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Chapter the Third Of Hospitality, Luncheon and Dinner

Let us move from titles to hospitality, luncheons and dinners . First of all is breakfast: coffee, herbal tea and chocolate were unheard of; if you had said to any one 'Would you like coffee?' he might have taken you to mean 'Go away'; 'Would you like tea?' might have meant that you wished to call him 'te'; while if you had offered anyone chocolate, he might have thought, if he knew where it was, that you were offering him water from the Kacsulas stream at Kacsulatafalva in Fogarasfold; and if you offered rosolio, perhaps he would have thought that you had collected dew before dawn and were offering that, or bread baked with rye19 • None of those things had been heard of in the old days, but cinnamon-water was made in Brass6, and apart from that the drink at breakfast was called aqua vi ta, or people drank neat brandy, which aristocratic ladies used to keep in tiny barrels, as did also noble ladies and ladies of quality, and offer especially to strangers . They would either pour the brandy into a dish and sweeten it with honey, or put in it a fig or two, or a few raisins, set it alight and whisk it in the dish with a spoon, put out the fire and drink it, and then eat the figs. Men drank at breakfast a good, delicate, bitter-sweet, vermouth, and it was considered healthy, as there were no such weak stomachs as people have today.