It is a fantastic moment to consider how Queen Elizabeth II affected the cuisine that appears on dining tables worldwide as people mourn her demise after a reign that lasted seven decades. In his book Eating Royally: Recipes and Remembrances from a Palace Kitchen, former Buckingham Palace chef Darren McGrady provides readers with a glimpse behind the scenes and inside the royal dining room.
In his journal, McGrady, who was Queen Elizabeth's private cook for 15 years, shares that she had more simplistic dietary habits than one might anticipate. Sure, menus from formal dinners and other sophisticated festivities suit the grandiose illusions many people carry. The Queen did not, however, often eat caviar as a snack even though it is one of the most sophisticated or thought of as sophisticated dishes. In actuality, though it was prepared by expert chefs, her food at home was very routine. When she was not entertaining, she kept to light meals and dinners. She liked a straightforward breakfast of toast and marmalade. In his book, McGrady reveals that she detested anything that had a lot of garlic or onions. She enjoyed other food and drank delights like poached fish, exquisite tea biscuits, and other alcoholic beverages, despite her relatively abstinence-oriented tendencies. And here are some of her other favorites:
Earl Grey Tea
Every morning, the queen brewed a pot of Earl Grey, a typical black tea with bergamot flavoring that she sipped with milk but no sugar. Her steadfast commitment to the taste assured its widespread acceptance, elevating it to the fifth-most popular tea flavor worldwide, according to Fresh Tea. It is beyond a doubt that its popularity was increased by being her majesty's favorite. It is the tea most frequently associated with royalty in general and Queen Elizabeth in particular.
Crustless Tea Sandwiches
Afternoon tea in Britain has its origins from the 1840s when the Duchess of Bedford requested a light meal to fill the time between lunch and supper. Every day, Queen Elizabeth would consume tea, and it was generally known that she enjoyed dainty sandwiches with the crusts removed. Smoked salmon with cream cheese was said to be her favorite variation.
The queen's love of gin was so intense that she created her own gins at Sandringham House and Buckingham Palace using botanicals from each location's gardens. She loved to sip them in a fine gin cocktail, such as a gin and Dubonnet or a gin martini.
Chocolate Biscuit Cake
The queen was renowned for her love of dessert, particularly anything with chocolate. She particularly loved a traditional icebox cake made with plain tea biscuits floating in an egg-rich ganache and cooled before being covered in a thin coating of chocolate. The royal cooks said that as long as it was available, she would order it every day. To ensure that no food was wasted, she even had her cook send leftovers via rail from Buckingham Palace to Windsor. It was a treat fit for a king or queen.
Game Meats and Wild-Caught Fish Dinners
According to the proverb, one should have a kingly breakfast, a princely lunch, and a pauperly dinner. Elizabeth the Queen seems to have taken this to heart, as she ate lighter dinners at night that included basic meats and vegetables. Being an avid hunter and fisherwoman, Queen Elizabeth regularly dined on venison, wild birds, or other game, typically from one of her holdings, or salmon, caught at Balmoral Castle from the River Dee. The queen apparently enjoyed hamburgers cooked with ground deer, and her taste for game foods even extended to more informal dinners. At her evening meal, she often omitted any potatoes, plates of pasta, or grains, but nearly always had space for dessert.
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