“It is during this period that there was generally established more orderliness in the meals, more cleanliness and elegance,” quotes our host from The Physiology of Taste, a 19th-century exploration of 18th-century cuisine.
Max Miller, a YouTuber known for his Tasting History channel, takes a deep dive into the world of 1700s French gastronomy in this video. The excesses of the court at the time resulted in a great number of wild and fanciful traditions, such as the king’s Grand Couvert, in which courtiers would stand around and watch the king eat dozens of impeccably prepared dishes… sort of like an 18th century mukbang.
In particular, Miller takes this as an excuse to make Rouen duckling in the style that would have been served at the wedding of the Marquis de Lafayette in 1774, under the reign of Louis XV. The recipe is taken from the cookbook, Nouveau Traité de la Cuisine by Menon, and though Miller does take a few shortcuts, the results look fantastic. And should be consumed, as the French intended, with a glass of champagne.