Monday, 31 March 2014

The Kitchens - Feeding the Court

The kitchens - as well as the stables - were located outside the château itself to spare the courtiers the smells and noises. It is estimated that no less than 2000 people were employed to work in the kitchens especially during the many banquets. Normally the meals of Versailles were divided into categories: hors d'oeuvre, soups, main dishes, fruit and interval courses. For every category there were between two to eight dishes - this meant that during a day Louis XIV would have tasted between 20-30 dishes!
Since the kitchens were located so far away - and Louis XIV insisted on eating his dinners in the King's Apartments - most meals were served cold.

Another luxurious aspect connected to the kitchen are the icehouses used to store ice for the courts drinks and dishes. One of the surviving can hold 1120 cubic metres of ice! The ice was brought by servants from the Lake of the Swiss Guards and was then hacked into place - the ice was no small matter. In an age without electrical freezers it was an extreme luxury to have your own ice which meant that the ice was guarded by the palace guards!

Sadly, the kitchens that belonged to Versailles were demolished in the nineteenth century.

Nothing of the kitchen remains but here is the King's
kitchen garden

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the good article.

    I am a student Learn about Western history. I would like to inquire more about the history of the Palace of Versailles. Can I contact you by email?