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Sainte-Menehould, king Louis XVI and the fatal pigs feet

Breaded pig trotters | Richard Allaway / CC-BY
French Revolution Speciality Louis XVI

What’s this?

This is a recipe made with breaded pigs' feet, delicately roasted and cooked with white wine, onions and a bouquet garni. A delicious speciality from Marne département, in Champagne-Ardenne... This is an old recipe, dating back to the 15th century: king Charles VII ate them when he came in the city of Saint-Menehould.

The little history

The little story (told by Alexandre Dumas in his Grand dictionnaire de Cuisine and by Victor Hugo in Le Rhin) said pigs’ feet and King Louis XVI’s exile in Varennes are link! We were on June 20th 1791. King Louis XVI saw the wheel turning: the Revolution was here! He had to run away from Paris. Come on, let’s go! He left with two carriages, queen Marie-Antoinette and kids under his arm... they left for Austria! Err, a pretty noisy leaving, since the royal family was arrested... A man called Camille Desmoulins shouted from the rooftops that king was arrested in Varennes, because he wanted to eat Sainte-Menehould breaded pigs’ feet! The greedy one sat down at the table for a long time... Oh, in fact, the king really stopped in Menehould city, but he didn’t eat pig's feet. No, they just changed carriages horses. Bad luck, a man called Jean-Baptiste Drouet recognized Louis. He knew that the king was going to Varennes, next, and he outdistanced the royal carriage to announce the king’s arrival to the authorities. So, the king was arrested in Varennes on June 21th 1791... They gently escorted them back to Paris. People shouted at them, insulted them and spitted at them: yes, Louis lost his credibility, he ran away like a coward...

About the the author

Passionnée par les balades et l’Histoire, grande ou petite... bien croustillante, si possible !

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