When about a month ago I was in Salzburg, I couldn’t have been happier for having a chance to “taste” some of the daily dishes enjoyed by people two hundred years ago, by visiting the exhibition “Viva! Mozart”. These dishes, for instance, included almond milk and the dessert Nipples of Venus. Nevertheless I was sad for the others who would not have the same chance that I had and would not be able to visit this charming little baroque city at the foot of the Austrian Alps.
Back home, in Korea, I was delighted with a Russian recipe book containing exclusive menus prepared for the Russian aristocrats, including some imperial recipes of the end of the 19th century. What a gift it was! Even I, someone who hates recipes and the kitchen in general, caught myself being excited while looking through the pages of that extraordinary cuisine book. I was surprised to learn that some czars already ate ice cream as dessert for breakfast or green tea mousse for supper – something that I thought belongs to modern times only.
Today I read in a local newspaper that a restaurant specializing in royal Korean cuisine of the beginning of the 20th century, with dishes like Gujeolpan or Sinseollo, has just opened its doors for all those who literally have a hunger and thirst for history. Brilliant!
If I were in the restaurant business, I would definitely invest in the idea of restaurants that only prepare historical dishes (noble or not) and inform their customers about the eating habits of the past. But because my talents have nothing to do with the kitchen, I would not dare to open a place like that. My passion for historical food would be more in tasting rather than preparing it.
However, I keep hoping that history and kitchen lovers might bring old traditions to our tables in some innovative restaurants. After all, who would deny a history class if the aroma and flavor of the meal consumed by the emperor X or by the philosopher Y invaded our senses without asking for permission?