Henry VIII's Tudor Cheeseboard

Back in 1524, when alliances between great nations were forged with Parmesan Cheese. 

It's true! 

In 1511, Henry VIII's letters and papers tell us that the pope sent Henry one hundred wheels of Parmesan cheese, and in 1529, it was also the gift of choice (along with wine and meats) of the Duke of Ferrera, who bestowed a couple of hunks of the tangy, crumbly cheese to Henry's representatives, Sir Nicholas Carew and Dr Richard Sampson while they were on the King's business in Italy. 

We also know that Henry enjoyed mermelada - Portguese quince paste gifted to him by a Mr Hull of Exeter in 1524

Nowadays, this sweet, fruity paste is often eaten with cheese. We have no evidence that Henry ate the two together, but they do taste pretty incredible together so my guess is that he would have paired them at some point, in one midnight feast or another. 

And so it is that the image of Henry VIII, retiring to his private apartments, kicking off his velvet slippers and calling for a late night snack of his Parmesan cheese and a chunk of mermelada is one I couldn't resist to create here. 

You'll also see pictured plums and apples - both traditional English fruits, home-made bread rolls (white, of course, because Henry was wealthy and could afford it) and the pomegranate - the badge and symbol of Katherine of Aragon, his first wife. 

Enjoyed this post? What other foodie situations and meals would you like to see me recreate? 

Let me know in the comments below. 

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  1. Gorgeous picture and wonderful compilation of food and history - love it and thank you! Keep it coming!

  2. Very informative. Thanks


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