The exciting event of English Tourism Week is over and we are sad to be ending our celebrations, until next year! If you popped in last week for our special Victorian style breakfast and service, you may have had the chance to try some tasty food from the past. Some of you may have become curious about the origins of the traditional English breakfast recipes, so we’re going to jump in the time machine once again and tell you more about what the Victorians had for brekkie.
Breakfast during the Victorian years was an essential meal of the day and the Victorians very much valued quality cooking. Tea, coffee, bacon, eggs and haddock were some of the key features to a good breakfast and one of the dishes served during the ETW week was inspired by the famous British cookery writer of the 1800s, Mrs Beeton. Mrs Beeton was a talented cook and writer who published the bestselling cookbook ‘Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management’ which incredibly sold 60,000 copies in one year! Kedgeree is a classic dish from Beeton herself and consists of a savoury mixture of fish, rice, mustard and boiled eggs ideally served at breakfast. The dish is colourful, full of flavour and a substantial way to start the day which according to Mrs Beeton, was the original purpose of the dish creation. Kedgeree proved a hit during English Tourism Week at the Georgian House, so why not try it yourself? Of course, breakfast is supposed to be quick, easy and tasty and Kedgeree is exactly that!
Potted meat was particularly popular during the Victorian era and once again we took advice from our friend Mrs Beeton who suggested the idea as a tasty addition to the breakfast table. Potted spiced ham is made from cooked ham and butter along with a few spices including black pepper, mace, cayenne pepper and nutmeg to give the meat a real tang to the taste buds. When blended, the spices work together to bring a background taste to the ham without overpowering it, though can be added as desired. It is also recommended that the dish should be allowed to set for a day in order to mature the flavour. This recipe is additionally great for lunchtime sandwiches and can be served with fresh bread, toast, crackers, salad and other enhancing ingredients.
If you search online for Victorian recipes to try, you will most likely find eggs as a signature ingredient for most of the dishes. Egg fritters, Swiss egg, egg with herbs, curried eggs and the list goes on! As simple as these recipes may sound, in the Victorian days it was all about presentation. For example, the breakfast sausage egg recipe has careful preparation which requires equal cuttings and accurate timing, it is a lot more challenging than it first looks. A popular savoury scrambled egg recipe called the Victorian Scotch Woodcock is quick to make and has an unusual, but an exciting taste that can be added to your morning toast. Using gentleman’s relish, cayenne pepper, anchovies and capers, this recipe is a great way to jazz up your scrambled eggs.
If you want to know more about our Victorian breakfast and how we made it special, feel free to contact us for some tips from the experts! We’d like to say thank you to those who came by for breakfast at the Georgian House and we hope you enjoyed the fun (and perhaps educational) time travelling experience.