soon struck in the jaw with a sledgehammer of spiciness and my teeth were left tingling with a tangy aftertaste. Bourdeaux is what was sometimes used to make hypocras in medieval times. Due to this, I can imagine this wine being a lot sweeter and spicier than it normally is if it was converted into hypocras. I will keep this in mind when I mention hypocras again in my fantasy series.
For Christmas Eve dinner, I had grilled rabbit. It was not like any meat I ever had, but it was better than I ever could have expected. It tasted similar to chicken yet had a smokey, bacon-like taste as well. It was lots of manual labor to work through the skin, bones, and tendons, but it was worth it. It was gamey, but it had plenty of meat to be filling. Rabbits were common game in medieval times and Henry VIII often hunted rabbit himself on his royal estates. Therefore, this was an ideal opportunity to try it, analyze the smell, taste, and texture, and incorporate it into future fantasy stories. It was a successful experiment and an enjoyable Christmas Eve dinner.
As I cooked the Thanksgiving feast, I got to perform a task that I wanted to do: carving the turkey. The reason why I wanted to do this task was that it would provide more inspiration for my next fantasy books. In medieval times, the job of master carver was a great honor in a monarch’s court and there would be ways to carve different animals. While carving, you would follow the actual structure of the animal and the knife should be an extension of the arm. Thinness is important because if you carved the meat too thickly it would result in the lord or monarch’s teeth disintegrating and the carver would be a very unpopular individual. It was a good sensational experience as I worked my way through the skin, meat, and bones of the turkey. My family enjoyed my handiwork and I look forward to next year.
One of the most decadent and expensive foods is caviar. I recently learned that caviar is nutty, creamy, and explodes with flavor when you bite into it. I may have to try it someday for inspiration. In modern times, the caviar of the beluga sturgeon is the rarest and most prestigious caviar in the world. Unfortunately, the reason why it is so rare and expensive is that the beluga sturgeon is on the verge of extinction from overfishing. On the upside, measures are being made to farm sturgeon caviar instead of hunting them. That way the wild sturgeon have a chance of survival and we can still enjoy their caviar.
In my fantasy series, sturgeons and their caviar will be a delicacy in one of the kingdoms of Gradaia. Imagine a reef that is teeming with hundreds or even thousands of sturgeons the size of dolphins. Then imagine a colossal bowl made from the shell of a giant clam and it is filled to the rim of caviar. That would be a dish fit for a king!