Food Products and Dishes on the Table of Władysław IV Vasa, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania

  • Neringa Dambrauskaitė-Martinkėnė
Keywords: Władysław IV Vasa, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Kingdom of Poland, cuisine, history of everyday life


Based on the data of the kitchen accounts of 1632–1633 and other relevant sources, the article aims to shed light on the assortment of the food products and beverages supplied to the kitchen of Władysław IV Vasa, King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and the dishes that used to be cooked for the ruler. The analysis shows that beef, mutton, piglets, meat of domestic birds, wild animals (hares, deer), and wild birds (most often black grouse, hazel grouse, partridges, thrushes, pigeons) were delivered to the court kitchen of the ruler. Interestingly, turkeys were supplied to the kitchen of Władysław IV Vasa very often, not only during feasts. During fasts, different types of fish were consumed, but the salmon was purchased only on special occasions. The analysis also reveals the assortment of dairy products, bread, cereals, sweets, local vegetables, local and imported fruit, spices, and beverages. The sources even reveal ingredients of some dishes and pastries cooked for the ruler’s table: meat jelly, pâté, stews of various meats and vegetables (olla pulreda), rice pudding (bianka), Easter cake, and others.
The cuisine of Władysław IV Vasa shared some features with Western European Renaissance cuisine: it followed the fashion of eating wild birds and sweets and consuming imported spices. The influence of French cuisine was more pronounced, although the French elite began to abandon the abundant consumption of imported spices during that period.