Sunday, May 25, 2014

Peacock Pie, Oysters, and Grasshopper Tacos

At the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC: a new painting,
"Still Life with Peacock Pie" by Pieter Claesz (1627)
We visited the National Gallery yesterday, and I paid special attention to the food. The peacock pie with the peacock attached was a typical presentation in that era. Reminded me of the "Stargazy Pie" (left) that my friend Sheila had on a cruise around England and Cornwall recently! It was decorated with little upward-facing fish heads, thus "stargazy" and was made by a Cornish chef. Seems to me an interesting echo of the foods of the Renaissance and a bit after, when pies were decorated with feathers or whatever, like the Peacock Pie!
More food at the National Gallery. Closeups from the following --
"Governors of the Kloveniersdoelen" by Bartholomeus van der Helst, (1655)
"Dishes with Oysters, Fruit and Wine" by Osias Beert the Elder (1620/1625),
Flemish Tapestry (1525/1550),
"Still Life with Asparagus and Red Currants" by Adriaen Coorte (1696)
Our lunch at a nearby restaurant named Oyamel: tableside guacamole, an artistic version of huevos rancheros,
a "gazpacho" made of cubes of fruit, jicama, and cucumber, and most dramatic, Miriam and Alice's
grasshopper tacos. Ultra modern food? Or echoes of some time long ago?

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