Friday, July 09, 2010

Let Them Eat Brioche

One of the minor disappointments of life is that there are no croissants in the Regency. My characters can enjoy flaky rolls, buns, sliced bread, tarts and all sorts of pastries for breakfast, but croissants didn't arrive in Paris till the late 1830s.  They're as anachronistic on the Regency table as cornflakes.

Regency folks can chow down on brioche though.  We got brioche.

Brioche is a light yeast bread, eggy and somewhat sweet -- though the recipes tell us it was less sweet in 1800 than it is nowadays -- frequently carrying a nice surprise of nuts or raisins.  It was a veritable breakfast cliché in Paris in the Eighteenth Century.  Brioche would have been comfortable and familiar on any wealthy English breakfast table, those being the ones influenced by the French way of cooking.  By 1820, brioche was so common in England it was standard in cookbooks.

Which brings us to the question . . .  

 . . .  and click here for the rest of the posting, over on Word Wenches.

photocredit dessert first


  1. Speaking of brioche, Happy Bastille Day! The Terror, not so good, but without the storming of the Bastille, we wouldn't have TSL, MLAS, FR, and Justine!

  2. Hi Annie P --

    I do not consider the French Revolution took place just for my use and edification, *g*
    but lord it is an interesting subject.

    What strikes me -- what struck me when I was a kid just reading history for the first time -- is that here you got more or less the same ideas floating around in the US, France and England, (and in Canada for that matter,) and every country dealt with these new explosive ideas in different ways.

    But if you were driving along two hundred years later, you'd need to stop and read a street sign to tell you which of these countries you're in. All this dedication and dreaming and hearbreak and passion and two centuries on, there's just about no difference in the results.