Though most of the world’s monarchies have crumbled, they have left some of their most delicious foods behind for us to enjoy. Each candy, pastry, and elixir tells the story of leaders for whom no demand was too great, even in death. Midas Touch Ale, made by Delaware-based Dogfish Head Brewery, was inspired by King Midas’s tomb, where archaeologists found 150 jugs and vats filled with a complex brew sipped by mourners at his funeral.
As windows into rulers’ private lives, many of these royal foods make one wonder whether any of these emperors wore clothes. A London merchant developed the King’s Ginger, a liqueur, to fortify the elderly, out-of-shape King Edward during his joyrides in a convertible through the English countryside. According to legend, the throne turned one Ottoman sultan into a customer from hell: He demanded dessert in the middle of the night from cooks who had little on hand, prompting them to invent a chicken breast pudding that is still prepared in Turkish restaurants. And while many royalty-inspired foods honor a ruler, others—such as Russia’s cake that commemorates a victory over Napoleon—take them down a peg.
One of the best things about all of these once-exclusive foods is that they are now available to plebeians like us. The next time you want to eat like a king, check out one of these delicious foods and drinks with royal origins.
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