Citizens, only just last month, one of your beloved Leader’s favorite food festivals occurred – the Isleton Crawdad Festival!
Each year on Father’s Day Weekend, the town of Isleton hosts the ANNUAL CRAWDAD FESTIVAL. The festival draws crowds reaching 200,000 people!
This is the largest consumption of crawdads outside of Louisiana, over a three-day period, in any one town on the planet.
Some 25,000 pounds of crawdads, to be exact!
There are crawdad races (the losers may be eaten) for all to see! These rascals are the quarter horses of crustaceans and are race ready!
Do you want to hear some Cajun sounds? We’re talking about 20 bands covering four stages!
The Crawdad Festival is brought to you by the Isleton Chamber of Commerce and the major sponsors, Budweiser, Southwest Airlines, 95.3 KUIC, and Contra Costa Times.
In memory of this most delicious event near Sacramento, I shall share with you an heirloom recipe for crawfish bisque served in San Francisco during the early 20th Century from a British Chef of renown! For the record – bisque is probably TFD‘s favorite style of soup!
Charles Elmé Francatelli (1805–10 August 1876) was an Italian British cook, known for his cookery books popular in the Victorian era.
Francatelli was born in London, of Italian extraction, in 1805, and was educated in France, where he studied the art of cookery. Coming to England, he was employed successively by various noblemen, subsequently becoming chief chef of the St James’s Club, popularly known as Crockford’s club.
He left Crockford’s to become chief cook to Queen Victoria from 9 March 1840 to 31 March 1842, and then returned to Crockfords. He was managing steward of the Coventry House Club from the day it opened on 1 June 1846 until it closed on 25 March 1854, and at the Reform Club from 1854 to 1861.
He was Manager of the St James’s Hotel, at the corner of Berkeley Street and Piccadilly, from 1863 to 1870. He worked as chef de cuisine to the Prince and Princess of Wales at the nearby Marlborough House from 1863 to 1865. From 1870 to 76 he was manager of the Freemason’s Tavern.
Although Francatelli had the experience, charm and flourish necessary to please the highest of Royalty, his greatest love was the simple act of cooking. His first book, entitled The Modern Cook, was published in 1846 and was so popular that it went through an amazing twenty nine editions.
Even though he was able to dress the costliest and elaborate of banquets and despite working for some of the most distinguished of British aristocracy and gentry, Francatelli was known as a culinary economist.
Often quoted, he once remarked that “he could feed every day a thousand families on the food that was wasted in London”. To this end in 1852 he issued A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes which contained information of practical value to the working classes.
This included economical delights such as cow-heel broth, bubble and squeak, sheep’s pluck and a pudding made of small birds.
This was succeeded in 1861 by The Cook’s Guide and Housekeeper’s & Butler’s Assistant, which became a book of reference for any well-managed household. Described as a practical treatise on English and foreign cookery.
As well as over a thousand recipes of the day the book contains instructions for the service of wines, directions for the preparation of diets for invalids, epicurean salads, medicinal drinks, and American drinks and beverages.
His fourth cookery book was the Royal English and Foreign Confectionery Book, in which he discussed the art of confectionary. Published in 1862, this was to be his last published work.
Francatelli died at Eastbourne on 10 Aug. 1876 as one of the fortunate people who lived their lives doing what they loved best.
This bisque recipe that I am sharing is in the sadly out of print “Bohemian San Francisco, its restaurants and their most famous recipes; the elegant art of dining” from 1914. Happily, the entire fascinating historical book this came from is digitized and available here.
I truly hope you decide to give this magnificent historical bisque recipe a try, Citizens! 😀
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
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