Diana Kennedy’s Menu for Charles, Prince of Wales

Photo credit: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo
Pork Cooked in Banana Leaves (Photo credit: Jennifer Woodard Maderazo)

In 2002, Diana Kennedy, well-known author of Mexican cookbooks, served the following menu to the man who would be king, Charles, Prince of Wales:*

Cocktails & Appetizers

Tequila Apéritifs
Fresh Tortillas
Small Pumpkin Seeds Toasted and Ground with Roasted Habanero Chilies
Guacamole Enhanced with Grapes and Pomegranate Seeds


Cream-of-Squash-Flower Soup

Photo credit: Coralie Mercier
Photo credit: Coralie Mercier

Pork Loin Baked in Banana Leaves
Cactus and Fresh Young Peas in Green Chile Sauce

Cream-of-Squash-Blossom Soup
Cream-of-Squash-Blossom Soup


Guavas Stuffed with Coconut
Mango Sorbet Topped with Tequila-Soaked Strips of Mango
Green Mango Paste

*From a phone conversation reported by Alma Guillermoprieto in her August 19, 2002 New Yorker article about Diana Kennedy, “Disappearing Dishes: How Diana Kennedy is Rescuing Everyday Food [in Mexico].”

Here’s an adapted version of the soup, from Ms. Kennedy’s first cookbook, The Cuisines of Mexico:

Sopa de Flor de Calabaza [Pumpkin Blossom Soup]

Serves 6

40 large pumpkin flowers (about 1 pound; 3 bunches in Mexico), plus 12 more for garnish
1/2 small white onion, finely chopped
3 T. butter plus 2 T.
2 cups flavorful chicken broth, preferably homemade
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
Sprig of fresh epazote

1/3 cup crema or beaten crème fraîche, for garnish
1/3 cup toasted hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), for garnish

Stem the flowers and strip off the sepals, chop the 40 flowers, and saute in butter with the onion. Cover and cook flowers until tender. Add the 2 cups of chicken broth and blend to a puree in a blender. Return soup to a pan and add 1 1/2 cups of whole milk and cook for a few minutes. Add the cream and heat through. Add the epazote for flavor.

Garnish with the additional flowers, lightly sauteed in more butter. Put soup into serving bowls, add 2 flowers per serving, dollop with crema, and sprinkle with pepitas.

[Ms. Kennedy notes that “Some cooks thicken with egg yolks or flour, but this soup doesn’t really need any thickening; the flowers have plenty of substance when blended.”]

A far cry from the social (not state) dinner served to the Prince at the Bush White House on November 2, 2005:

Dinner Menu**

Celery Broth with Crispy Rock Shrimp
Newton Chardonnay “Unfiltered” 2002

Medallions of Buffalo Tenderloin
Roasted Corn
Wild Rice Pancakes
Glazed Parsnips and Young Carrots
Peter Michael Pinot Noir “Le Moulin Rouge” 2002

Mint Romaine Lettuce with Blood Orange Vinaigrette

Vermont Camembert Cheese and Spiced Walnuts
Petits Fours Cake
Chartreuse Ice Cream
Red and Green Grape Sauce
Iron Horse “Wedding Cuvée” 2002

However, on both occasions the food certainly exposed him to some of the vast  and varied foods of the New World.

**From C-SPAN.org.

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