The big question. What IS the “grey stuff” that Lumière sings about?
There are a few options depending on the hints we see from both the 1991 animated version and the 2017 life action version of Beauty and the Beast. Both versions suggest that it is an hors d’oeuvre, based on how they’re plated up. In the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast, we see the ‘grey stuff’ on a platter with other savoury bite sized pieces. The way Belle swipes it up, sticking to her finger, it’s likely to be foie gras. Although not grey, another option you can serve is chicken pate.
In the live action film, it clearly looks like caviar. So take your pick on what you want to serve, both were common in a 1600’s French menu, so we served both.
Want authentic 1600-1700’s recipes that would have been around in the time of Beauty and the Beast? I highly recommend purchasing the book La Varenne’s Cookery. Three books in one, written by a major chef, François Pierre de la Varenne, it has been translated so we better understand the recipes and context.