Garlic and onions are both off of the menu at royal events. Yes, these two are the perfect way to bring out the best flavors in any dish, alas the British royal family is strictly instructed to “lay off the garlic” as Camilla Parker Bowles, wife to Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall once told Glamour. The reason, as you might have guessed, is that they are often required to converse with officials and members of the public and can’t risk having questionably-smelling breath.
Former royal chefs confirmed that nothing with garlic is cooked at Buckingham Palace. Luckily for the royals, when it comes to onions, they do get a little bit of leeway. While the Royal Chefs can’t go crazy with the onions, they are permitted to use a small amount in their cooking.
Shellfish is quite a wide-ranging term, it can refer to anything from shrimp to oysters to clams, scallops, crayfish, mussels, and more. But these specifics don’t seem to matter to the royal family - nothing under the shellfish umbrella goes on their menu.
According to the BBC, the British Royals avoid eating shellfish when dining out or when visiting foreign countries due to these foods having a higher than average risk of causing infection or illness. If shellfish hasn’t been cooked or even chilled properly, they become a great environment for bacteria and viruses to flourish. For that reason, Healthline recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems follow the royal protocol too and stay away from shellfish.
The former Royal chef Darren McGrady has previously shared that the Queen is a big fan of steaks, and even revealed the recipe he used in the palace. First, the steak is seasoned with salt and pepper, then cooked in butter and oil. But most notably, all steak served in the palace had to be well done. This most likely goes beyond just personal preference. Turns out rare meat is off-limits for royals, for similar reasons as shellfish.
Eating undercooked meat carries several health risks. It can be a breeding ground for E. Coli which can cause diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, or Salmonella, which can instigate severe food poisoning. Another potential problem is severe infections that can be caused by parasites. Of course, eating rare meat is by no means a guarantee of infection, but the Royal Family prefers not to take any risks.
The Queen and other ‘working’ royals tend to avoid starchy foods such as potatoes, pasta, and rice, with the only exception being made on very special occasions. It is believed that this rule doesn’t apply when Royals are off duty, but in Buckingham Palace itself you would never be served pasta and its variables. It’s likely that the Queen’s aversion to these foods is a result of their high carb content, which can have an effect on one’s health and weight.
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Naturally, wherever there is pasta there is also tomato sauce. Turns out, neither of these comes near the Queen and the Royal Family. Tomato sauce was deemed too messy for the Queen, as was revealed on her trip to Rome and Milan in 2000. Chefs at the palace of the Italian president were instructed to leave tomato sauce, alongside pasta and garlic, out of the menu. We can only imagine they weren’t too happy about that.
Foie Gras is a controversial food in general, due to the cruelty imposed on ducks and geese in the production process. Prince Charles, who is famous for being environmentally conscious, banned the high-class pate for the royal menu altogether. Furthermore, Charles was reported to be considering withdrawing the royal warrant from his favorite cheese shop because they sold foie gras. The Prince’s ban was welcomed and vocally supported by animal rights groups.
One of the main benefits of being a royal is that you get to travel the world. However, if you think royals can freely enjoy the entire variety of cuisines the world has to offer, you’d be wrong. Some countries’ dishes, which happen to include more spice, are very much off-limits.
This rule probably has to do with public image. It wouldn’t exactly look regal if the Queen, or any other royal, sat down at a state banquet and began to sweat or gag at an extra spicy bite. Equally, it wouldn’t look great, to say the least, for a royal to try a spicy dish and grimace painfully, or worse, spit it out. Not to mention, spicy foods have been known to cause an upset stomach for those who aren’t used to them, and we know the royal family doesn't like to take any chances.
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