It’s no secret. All his biographers agree with the description of King Louis XVIII. as gluttonous. A passion for good food and good wine that his Sun King ancestor would not fade and that he had cultivated since his youth. Which, over the years, caused him to become impressively overweight and also suffer from many ailments.
Suffering in particular from chronic gout, the brother of the late Louis XVI and the future Karel Dost deserve the nickname “King of Armchairs”. But the monarch’s excesses in food also had value nicknamed “Pig King” or “Pig XVIII”.
Louis XVIII. he could devour a hundred oysters after an already rich menu
As for our Belgian neighbors, they called Louis XVIII. “Louis des oysters” or “Louis dix huitres”. It must be said that during his exile in Ghent – during the hundred days when Napoleon I took power back – the monarch was able to feast on these molluscs, which he particularly valued.
Édouard Romberg and Albert Malet in their publication “Louis XVIII. and One Hundred Days in Ghent – A Collection of Unpublished Documents’ in 1898 evoke his arrival in that city on March 30, 1815, his installation at the hotel of Count Han of Steenhuys, and the first dinner he had there. “A handwritten record of the day’s events, which can be read in the library of the city of Ghent, states that Louis XVIII. showed an extraordinary appetite. After a very rich menu, another hundred oysters were served to him, to the great admiration of the crowd who saw the king dining; the downstairs dining room overlooked the street,” they wrote.
Fish dish “appetizers”
It is also said that during this stay in Ghent, Louis XVIII. he could indulge in an “appetizer” in town before dinner. In this case, a whitefish dish at the “Strop”, a pub where it was very famous.