Last Meal on Titanic

Last Meal on Titanic

On April 10, 1912, RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its maiden voyage, headed for New York City. Four days into the journey, at about 11:40 p.m. on April 14, Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic. One crew member later compared the sound of the collision to “the tearing of calico, nothing more.” But the force of the impact ruptured the hull, filling the ship’s interior with some 39,000 tons of icy seawater before it plunged under the surface.

The most famous maritime disaster in modern history, Titanic’s sinking has been chronicled in countless books, newspapers, musicals, plays, television shows, miniseries and movies. Despite the doomed ship’s notoriety, not everyone knows that Titanic was equipped with some of the most sophisticated culinary facilities afloat and boasted elegant cafes and opulent dining saloons that rivaled the finest restaurants in Paris and London. A huge staff labored almost continuously in Titanic’s massive galleys to prepare more than 6,000 meals a day. The main galley, which churned out food for first- and second-class passengers, featured serving pantries; a butcher shop; a bakery; vegetable kitchens; specialized rooms for silver and china; rooms for wines, beer and oysters; and huge storage bins for the tons of coal needed to fuel the 19 ovens, cooking tops, ranges and roasters.

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First-class passengers were treated to an extraordinary dining experience at every meal, feasting on such delicacies as pâté de foie gras, peaches in chartreuse jelly and Waldorf pudding. Their dinners consisted of up to 13 courses—each with a different accompanying wine—and could last four or five hours. Because the first- and second-class dining saloons shared a galley, it’s likely that second-class guests were offered some of the same dishes as first-class passengers—minus the extensive wine pairings and fanfare.

Far more austere, third-class meals featured items such as hearty stews, vegetable soup, roast pork with sage and onions, boiled potatoes, currant buns, biscuits and freshly baked bread with plum pudding and oranges. Coming from countries like Ireland and Norway where fresh fruits and vegetables were scarce, many third-class passengers probably found their fare almost decadent. It has been said that Titanic’s kitchen staff did their best to prepare meals that travelers from various countries would find comforting and nutritious.

So what did Titanic’s passengers eat hours before their “unsinkable” ship met its tragic end? Since a first-class menu was recovered after the disaster, we know what was served to the wealthiest guests on the evening of April 14, 1912. As usual, the feast began with raw oysters and assorted hors d’oeuvre, followed by a choice of consommé Olga (a veal stock soup flavored with sturgeon marrow) or cream of barley soup. Next up was a lightly poached Atlantic salmon topped with a rich mousseline sauce. For the fourth and fifth courses, passengers chose from such rich and intricate protein dishes as filet mignon Lili, sauté of chicken Lyonnaise, lamb with mint sauce, roast duckling with applesauce and sirloin of beef with chateau potatoes. Side dishes included creamed carrots, boiled rice and green peas, as well as parmentier and boiled new potatoes.

Midway through this epic meal, a palate cleanser known as “punch romaine” was served, made with wine, rum and champagne. The sumptuous array then resumed with roast squab with cress, cold asparagus vinaigrette and pâté de foie gras. Dessert choices included peaches in chartreuse jelly, chocolate and vanilla éclairs, Waldorf pudding and French ice cream. Next, an assortment of fruits, nuts and cheeses was presented, followed by coffee, port, cigars and cordials. The first-class passengers—a group that famously included John Jacob Astor IV and Benjamin Guggenheim, among other prominent millionaires—then congregated in the smoking room or in the elegant, horseshoe-shaped reception room, where the ship’s orchestra played a selection of light classical and popular music until 11 p.m.

Of Titanic’s 2,200 passengers and crew, just over 700 people survived the disaster. Although it might seem a bit macabre, countless luxury cruises, gala dinner parties and culinary memorials are held each year to commemorate the anniversary of the legendary sinking, often recreating the last meal eaten on board. The 100th anniversary of the tragedy taking has seen an uptick in these events, with groups of people around the world gathering to sample the delicacies Titanic’s passengers enjoyed on April 14, 1912.


Final Days and Dishes from Titanic

Today is Friday the 13th. For those who are superstitious it is a day to particularly avoid black cats and ladders. Historically Friday was considered unlucky, as well as the number 13 combine the two and you are asking for trouble. We have three this year. Today is our second Friday the 13, the last falling in June. It has been suggested that the popular novel published in 1907 titled Friday, the Thirteenth, was responsible for making the day popular. In the book, an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.

It was a Saturday, 100 years ago, so not likely anyone would have had any inkling of what fate had in store for the passengers and crews of Titanic. Building Titanic represented the pinnacle of ship building, Belfast seen as the Cape Canaveral of the era. Everyone on board would have felt privileged to be part of history, but were on the ship for different reasons. First Class passengers were returning from the Continent, others in lower classes travelling with their families to start a new life in America.

Human nature being what it is, you can imagine that after three days at sea the surroundings were now familiar, and everyone was settling into their own routines, enjoying this luxury liner. Crew members attended to duties below decks, and since the skies were clear, passengers would have enjoyed walks along the decks assigned to their class of travel. First class passengers who enjoyed a workout might have migrated to the gym, played squash, or swam a few laps in the pool others might have attended one of the many Saturday church services. Printed menus which survived point to the amazing food which would have been enjoyed on board. The 2nd class menu was actually reproduced as a postcard for passengers to send home.

Alas, all went awry Sunday night. Most sources seem to agree that Titanic collided with an iceberg at approximately 11:40 pm and had completely sunk at 2:20 am, April 15. There have been many media stories this week covering various aspects of this tragic disaster. Relatives and tourists are flocking to Belfast and to Halifax to be part of the experience, from Titanic‘s birth to final resting place. The only coverage I have seen in bad taste was on The Talk today. The “ladies” got all dressed up in period attire, opened the show on a Titanic float, showcased artifacts then proceeded to slam those were on memorial cruises. “Black people don’t do cruises” was actually funny, but comparisons to the Donner Party and Sara Gilbert suggesting that family members should have gotten closure after 100 years to be totally distasteful. I often have this show playing in the background in my home office, and gave them a lot of leeway, but sorry, no longer. Shame on you.

I believe that it is the personal stories of the 2,200 people on board which makes Titanic most compelling. Ordinary people performed the most extraordinary feats to save or comfort others. All engineers perished as they struggled to the end to keep the lights on so that passengers could find their way on deck.

Canadians and Germans saw the final installment of the Julian Fellowes’ Titanic miniseries this week which will be broadcast on ABC tomorrow and Sunday. It did eventually grow on me as the stories evolved. I struck by the image of survivors in the lifeboats watching in disbelief as the great ship slipped into the water, leaving everything in darkness. We can’t help but wonder what would we have done when faced with the choice of taking a seat on a lifeboat if given the chance, or to stay behind and face death with loved ones.

Please do take time this weekend to say a prayer for those who perished, survived, were involved in rescue recovery efforts, as well as their families. Thank you to those who continue to keep the memory alive.

Hosting a titanic Dinner this Weekend? Share your Stories

I have said before that many of us cook as an expression of love for family and friends. For me, cooking through the recipes was more than just understanding food fashion of the Edwardian period, it was a way to connect with those on board– from those who cooked the meals below deck to the passengers who enjoyed the feasts.

I hope that my journey through the three menus of the last meal on Titanic have served as inspiration for the dinners many of you are planning this weekend. I have heard from some of you through comments on this blog, on Twitter (@downtoncooks), on my Facebook page, and on my Titanic Pinterest board. I have included a game plan and a modified 1st class menu if 10+ courses is too ambitious. The menus have something from everyone, including Jessica Brockmole, an early 20th century novelist whom I met on Twitter yesterday, looking for dishes her 8 year old Titanorak would eat. According to Jessica, “we’re going with barley soup, chicken Lyonnaise, chateau potatoes, creamed carrots, minted peas, asparagus salad, eclairs & ice cream”.

Special thanks to Canadian food icon, Dana McCauley for all the dishes she researched for Last Dinner on the Titanic, and whose many recipes I have relied on. The book is a wonderful collection of recipes, and stories from Titanic. I would also like to thank fellow Canadian Paula Costa who blogs at Dragons Kitchen who also took up the Titanic challenge a few years ago. Her wonderful photography helped me imagine what some of these dishes should actually look like, and today I actually use her photography so you can judge for yourself.

For those of you who are hosting or attending “home based” events, please do share your stories and pictures with me. I will try to share as many as I can on a future post. I might even be able to scrounge up a book prize or two for the best entries.

Filet Mignons Lili

Paula at Dragons Kitchen takes a lovely picture

Saving the best recipe in 1st Class for our last day, this dish is a great example of pure Edwardian excess. You may wish to save this recipe for a meal on its own, perhaps for a Downton Abbey season finale party. Fois gras is still a luxury item, as are black truffles. Even the Dowager Countess would be impressed with this dish should it had been served at Downton.

Recipe by Dana McCauley from Last Dinner on the Titanic.

Ingredients

  • 6 filets mignons (2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon each of butter and vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • sliced 6 foie gras (goose liver) medallions (recipe below)
  • 6 cooked artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 6 slices black truffle (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 large shallots or 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cups each of cognac, Madeira and red wine
  • 3 cups homemade beef stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 6 medium baking potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper
  1. In saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat add shallots and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until softened.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, bay leaf and rosemary until well combined. Stir in cognac, Madeira and red wine bring to boil.
  3. Boil for 10 minutes or until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Stir in beef stock. Boil for 15 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup.
  4. Strain into clean pot set over low heat and whisk in remaining butter. Season to taste.
  5. Keep warm.
  1. Brush 11-inch oven-proof skillet with enough melted butter to coat.
  2. Arrange potatoes in overlapping circles, brushing each layer with enough butter to coat sprinkle each layer with some of the salt and pepper press top layer gently down.
  3. Place pan over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until bottom is browned.
  4. Cover and bake in 450°F oven for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender and lightly browned on top.
  5. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until brown and crisp.
  6. Let stand for 5 minutes.
  1. Meanwhile, sprinkle meat with salt and pepper. In large skillet, melt butter with vegetable oil over medium heat add garlic and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes increase heat to medium-high and add filets mignons.
  2. Cook, turning once, for 10-12 minutes or until well-browned but still pink in middle.
  3. Remove from pan and let stand, tented with foil, for about 5 minutes. Wipe out pan and return to high heat.
  4. Add foie gras and cook for 30 seconds per side or until golden brown. Remove from pan and reserve. Gently toss artichokes in pan juices and cook for 2 minutes or until heated through.
  1. Cut cooked potato rounds into 6 portions and place 1 piece, upside down, on each of 6 heated plates top with a filet mignon, followed by a slice of foie gras and a truffle slice (if using).
  2. Ladle sauce around edge of plate garnish with artichokes.

Pâté de Foie Gras

Mrs. Patmore, the Gordon Ramsay of Downton

One final dish to prepare from our extensive menus. It was served as part of the Filet Mignon dish above, but it also held its own served cold as the Ninth Course in 1st Class. Revered as one of the most exquisite foods in the world, foie gras is synonymous with great taste and unabashed elegance. While Edwardians relished this special dish, it is more controversial today. Geese are force fed to improve the flavour of their enlarged livers which form the base of the dish, and its production is being increasingly regulated, and banned in some parts of the world.

I thought it appropriate to delegate this dish to an English chef who reminds me a great deal of Mrs. Patmore, the beloved cook of Downton Abbey.


From the Titanic's final meal to Kurt Cobain's prawn salad. recipes for famous food in history

Kurt Cobain’s favourite prawn salad and JFK’s wedding dessert are just two dishes featured in a cook book offering a real taste of history.

Titled Stalin’s Macaroni after the meal the Russian leader chose for Churchill at talks in 1945, the book reveals recipes for famous dishes from that one to the poached salmon served as the last dinner on the Titanic.

The book’s Swedish authors, Jon Ronstrom and Anders Ekman, trawled through archives to compile their culinary history.

Ronstrom got the idea for the compilation when his girlfriend made a sausage casserole based on a meal Christopher Columbus ate when he discovered the Americas.

“It was a real kick knowing the historical provenance of the food,” he said.

Here are the Sunday People&aposs favourite dishes in the book. For full recipes go to www.people.co.uk.

Titanic poached salmon

The tables are set with pink roses and white daisies. An orchestra plays Puccini and Tchaikovsky and sitting at one of those tables is US tycoon Benjamin Guggenheim. Welcome to first class on the Titanic – The Unsinkable Ship.

In today’s money a first class single on the doomed liner would cost around £60,000. For that, guests could use hair salons, libraries, squash courts, Turkish baths and several luxury restaurants.

Many sat down to a main course of poached salmon with mousseline sauce and sliced cucumber in the Ritz. For some, including Guggenheim, it would be their last meal as a few hours later the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in less than three hours, killing him and more than 1,500 others.

The mousseline sauce has whipping cream, egg yolks, fresh lemon juice, butter and seasoning.

The recipe for salmon – in court bouillon – serving eight, includes eight salmon fillets, a cucumber and three potatoes.

The bouillon contains parsley, thyme, bay leaves, water, vinegar or white wine, onions, carrots, salt and peppercorns.

Stalin&aposs macaroni bolognese

It&aposs February 10, 1945, the Second World War is drawing to a close and the allied leaders have met in Yalta to decide the shape of the world at peace.

Seated at the table are Josef Stalin, right, Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

The leaders drink wine and vodka, smoke cigars and dine on macaroni bolognese, a mixture of fried beef mince, peppers, crushed tinned tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and pasta.

The Yalta conference, on the north coast of the Black Sea in Crimea, has been seen by some as the start of the Cold War.

In a not too distant future the world would see the Berlin Wall and the beginning of the nuclear arms race.

Abba and millefeuille

The Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 was held by the seaside in Brighton – and won by a then little-known Swedish group called ABBA.

Björn, Agnetha, Benny and Anni-Frid celebrated reaching the finals by eating Napoleon pastries – or millefeuille as they are also known – a delicious treat made with puff pasty, vanilla custard, thick cream and raspberry jam.

ABBA’s winning anthem Waterloo – Sweden’s first victory – helped to rocket the band to international superstar status.

The previous year their Ring, Ring had been rejected at the heat stage in Sweden.The group went on to top the charts worldwide from 1975 to 1982, selling more than 380 million albums and singles – including dancefloor classics Super Trouper, The Winner Takes It All and Take A Chance On Me.

They’ve also spawned countless tributes acts. ABBA toured Europe, America and Australia – with mobs of screaming fans wherever they went – but decided to call it a day in 1982.

Their music was recently adapted into hit musical and movie Mamma Mia! which became a box office smash in the UK.

And they were were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.

If you fancy celebrating their success with a millefeuille, you’ll need to load up sheets of puff pasty with custard, whipped cream, jam and a thick layer of icing.

Alfred Hitchcock&aposs favourite pie

The master of suspense loved his grub as his rotund figure proved but it did not slow him down. In nearly 60 years in film he directed more than 50 movies and won five Oscar nominations.

Apparently, Hitch would order three portions at once and eat so quickly that he barely took breaths between bites.

But in 1943 – while filming Lifeboat – he decided to lose some weight by eating only meat and cantaloupe melon and drinking coffee. He shed 7st and his before and after pictures became an advert for a diet product.

But Hitch, who lived until 80, could not resist pies and bite by bite he regained every pound. His favourite, which should serve four to six, contained, for the crust, wheat flour, butter, an egg yolk, salt and water. The filling consisted of ham, yellow onions, eggs, salt, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and milk.

Kurt Cobain&aposs prawn salad

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain took his own life in 1994 aged just 27 after battling drug addiction and depression.

His diary reveals how he struggled with fame, but it also paints a picture of a food-loving man. Next to a sketch of some scary clowns, he listed the ingredients for a prawn salad based on his mum’s recipe – but he left out the prawns.

It is easy to make. For two, boil and cool 300g of spaghetti. Add a dressing made of mayonnaise, crème fraîche, dried dill, mustard and garlic and sprinkle with sliced green olives and celery to taste.

Jacqueline Kennedy’s half pineapple fruit cup

Jacqueline Bouvier fancied something fruity when she wed US senator John F Kennedy on September 12, 1953, in Newport, Rhode Island.

But for Jackie, 12 years younger than JFK, there were plenty of troubles to overcome before she could sit down to her chosen dessert.

The young, smart and successful couple, who would become role models to young people for the next 10 years, had a less than perfect grand society wedding in front of 1,200 prominent guests.

JFK’s face was scratched from falling into a rose bush just before the ceremony and the bride’s dad, ”Black Jack” Bouvier, had been found badly drunk in his hotel room and was taken to hospital.

But at least the dessert was good. The fruit cup has kiwi fruit, mango, pineapples, bananas, green apples, grapes, water, sugar and lime.


11 Items From Titanic’s Final Menus

We know a lot about the final hours of the RMS Titanic, from the ship's collision with the iceberg to its descent into the sea. Thanks to menus recovered from the tragedy, we even know what the passengers ate for their last meals onboard the ocean liner.

Titanic's first-class guests paid hundreds of pounds (the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars today) for their tickets, and their meals were reflected in the price. The decadent luncheon and 10-course dinner menus from April 14, 1912, are snapshots of haute cuisine in Edwardian Britain in addition to being eerie remnants of a doomed voyage. To step inside the last moments of luxury on the Titanic, read through the menu highlights below.


History Buffs Feast on Titanic’s Last Meal

One hundred years after that ship’s fateful journey, a group of Titanic aficionados (and those just a little curious about Edwardian life) had a chance to experience what it would be like to live and dine in 1912, thanks to a U of G master’s student.

The Chatham-Kent Museum in southwestern Ontario has in its collection one of the dinner menu cards from a third-class passenger on the doomed Titanic. With the 100 th anniversary of the ship’s sinking last month, the museum decided to use the menu card as the inspiration for a special event and fundraiser.

On April 14, about 300 guests enjoyed a seven-course menu (based on the Titanic’s last dinner offered to first-class passengers, which was actually 12 courses) or a four-course meal (based on the Titanic’s third-class menu). They were invited to dress in period costume.

Why is there such fascination with the Titanic?

The event’s guest speaker, Catherine (Caitrin) Ollerhead De Santis, who is both a master’s student in history and a clinical support staff member at the OVC Health Sciences Centre, says: “I think it’s because the Titanic was a microcosm for all that was going on at the time. British society then was based on a rigid class system, and on the ship you had the very rich living in luxury with all their toys, then it went all the way down to the people in steerage, who saw the Titanic as their way to escape that class system and start new lives.”

Of course, she adds: “It wouldn’t mean so much if the ship hadn’t foundered on its maiden voyage. People always have a morbid fascination with tragedy.” Perhaps the contrast between the opulence of the ship and its ultimate resting place at the bottom of the ocean fascinates people.

On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, the Cannon was painted like the doomed vessel.

Ollerhead De Santis gave her presentation dressed in period clothing that evening – clothing she’d made herself, right down to the corset. (A corset can be quite comfortable, she claims, providing it is properly fitted.) She had been invited to speak to the group, who paid $100 for the first-class meal or $60 for the third-class version and the chance to listen to her.

“My talk was not about the number of rivets in the Titanic,” she says. “I focused on social protocols, what it was like to dress for dinner and how the Edwardians navigated their social circles. How did they actually manage to eat a 12-course meal? What kind of music did the people like to listen to?”

If we were magically transported back to the Titanic’s first-class dining room, she suggests, most of us wouldn’t do well. We wouldn’t know, for example, that before introducing a woman to a man, you must first ask the woman privately if she wants to be introduced to him. Most of us also wouldn’t know which knife to use with which food, or which topics could be safely discussed in the presence of women (no comments on politics or religion, and certainly no mention of what you do for a living).

Ollerhead De Santis, fortunately, was able to share this etiquette information with the guests at the Chatham-Kent event, giving them a vivid sense of life in 1912. She adds that while the class structure was very restrictive, for many it provided a sense of security: “If you were a woman, you knew doors would be opened for you. If you were a man, you knew what your role in society was going to be.” Not long after the Titanic sunk, much of that changed. World War One challenged the class system, women got the vote and trade unions helped establish rights for working-class people.

Guests wore period costumes during a lecture about the Titanic.

“But the Titanic still gives us a window into that time and that way of life,” says Ollerhead De Santis, who is an enthusiastic participant in many types of historical re-enactments. For example, she rides side-saddle wearing authentic clothing she made, on rescue horses she helped to train. A few years ago, she earned a certificate from Parks Canada that allows her to fire cannons at historical sites.

The first-class guests ate:

1 st course: consomme Olga and cream of barley soup

2 nd course: poached salmon with mousseline sauce

3 rd course: chicken Lyonnaise and vegetable marrow farci

4 th course: punch romaine

5 th course: roasted squab on wilted cress

6 th course: asparagus salad with champagne-saffron vinaigrette

7 th course: peaches in chartreuse

Third-class guests enjoyed:

3 rd course: roast beef, gravy, red jacket potatoes, seasonal vegetables and rolls

4 th course: peaches in chartreuse

But after all the etiquette lessons and the elaborate feast, Ollerhead De Santis reminded her audience that, in the end, this was a tragedy. “About 62 per cent of those travelling in steerage died and about 25 per cent of those in first class,” she says. In honour of those who lost their lives that day, she concluded her presentation with the poem “A Sailor’s Prayer” that included the line “Protect me in the dangers and perils of the sea and even in the storm grant that there may be peace and calm within my heart.”


3rd class meal times

Third Class meals are discussed in Don Lynch's Titanic: An Illustrated History in the 'Ship Of Dreams' chapter. Also, there is a chapter for this in Last Dinner on the Titanic by Rick Archbold & Dana McCauley.

It looks like breakfast and lunch were served around the same time as the other classes but the evening meal, described as 'Tea', was probably a bit earlier. I am guessing starting around 06:30 pm or so.

The overall menu looks like it was more varied and scrumptious than most 3rd Class passengers ate back home.

In Last Dinner.. it says that for those Third Class passengers requiring additional sustenance before bed, cheese and biscuits were always available.

Steven Christian

Arun Vajpey

Thanks for that. I have a feeling that I had seen the first card somewhere before. Having 'Tea' at 4:45 pm and nothing more till breakfast next morning for Third Class passengers is a bit cruel IMO, especially for the children. 14 to 15 hours without food for a growing child?

The ticket punching system with "no ticket, no food" warning has shades of Oliver Twist.

I don't suppose they had fruit available in addition to cheese and biscuits?

Bwarpup

Steven Christian

Thanks for that. I have a feeling that I had seen the first card somewhere before. Having 'Tea' at 4:45 pm and nothing more till breakfast next morning for Third Class passengers is a bit cruel IMO, especially for the children. 14 to 15 hours without food for a growing child?

The ticket punching system with "no ticket, no food" warning has shades of Oliver Twist.

I don't suppose they had fruit available in addition to cheese and biscuits?

Steven Christian

Arun Vajpey

Steven Christian

I read details about the Third Class meals again and it did say that for those requiring additional sustenance just before bedtime, biscuits, cheese, gruel and coffee were available. I understood it to mean in addition to the 'tea' in the early evening.

True I'm sure, but the way I was thinking was that a lot of Third Class passengers were manual labourers and others who did a lot of physical work during the day. Such people might not have been too discerning about the variety of items available as long it was clean and palatable BUT they would have been used to sufficient quantities after a day of hard work. Then there were children, of course.


Last Dinner on the Titanic? 100 Years On It Costs $12,000

We all know that the Titanic sank 100 years ago, after striking an iceberg in the early hours of 15th April 1912 on its way from Southhampton, England to New York City. But what were the passengers eating just before being shipwrecked?

Only two Titanic menus from the night of the 14th April were among the documents rescued from the fleet. One of these was a dinner menu for first-class passengers, some of whom paid today’s equivalent of $124,000 for their sea voyage. The menu featured a 10-course extravaganza of the haute cuisine of the era. Diners enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, oysters, filet mignon Lili, pate di foie gras, Waldorf pudding and a host of other delicacies.

Each course was accompanied with a different wine chosen to enhance the flavor of the rich dishes. If their hunger had not yet been satiated, guests were offered cheeses and fresh fruits. These whopping 10 courses were followed by coffee and cigars paired with port or distilled liquors.

Here is the whole first-class menu, as reported in the book Last Dinner on the Titanic. Menus and Recipes and Recipes from the Great Liner. Exactly the same menu you could taste on April 14: a Houston's restaurant is replicating the 10-course dinner served to first-class passengers the night the ship went down. The price for the meal? $12,000, but the experience accommodates 12.

The First-Class Menu
As served in the first-class dining saloon of the R.M.S. Titanic on April 14, 1912

First Course
Hors D'Oeuvres
Oysters

Second Course
Consommé Olga
Cream of Barley

Third Course
Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce, Cucumbers

Fourth Course
Filet Mignons Lili
Saute of Chicken, Lyonnaise
Vegetable Marrow Farci

Fifth Course
Lamb, Mint Sauce
Roast Duckling, Apple Sauce
Sirloin of Beef, Chateau Potatoes
Green Pea
Creamed Carrots
Boiled Rice
Parmentier & Boiled New Potatoes

Sixth Course
Punch Romaine

Seventh Course
Roast Squab & Cress

Eighth Course
Cold Asparagus Vinaigrette

Ninth Course
Pate de Foie Gras
Celery

Tenth Course
Waldorf Pudding
Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly
Chocolate & Vanilla Eclairs
French Ice Cream


Ernest Hemingway's last meal was a steakhouse special

Ernest Hemingway is one of the definitive "great American novelists," with works like The Sun Also Rises landing on lists such as the American Library Association's most-loved novels. A towering figure of literature, Hemingway was also the textbook definition of manliness. With his thick beard, stern gaze, and books about war and fishing written in simple, firm, and direct language, he's a cultural touchstone of "macho." He also famously (according to HuffPost) laid out the rules for manhood, which involved planting a tree, fighting a bull, fathering a son, and writing a book.

In other words, Hemingway had a brand, and he stuck to it until the very end of his life. Per James L. Dickerson's Last Suppers, after treatments for depression at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in June 1961, Hemingway returned to his home in Ketchum, Idaho. The day after he arrived, he and his wife, Mary, dined at The Christiania. According to server June Mallea, Hemingway ate a manly, straightforward, steakhouse-style meal of a New York strip steak, baked potato, Caesar salad, and Bordeaux wine. The next morning, Hemingway committed suicide with his shotgun (according to the The New York Times), aged 61.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.


Your Last Meal


The SS Andrea Doaria. Oppulent ocean liner for the Società di navigazione Italia. With a gross tonnage of 29,100 tons and a capacity of over 1200 passenger and a crew of 500.

Like the Titanic, the Andrea Doria was Italy's largest, fastest, and safest ship. Well apparently not that safe.
It was July 25th, 1956, while sailing off the coast of Nantucket, bound for New York city. It was 11:10pm that evening, the final night of the voyage that disaster struck.
In heavy fog, the Swedish ship Stockholm struck the Andrea Doria. With a deep gash on it's starboard side, the Andrea Doria listed and started taking on water. What made the disaster different from the Titanic was the quick response of rescue teams. Also the ship stayed afloat for over 10 hours before finally sinking in the cold waters of the Atlantic. Only 40 people perished in this disaster as opposed to over a thousand from the Titanic.

Earlier that evening, there was one last dinner. A farewell dinner for the passengers. It was quite a feast.

1 comment:

One of the greatest disasters of the Andrea Doria is that survivor who muscled George Castanza out of that apt. Every time I hear about that ship now, all I can think of is Seinfeld.
Great blog!


The Last Dinner on the Titanic

On the evening of April 14, 1912 a number of first-class passengers on the Titanic revelled in a privately hosted feast in the first-class á la carte restaurant . At the same time in the first-class dining saloon other first-class passengers - some who had paid the equivalent of $124,000 in today's dollars for the ocean voyage - settled in for a sumptuous, if over-filling, ten-course extravaganza. Meanwhile, in the second-class dining saloon , second-class passengers ate a less elaborate but beautifully served dinner. And on F deck in what would be called "steerage" in lesser vessels, third-class passengers ate simply prepared, hearty meals served in their own spartan dining saloon.

Several hours later, in the early morning of April 15th, the Titanic sank taking 1581 passengers and crew - many well fed and lubricated - to their untimely deaths.

What is the fascination with "last meals"? Last meals of executed criminals are usually reported in the media: "For his last meal he ordered fried chicken, a Caesar salad and apple pie á la mode." None of these meals would appeal to the gourmet but for some reason they hold our interest. (One can argue whether last meals for convicted criminals are expressions of kindness or cruelty and give compelling arguments for each position)

Before we die most of us will have unrecognized last meals and for the most part little will be made of them by those who survive us. What sets the last meal on the Titanic apart? Is it that so many died, together, at one time, and that for the first-class passengers at least, their "last meals" were glorious feasts, brilliantly prepared and flawlessly served in an atmosphere of elegance and luxury - with death waiting in the wings? Or is it that the last meal provides a touchstone to the sinking that is accessible to each of us in gustatory terms we all understand? Or is it that the "last dinner" on the Titanic is simply a metaphor for seizing each moment as if it's the last.

There were only two menus recovered from the Titanic for the night of the 14th. One of these - the first-class menu - is reproduced below. While the manner in which the courses were prepared is not actually known in detail, a recent book by Rick Archibald gives an excellent account of the probable preparation based on similar practice on other White Star Line vessels, White Star's German competition and recipes of renowned chefs of the day. [ Archibald, Rick (1997) The Last Dinner on the Titanic. Madison Press Books, Toronto. 144 pages ]. Those interested in re-creating the last dinner and willing to spend ample time in preparation should consult Archibald for full details.

Titanic sank during the last years of the Edwardian era before World War I where the privileged ate and drank with an abandon guaranteed to increase girth and shorten lifespan. Food was rich and fatty, and courses were accompanied with wine and liquor in sufficient variety and quantity to yield magnificent hangovers. As you go over the following menu, take it slowly and try to imagine the impact of each successive course as if consumed in the robust fashion of the day.

As served in the first-class dining saloon of the R.M.S. Titanic on April 14, 1912

First Course
Hors D'Oeuvres
Oysters
Second Course
Consommé Olga
Cream of Barley
Third Course
Poached Salmon with Mousseline Sauce, Cucumbers
Fourth Course
Filet Mignons Lili
Saute of Chicken, Lyonnaise
Vegetable Marrow Farci
Fifth Course
Lamb, Mint Sauce
Roast Duckling, Apple Sauce
Sirloin of Beef, Chateau Potatoes
Green Pea
Creamed Carrots
Boiled Rice
Parmentier & Boiled New Potatoes
Sixth Course
Punch Romaine
Seventh Course
Roast Squab & Cress
Eighth Course
Cold Asparagus Vinaigrette
Ninth Course
Pate de Foie Gras
Celery
Tenth Course
Waldorf Pudding
Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly
Chocolate & Vanilla Eclairs
French Ice Cream

The repast was served with a different wine for each course. Following the tenth course fresh fruits and cheeses were available followed by coffee and cigars accompanied by port and, if desired, distilled spirits. If you have to have a last dinner, you could do a lot worse!

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Watch the video: 100 χρόνια από το ναυάγιο του Τιτανικού