Note: This was created for role-playing purposes in Panhistoria and is set in Colonial Philadelphia, near St. Joseph's Church. This features Irish, Scottish, French, and Breton cooking.
This coffeehouse has far too many meal choices for a real coffeehouse of the period. In reality there would be few choices for food and they would tend to be the lighter choices. Restaurants first appeared in Paris in the 1760s. They featured light dishes and mineral water. Expanded menus appeared later. Restaurants and cafes were very popular because the alternative, inns, offered no choice in the menu and no individualized seating. Instead, inns featured group settings and latecomers might not get any food. Cafes offered coffee and light refreshments but no meals. Cafes appeared in France by the 1600s. The situation in England and the United States was similar.
I have tried to make sure that all dishes would be known in colonial times. When I am especially uncertain of the age of the dish I have said "date uncertain".
The breads are served with butter that has been flavored with herbs, leeks, or garlic.
Irish Soda Bread
Oatcakes/Bannocks (Scottish) served with kail (cabbage). Our triangular bannocks are nice and thick, although they are not as big as a mill bannock, which is 12 inches in diameter and one inch thick with a hole in the middle.
- (Bannocks and cabbage was a typical evening meal or supper in the 17th century)
Pain Perdu, which is leftover bread coated in egg and then fried in clarified butter and served with fine sugar (i.e. French Toast)
Sourdough Bread (French)
Beef broth with oatmeal, leeks, and cabbage (Irish)
Cock-a-leekie (chicken and leek) Soup
- (Scottish, in existence by 1748)
Eggs Poached in Bouillon (oeufs frais)
French Onion Soup
French cut vegetables, including turnips, carrots and onions.
- (This may not include potatoes because potatoes were thought to cause leprosy and could not be grown in France until after 1748. In the 18th century, potatoes turned up in soups for the poor. But the term, "French cut" vegetables may have later led to French-fried potatoes)
Nettle Soup (Scottish, Irish)
Nominoë Soup with chestnuts, egg yolks, and cream (Breton)
Salad with oil and vinegar French dressing
Cotriade Bretonne is a Breton fish stew with sorrel, leeks, cream, and rich fish like eel and mackeral and white fish like cod and haddock
- (date uncertain)
Eel stew (French)
French Fish stew (bouillabaisse) with cod, etc.
- (This is the ancestor of gumbo. Tomatoes are not generally accepted until the mid 1800s and would not be in this stew.)
Irish Stew, made from mutton, onions, carrots, rosemary, and thyme.
- (Potatoes arrived in Ireland during the decade following the 1588 Spanish Armada. The Spanish grew potatoes in Galicia near Ireland. Most Irish potato dishes seem to have developed after the Great Hunger of the 1840s so I have omitted potato dishes like colcannon and boxty from this menu. If Irish stew existed in colonial times it would not have had potatoes. Potatoes were not accepted in England until after a wheat shortage from 1795 - 1814. In France, royal support for potatoes began in 1785 but widespread acceptance did not occur until after 1800.)
Meat stew in cinnamon sauce (French)
Veal Flory, a Scottish veal stew with herbs and mushrooms
- (inspired by the French)
Black Pudding (Irish)/Blood sausage or Boudin (French)
Boudin blanc, a blood sausage where the blood is replaced by white pork meat.
Brochan, a thick meal-pudding with milk and butter (Scottish)
Buckwheat Pudding with meat, vegetables, and heavy cream. We make ours with beef, ham, ox-tail, carrots, turnips, leeks, onions, celery, and cabbage.
- (Breton Kig-Ha-Farz, date uncertain)
Haggis, a Scottish dish made with chopped heart, liver, oats, and suet.
- (The name comes from the French hachis or 'mince'. This was eaten by the 14th century).
Haggis Royal, with mutton, vegetables, and red wine
- (date uncertain)
- (This was eaten by Highland chiefs before 1745)
White Pudding / Mealie Pudding (Irish/Scottish) made of oatmeal, onions, suet, salt, and pepper.
Herring in Oatmeal (Scottish), fried and served with mustard.
Oatmeal Boullie/English Flummery/Welsh Llymru, a dish made from oatmeal steeped in water then boiled until almost solid. It is served with cream.
Oatmeal Porridge, with a mixture of white, black, and grey oats (named by the 18th century), served with milk or ale or cabbage broth. Dip the oatmeal in the milk rather than vice versa. Served with an oat bannock (17th century).
Sowans, a dish made with oats soaked in water until sour, then boiled in fresh salted water until it is rich and creamy. Then it is rolled in oats and mixed with milk or, in winter, ale. Served with kail or cabbage.
- (This was a typical midday meal in the 17th century).
Capon pasties (French)
Hare pie (Irish)
Pigeon Pie (Irish)
Venison pasty (Scottish)
Venison pie with rye flour pastry (French)
Boiled chicken with salt (volailles au gros sel)
Capons in cinnamon sauce (French)
Buffalo sausage fried in bear's oil (French)
Roast Duck with Green Peas (Breton Canard Aux Petits Pois)
- (I don't know how old the dish is but it seems traditional)
Sausages in White Wine with a chestnut puree (Breton Saucisses Au Muscadet)
- (date uncertain)
Stewed Pigeons (French)
Venison pate (French)
Crêpes with apples and cinnamon (Breton kouign bigouden aux pommes)
- (Bretons have made crêpes since the Middle Ages)
Crêpes with honey (au miel)
Crêpes with poached fruit (aux fruits pochés)
Gâteau Breton, a rich butter biscuit/cake with apples, raisins, etc.
- (date uncertain)
Sugared Tarts, such as fig tart (Tarte Aux Figues Fraïches)
Blancmange Pudding with almond milk (French, Irish)/ Almond Flory or pudding
- (Scottish, from the French)
- (milky jelly from soaked wheat berries, French)
Prune Flory (Scottish, from the French)/Prune Flan/Far Breton
- (A far is a pudding or porridge, the prune flan is famous, it is like the Breton equivalent of the Yorkshire Pudding)
- (French ancestor of pralines)
- (Chocolate was drunk in France by 1642)
Coffee, sweetened with honey or sugar
- (Coffee first came to France in 1644).
Teas, including Burnet (good with lemon and sugar, used by the French and Indians), chamomile, Linden or Lime Flower (French), mint, nettle (British), Thyme (French), Verbena (French), Wintergreen (French Canadian).
- (I think French herbal teas or tisane date to the 18th century. Tea arrived in France in the early 1600s but never became as popular as coffee and chocolate in France. Herbal teas are currently popular in France).(date uncertain)
Blenshaw (Blanche Eau), a Scottish drink made from milk, oatmeal, sugar, water, and nutmeg.
- (date uncertain)
Perry, a pear drink
Athole Brose, a drink made from oatmeal, honey, and whiskey. Brose refers to boiling water put over dry oatmeal.
- (This drink dates to at least the 18th century and is tied in legend to the 15th century)
- (Guinness has been brewed in Dublin since 1759)
- (popular in Scotland and France)
- (Dutch merchants created brandy in the 1620s by taking French white wine and distilling it. Brandy became popular because of its high alcoholic content and is long shelf life. The name comes from brandewijn or "burnt wine.")
Rum from Jamaica
- (Rum is a distilled alcohol from molasses, a by-product of refining sugar)
British Food: An Extraordinary Thousand Years of History, by Colin Spencer, New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
French Cooking in Early America by Patricia B Mitchell, bought either in Shepshewana or Colonial Michilimackinac
French Regional Cooking, Anne Willan, New York: William Morrow and Co Inc, 1981.
The Herbalist, Clarence Meyer, Glenwood, Illinois: Meyerbooks, 1918, 1993.
A History of Drinks
Lemon Verbena Tea
A Revolution in Taste: The Rise of French Cuisine 1650 - 1800, Susan Pinkard, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
The Scots and their Oats, Wallace Lockhart, Edinburgh: Birlinn Ltd, 1997.
"The Soulful Crêpes of Brittany," by Nancy Coons, In Best Food Writing 2007, ed. Holly Hughes, New York: Marlowe and Co, 2007.
Idea from Colonial America: A History, 1565 - 1776, Richard Middleton, Blackwell Publishing, 2002 and French Cooking in Early America.
Created October 21, 2012
Last updated October 23, 2012
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