1 December: Rossini’s eponymous dish

Every day throughout Advent, the season of overindulgence, we’ll be telling a tale of an overindulgent composer


Composer: Gioachino Rossini

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How indulgent:  Dangerously indulgent

How: Not only was Rossini retired by the age of 40, but he also had a hearty appetite. Tournedos Rossini, the dish that bears his name, includes fried croutons, melted meat glaze, foie gras, truffles, sauce and yet more truffles!

Having often composed three operas a year, Rossini’s retirement saw him settle in a French villa and indulge. He wrote, ‘I know of no more admirable occupation than eating, that is really eating…. The stomach is the conductor…. The bassoon or the piccolo, grumbling its discontent or shrilling its longing, personify the empty stomach for me’.

His favourite dish was an entire turkey stuffed with truffles… Indeed, Rossini’s love of food was so great that it went hand in hand with composing; he wrote the aria ‘Di Tanti Palpiti’ while waiting for risotto in a restaurant!

Did you know: The beef dish gained its name because Rossini’s waiter was obliged to turn his back (‘tourner le dos’) on other customers in order to keep the last preparations of Rossini’s favourite dish a secret.

Now indulge yourself with…..  Overture to The Barber of Seville

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Although its premiere in Rome was hissed, allow this Overture to Rossini’s opera buffa to launch your merry festivities!