History of French Cuisine during Middle Ages
The medieval French cuisine witnessed banquets among the aristocratic people. Multiple courses were prepared and served in a unique style, termed as service en confusion, meaning all at once. Eating of food was normally with hands only. Thick and highly seasoned sauces were prepared with mustards of heavy flavor. Pies were among the major banquet items. The shortcrust pie emerged only towards the end of the Middle Ages. The banquets were concluded with issue de table that became the dessert in later centuries. The medieval desserts primarily consisted of spiced lumps made of hardened honey or sugar that were called dragees, spiced wine and aged cheese.
In the beginning of winter, the slaughtering of livestock took place, with beef kept as salted and pork kept as salted and smoked. Sausages and beacon were smoked in the chimney. The hams and tongue were salted and dried. Fruits, root vegetables, and nuts were boiled in honey for preservation. Whales, porpoise, and dolphins were classified as fish and meats of such sea animals were also part of medieval food.
The most famous chef of the Middle Ages was Guillaume Tirel, with the pet name of Taillevent. In the fourteenth century, he was the chef to Philip VI and then chief cook for King Charles V. His cooking career was a long and reputed one, lasting 66 years. This period also witnessed two groups of guilds. The first guild represented suppliers of food raw materials like grain merchants, gardeners, butchers, and fishmongers. The second guild consisted of persons who supplied prepared food items, such as bakers, caterers, poulterers, pastry cooks, and sauce makers