It’s been too long since we had a party so we have decided to throw just a little one this Saturday to celebrate Eurovision! Many recipes from European countries, both authentic and… otherwise, but all vintage, will follow.
To get you in the mood (well, to get you in some sort of mood), here is an extract from The Gourmet’s Guide to Europe by Lt-Col Newham-Davis and Algernon Bastard (1903):
A Venetian Breakfast
Begin with a vermouth Amaro in lieu of a cocktail. For hors d’oeuvre have some small crabs cold, mashed up with sauce tartare and a slice or two of prosciutto crudo (raw ham), cut as thin as cigarette paper. After this a steaming risotto with scampi (somewhat resembling gigantic prawns), some cutlets done in the Bologna style, a thin slice of ham on top and hot parmesan and grated white truffles and fegato alla veneziana complete the repast except for a slice of strachino cheese.
A bottle of Valpolicella is exactly suited to this kind of repast and a glass of fine champagne and a ruby-coloured Alkernes for the lady, if your wife accompanies you, make a good ending.
The Maitre d’Hotel will have an interest in you directly he finds that you know how a man should breakfast.
Quoted in Elizabeth David’s A Book of Mediterranean Food (Penguin, 1958 ed)