Last Night I Dined with Napoleon

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 100px; line-height: 90px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>Last night my husband and I dined with Napoleon.  It just so happens that the little general was looking a little waxy – and was only 3 inches tall – but that didn’t stop my husband and I have from having a delightful meal.  We started with a melt-in-your-mouth melon wrapped in prosciutto and then followed  by my fast-and-friendly version of Eggplant Parmesan.  Dessert was a simple goat’s cheese and fresh berries. 

This funny little Napoleon’s bust staged in the center of the table became a topic of our conversation as we moved onto a second glass of wine. Did you know that Napoleon is actually the reason we dine in courses?” I inquired of my husband, giving a salute to the little general with my Italian red.  I had picked up this tongue-in-cheek Napoleon’s bust candle at a novelty décor shop around the corner from the Arc de Triomph last time I was in Paris and though his hat sprouts a wick for lighting I didn’t have the heart to light poor Bonaparte’s chapeau on fire!

Pray tell,” my husband urged, knowing that once I went off on my favorite subject – French History – that he didn’t stand a chance. 

Putting on my best school-teacher face I lectured, using my fork as a pointer, “Today the French daily dine on perhaps tory/napoleons-table-service-la-russe/” target=”_blank”>the greatest impact Napoleon made on modern culture – service à la russe.  Napoleon and his armies adopted the idea of course-by-course dining while en campagne, bringing back to la République a Russian tradition that changed the way the French – and therefore the world – eat”. 

After living in France 5 years we too took up Napoleon’s habit, dining daily in courses, lingering over our dinner as we discuss the day.  While today multi-course dining makes the art of eating so much more civilized, in Napoleon’s time he actually implemented it because it was so much faster than the grand buffets of the Louis’ times.

If you’re as fascinated by French history as I am, then check out the article I wrote on this very topic for tory/napoleons-table-service-la-russe/” target=”_blank”>Bonjour Paris newsletter.  At the very least, it makes great fodder for the next dinner party when you’re dining Diva Style!

Bon Appetite!

The Antiques Diva®