Entrée de table, entrance, or entrée, appetizer, aperitif

The Entrée de table (entrance) or entrée in the sequence of dishes to an aperitif, appetizers, or hors d’oeuvres. The term entrée appears around 1536 (Hyman, 1992) and is used to describe the first stage of a meal. It is the name for dishes that were set on the table before diners entered the room. It consists of wine and small bites of food meant to awaken the appetite.

The modern medieval diner expects to find something on the table when they are preparing to eat. The modern medieval cook can easily fulfill this expectation by placing upon the table dishes appropriate for the Entrée de table (entrance), or entrée (appetizer, aperitif). To borrow a page from Le Menagier, there could be a first platter (items upon the table at the beginning of the feast) consisting of veal or fish pies, sausages and toast rounds with a sweet wine (or grape juice). Or, capons (chicken) served with a cumin sauce, cress and sorrel with vinegar, olives and tarts of veal. John Russels “Boke of Nurture” suggests as a first course brawn with mustard, pottages of herbs and wine, and leche lombard.

Some additional suggestions for foods that would be appropriately fitting to serve as appetizers include sweet wines, confections made with spices such as ginger, caraway, anise, fennel or cumin, peaches, melons, cherries, strawberries, grapes, lettuce with oil and vinegar dressings, cabbages, boiled eggs, or honeyed dishes.

Here you will find an index of recipes that would be appropriate for those dishes you would find on the table as appetizers for a four course medieval dinner (assuming that you are serving a meal that consists of appetizers, two courses and a dessert).

Recipe Index

A far morselletti Romaneschi - To make Roman style morsels

Aemaze あえまぜ - Fish Salad (aka Fish Shooters)

Bryndons - Crispy Fried Dough with a Sweet and Fruity Sauce

Fukujinzuke (red pickles for curry) 福神漬け

Garbage - stewed chicken offal (hearts, gizzards, livers, feet, neck)

Gari ガリ (Pickled Ginger)

Gyngaudre. - Fish Offal

How to pickle Cowcumbers - Pickled Cucumbers

Kohaku-namasu 紅白なます (Daikon and Carrot Salad)

Let Lardes – hard custard flavored with herbs cooked in bacon grease Harl. MS 4016, 1450

Mikawa ae (みかわあへ) - Miso and Sesame cured Cucumbers

Mortrews of Pork & Chicken - Medieval Chicken and Pork Pate

Mortrews of Fish - Medieval Fish Pate (Smoked)

Pickled Barberries (Blueberries/Lingonberries) The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, 1682

Pickled Mushrooms, The whole Body of Cookery Dissected, William Rabisha

Quynade. - Almond Milk Cream Cheese with Quince Puree

Tamagoyaki - 玉子焼き- Japanese Rolled Omelette

To Pickle Grapes The whole Body of Cookery Dissected, William Rabisha - Grapes pickled in Wine

To pickle Purslane to keep all the year. (The Cook's Guide, 1664) - Pickled Purslane

Vegetarian Gyoza 餃子


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