Who could resist a Christmas Day lunch of elephant, kangaroo, cats and rats (yuk), and antelope with Latour (sic) Blanche 1861 (a good Sauternes vintage), Palmer 1864 (one of the great vintages of the 19th century), Mouton Rothschild 1849 (average), and Romanée-Conti 1858 (good)?
Here’s a great image from Richard Holmes’ history of ballooning Falling Upwards: How we Took to the Air.
This menu from the Café Voisin, dated 25th December 1870 – the 99th day of the siege of Paris during the Franco-Prussian War – has a desperate offering of dishes with a fabulous selection of fine wines.
The unusual meats were caused by dire food shortages, which led to the animals at the zoo – as well as cats and rats – in Paris being turned into givrets and terrines.
I suppose that I might just about be able to force down “Chat flanqué de Rats” with Romanée-Conti…