Illustration from 19th century.
Food - Drink
Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph Had A Unexpectedly Simple Diet
There’s an old proverb that suggests you eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. While some royals preferred to eat lavishly all day long, in the case of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, the ruler’s eating habits were much closer to eating like a pauper for every meal.
During the reign of Franz Joseph from 1848 to 1916, meals followed a simple rule: the higher your ranking, the more food you received. However, the quality of the food itself didn’t change based on status, and while the emperor was offered more food, he didn’t regularly feast on decadent or costly dishes.
During a trip to Bad Ischl, Franz Joseph was satisfied with rye bread and fermented milk, and he was generally known to enjoy a rather plain entrée: tafelspitz — beef that’s boiled in water with some vegetables and aromatics. It was also said that he was “too modest” to ask the court kitchen for snacks, according to the blog Royal Splendor.