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Atlets again

Thanks to hairyears and cataptromancer, we've figured out what atlets are. The spelling isn't the most common variant on the word which is what held me up - and there were too many variant spelling possibilities, I figured, to go wading about in the options.

In this particular case, atlets are an assortment of roast, skewered meat, the skewers probably arranged into some elaborate form, say, by sticking them into a large loaf of bread in decorative array. They are "atlets of palates", furthermore, and while this may mean the cook is skewering animal tongue, it's equally likely that it means exactly what it says, and the cook is using palates - probably from a large animal, like a cow.

The word comes from a dense little family of related variants. Many of the words may, in fact, be used to mean the same thing, even as kebab can refer both to the skewer and to the skewered meat.

haslet - The heart, liver, and other edible viscera of an animal, especially hog viscera. (Chiefly used today in the Southern U.S. [Middle English hastelet, from Old French, diminutive of haste, roast meat, spit, perhaps from Latin hasta, spear, or of Germanic origin.] (from the American Heritage Dictionary and Dictionary.com Unabridged, by way of here)

attelet - A slender skewer, usually ornamented at the top, used decoratively, especially in serving garnishes. [French, variant of hâtelet, from Old French hastelet; see haslet.] (from the American Heritage Dictionary, by way of here)

hatelets or atelets sauce - A sauce (such as egg and bread crumbs) used for covering bits
of meat, small birds, or fish, strung on skewers for frying.(from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1913, by way of here) There's a recipe for hatelets (the sauce) in George Augustus Sala's The Thorough Good Cook from 1896.

Those are all forms of the word attested to in English. Hastelet also yields a number of results in French, including that "hastelets des lapereaux", or skewers of rabbit meat, were served to Marie-Antoinette in 1788. The French form was also used by an Italian cookbook Le Re dei Cuochi, or The King of Cooks, published anonymously in 1885. The cookbook includes several recipes for Hatelets, including this one.
Villeroy-style Atlets (Skewered, breaded, deep-fried meat kebabs)

Prepare two small lamb innards (lungs or glands), according to the instructions on p. 170, retrieving them when half cooked. When they are cold, cut them into roundels and the place them in a terrine, together with an equal quantity of roundels of truffles and of scarlet (or bloody) tongue. Add some spoonfuls of finely chopped herbs, prepared and already hot. Leave them to cool, and encase the stakes by threading whem with the roundels of innards, alternating with truffles and tongue. Cover them with Villeroy sauce, and when they are cool, dip them in bread crumbs and fry them. If they are not yet (entirely) cooked, withdraw the stakes and substitute silver ones for them, which are hammered into a base of fried bread, which has been attached to the plate and edged with fried parsley.
The recipe book provides more on Villeroy sauces in the Sauce chapter.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 14th, 2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
The picture in the Italian recipe book is of a very elaborate, late-Victorian assemblage for a formal affair - it's likely the presentation would have been somewhat less fussy in Regency Yorkshire!

Excellent research there!
Jan. 15th, 2007 02:54 pm (UTC)
Good point - any suggestions on sources for how elaborate Regency Yorkshire food might have been? There must surely be paintings and prints at least...

This has been an excellent exercise in collaborative research.
Jan. 15th, 2007 08:46 pm (UTC)
We're talking about an affluent but provincial family, so I'd assume similar to the Upper Ten Thousand in London but a little less sophisticated and behind the times a touch perhaps.

Google gave me this as a first shot. And that made me think cartoons might be a good resource: Gillray, Rowlandson satirising the gentry and aristocracy. http://www.cartoonstock.com/vintage/directory/r/regency.asp for example.

Pinning it down to upper-class Yorkshire would be a lot trickier, though.

Jan. 15th, 2007 12:25 pm (UTC)
Nice to know you found out what it was.

Before Christmas one of my money making/"this is it!" moments was a thought of writing novels, and I love Georgette Heyer and I thought hey, I could do that. So as an introduction I bought a book called 'Georgette Heyer's Regency World', which has in it a lot about the people, places and society as well as other stuff. I am still looking through it, when I remember, and it does help if there are some things unclear in the books or I wonder who is who and what are they socially.

It shows me that if I am serious about writing regency romance novels, I better get my finger out and research a lot, as well as getting going on writing the story!
Jan. 15th, 2007 01:17 pm (UTC)
Does the book have anything to say about atlets?
Oct. 22nd, 2007 04:08 pm (UTC)
Regency Yorkshire Fodder
Try popping into Fairfax House in York (on Castlegate). It's set up for dining c.1762, so a little early, but regency dining is not that different, and the curator of Farifax, Perter Brown, is a food expert, so the display is about as accurate as you will get.
Oct. 22nd, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Regency Yorkshire Fodder
Thank you for the recommendation. I've been thinking idly of asking a curator at the Cooper-Hewitt whether there are any extant skewers which are specifically known to be atlets. York is even more convenient.
Jun. 2nd, 2015 03:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )