The big question. What IS the “grey stuff” that Lumière sings about?
There are a few options depending on the hints we see from both the 1991 animated version and the 2017 life action version of Beauty and the Beast. Both versions suggest that it is an hors d’oeuvre, based on how they’re plated up. In the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast, we see the ‘grey stuff’ on a platter with other savoury bite sized pieces. The way Belle swipes it up, sticking to her finger, it’s likely to be foie gras. Although not grey, another option you can serve is chicken pate.
In the live action film, it clearly looks like caviar. So take your pick on what you want to serve, both were common in a 1600’s French menu, so we served both.
- Chicken Pate
- Small dinner rolls
- 100g smoked salmon
- 100g cream cheese
- juice of ½ a lemon
- Start by slicing small dinner rolls and grilling them in the oven on both sides until they’re lightly browned.
- To serve a pate or foie gras nicely, scoop it into a plastic sandwich bag and smoosh it with your hands until it’s slightly softened and warmed up.
- In a piping bag, spoon the softened pate into the bag, and swirl it onto the grilled bread slices.
- For caviar, in the live action film they serve it in oyster shells, however we spooned ours onto the bread slices.
- In a blender, pulse together the smoked salmon, cream cheese and lemon juice.
- Serve by spooning on the toasted dinner rolls.
Want authentic 1600-1700’s recipes that would have been around in the time of Beauty and the Beast? I highly recommend purchasing the book La Varenne’s Cookery. Three books in one, written by a major chef, François Pierre de la Varenne, it has been translated so we better understand the recipes and context.