Subject: Victorian Dining
Appeared In: Warnings at Waverly Academy
- Any meal that took place outside and after six p.m. was automatically considered a formal event.
- All of the men were assigned a lady to escort into the dining room. The host took the highest ranking lady. This could be the wife of a high profile guest, someone new to the area, or a new bride. The hostess was escorted by her husband’s business partner or best friend.
- Because Victorian dinners were so expansive, time was needed in between courses to allow for digestion.
- Culinary schools first began popping up at this time, so it was considered highly fashionable to serve a course taken from a famous chef’s cookbook.
- Anna Russell, the Duchess of Beford, invented the concept of afternoon tea during the Victorian Era as well. She was a dear friend and lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. Anna began having tea and small snacks sent to her room every afternoon to combat the afternoon grogginess we’re all so familiar with. To say people took to the idea is a gross understatement.
- If you were well off, you ate meat every day. Those we would consider middle class only had meat two or three times a week. The poor were lucky to get a small piece of bacon.
- Potatoes, on the other hand, were a staple of the meal regardless of economic status. The truly destitute lived on the stuff.
- Canned food was invented during this era. It was originally the French’s idea, but the U.K. decided they wanted in and patented the product in 1810.