Musketeers Meta: 17th century eating habits in France

A follow-up of this post about 17th century French cuisine : crabsandlobsters asked me (a long time ago, but I’m only publishing this now) how many meals the people in the 17th century took per day, as part of her research for her Musketeers fic Ascendant. So here’s my answer to her, because I think it can be of help to other people who are writing Musketeers (or 17th-century France in general?) fic :

It seems there’s no completely set rule — I’m gonna digress a bit: for example, in Ancient Greece, it’s reported they had four meals a day, but intellectuals mainly ate one decent meal a day, with a very light meal in the morning that could barely be called that, while people who worked physically hard ate three meals a day, in the morning, at noon and in the evening much like we do.

In 17th century France, two meals a day seems about right indeed, and then you eat whatever you want in between when you are hungry and/or when you have the means to, kind of like hobbits I suppose (those in-betweens are what’s called in France “collation” or “en-cas”, in good bourgeois houses/aristocracy/royalty, “en-cas” were generally at the ready, especially for the night. Louis XIV, for example (who was Louis XIII’s son of course) during his reign had “en-cas” of three little bread rolls, water and wine always around and fresh). Dietary concerns about restricting the intake of food to three meals a day is, I think, a modern notion, even though regularity and not indulging in excess was certainly considered virtuous (but that dates back even to ancient times, greed is generally frowned upon).

Breakfast is called “déjeuner”, and it’s the first meal of the day, generally in the morning, and then you had a second meal around noon/in the middle of the afternoon (le “dîner”). It’s only at the end of the 18th century that that second meal is pushed back to the end of the afternoon/beginning of the evening, and around the same time that first meal of the day was split into two, the “petit-déjeuner” in the morning, and the “déjeuner” around noon.

(but, again, I think that’s mainly in the city and it depends on what was your occupation. In rural areas, for example, it’s more probable, according to what I read, that they had three meals a day, “déjeuner” in the morning, “dîner” around noon, and then “souper” at night — as the name indicates, a meal mainly based on soup)

It might amuse you to know that our good Louis XIII was reported by his doctor to have copious breakfasts in the morning, once, for example, made of ham and boar pâté, and pan-seared chicken in white sauce. His son Louis XIV was more frugal later on; apparently he only took either two cups of herbal tea or vegetable broth (from vegetables that had boiled all night) at 9 in the morning.

The taste for sweet things in the morning was developped in 17th century too; coffee and chocolate (chocolate was a drink approved by Jesuits during fasting periods, it was considered “lean”) started to replace milk and broth, and like I said in my post 17th century is the century of jam, and they sarted having that in the morning too.

So I guess to answer your question, they can eat pâté or roast in the morning and pâté or roast around noon without much differentation between the two meals I guess, certainly, but it’s in this century where lunch tends to be more savoury than what’s eaten in the morning. And concerning the quantity of food on each meal (either a lot in the morning or not), I suppose it depends on the person like with Louis XIII and Louis XIV

[ crabsandlobsters then had another question specifically about Athos and breakfast, here’s my answer]

I think Athos would probably skip breakfast, yes; especially after drinking all night, I’m not much of a drinker myself but I guess breakfast is not the first thing on your mind and you tend to skip it especially in a century where you don’t have the kind of soft/relatively sweet or neutral food you have in modern times, but stronger flavours, tougher textures. At the garrison… that might be another matter; if their training/day starts early in the morning, young musketeers might need something to hold (again, more physical effort=more meals in the day). In the show though it seems Athos and the others tend to report in quite late and/or whenever they want, and I guess they don’t need to train so much. Sorry for the digression, what I wanted to say was that breakfast is probably available at the garrison, something like boiled cereals with vegetables and/or coarse bread made with rye and wheat with broth or milk, if only for the young recruits, but probably not the fancy type with chocolate and jam that I was talking about.

kirenwalks said: This might be silly but I just wanted to tell you that I just read your post about what In The Flesh is about and now I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat and just... what you wrote touched me very deeply and I hope that many more people will understand the impact this show has and start watching it. I wish you all the best. <3

On the contrary, it’s not silly at all! I was myself very emotional when I wrote it, and I’m so happy to know that someone else was touched by my burst of emotions about In The Flesh — so thank you for letting me know, I’m so glad! <3

I MADE A FANART
Noel Fielding as Crowley and Richard Ayoade as Aziraphale FTW

staniamstan:

Okay but please consider Richard Ayoade as Aziraphale

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And Noel Fielding as Crowley

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Please

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consider

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They even sound like them when they’re drunk:

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And the chemistry between them

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Oh, the chemistry

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P L E A S E


I need this sfm

CONGRATULATIONS FLESHDOM, WE WON THE FREAKING POLL!!!!!!!! It was a hell of a long and tough fight, but we pulled through and I&#8217;m so incredibly proud of us so here&#8217;s special art for the occasion!
 (source: x)
Don&#8217;t forget that tonight is #SaveInTheFlesh Social Media Sunday and we can talk about HOW WE WON THIS FREAKING POLL HELL YEAH:

"on Sunday 31st August at 10pm UK time, we all start talking about In The Flesh and how much we want series 3 on facebook, twitter and tumblr.
If you’re new to the fandom, #SaveInTheFlesh Social Media Sunday is a campaign event the fandom holds on the last Sunday of every month. Full details on how to take part can be found on this post from last month’s event, and here is our tag for Social Media Sundays.&#8221;

CONGRATULATIONS FLESHDOM, WE WON THE FREAKING POLL!!!!!!!! It was a hell of a long and tough fight, but we pulled through and I’m so incredibly proud of us so here’s special art for the occasion!

 (source: x)

Don’t forget that tonight is #SaveInTheFlesh Social Media Sunday and we can talk about HOW WE WON THIS FREAKING POLL HELL YEAH:

"on Sunday 31st August at 10pm UK time, we all start talking about In The Flesh and how much we want series 3 on facebook, twitter and tumblr.

If you’re new to the fandom, #SaveInTheFlesh Social Media Sunday is a campaign event the fandom holds on the last Sunday of every month. Full details on how to take part can be found on this post from last month’s event, and here is our tag for Social Media Sundays.”

kedreeva said: I just wanted to say thanks for the encouragement in the poll (and the lovely, hilarious artwork). I think we might have fallen behind without the voting days and the reminders. Every time I see one of them on my dash or reblog it myself, I drop a few votes.

Eeeh, no need to thank me, it was my pleasure really! Because this fandom is seriously AMAZING and so passionate and dedicated! No offense to Dominion but I feel that In The Flesh really deserves to win this poll!

Favourite Summer Show Poll art recap!

The poll is closing tonight, keep voting for In The Flesh, Fleshdom, we can very well win this (wouldn’t it be AWESOME?)

 Remember, no identification/login required and voting is unlimited, you can vote as many times in a row as you want!

I make the solemn promise to make special art for the occasion if we win!

FAVOURITE SUMMER SHOW POLL VOTING PARTY: tonight’s the night and the time is NOW!
Go vote for In The Flesh as your favourite summer show on The Geekiary&#8217;s website, to make known that you want MORE of those stupid nerds zombie boyfriends!
Remember, no identification/login required and voting is unlimited, you can vote as many times in a row as you want
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! and make them numbers RISE! RISE! RISE!

FAVOURITE SUMMER SHOW POLL VOTING PARTY: tonight’s the night and the time is NOW!

Go vote for In The Flesh as your favourite summer show on The Geekiary’s website, to make known that you want MORE of those stupid nerds zombie boyfriends!

Remember, no identification/login required and voting is unlimited, you can vote as many times in a row as you want

VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! and make them numbers RISE! RISE! RISE!

Alright Fleshdom, let&#8217;s do this again! The Poll Voting Party really worked last time, putting In The Flesh ahead of Dominion with 10, 000 votes, but Dominion fans really ARE persistent and they STILL managed to catch up with us!  The poll closes in three days, so the end is near: let&#8217;s win this!
I propose another session where we all get together on the Favourite Summer Show Poll and vote at the same time again to gain an advantage:
let&#8217;s say tomorrow Thursday, August 28th, at 9.00 pm UTC/GMT? (that’s 10 pm in London, 23h in Paris; for other time zones here’s a time zone converter). Remember, no identification/login required and voting is unlimited, you can vote as many times in a row as you want!
In the meantime, keep voting for In The Flesh! Let&#8217;s show The Powers That Be we&#8217;re the little fandom that could, and we really need a third season!

Alright Fleshdom, let’s do this again! The Poll Voting Party really worked last time, putting In The Flesh ahead of Dominion with 10, 000 votes, but Dominion fans really ARE persistent and they STILL managed to catch up with us!  The poll closes in three days, so the end is near: let’s win this!

I propose another session where we all get together on the Favourite Summer Show Poll and vote at the same time again to gain an advantage:

let’s say tomorrow Thursday, August 28th, at 9.00 pm UTC/GMT? (that’s 10 pm in London, 23h in Paris; for other time zones here’s a time zone converter). Remember, no identification/login required and voting is unlimited, you can vote as many times in a row as you want!

In the meantime, keep voting for In The Flesh! Let’s show The Powers That Be we’re the little fandom that could, and we really need a third season!