In 1912, the world’s most famous ship, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England headed one way to New York City. The ship was deemed the most glamorous and luxurious ship in the world, and it was also built to be unsinkable. The ship was built by Harland and Wolff, and the idea was that this ship would be like a floating palace that would cater to every whims of the first class passengers. The Titanic would have the finest furnishings in the world, the most luxurious suites, and the best food including caviar, the best meats, and drinks of every kind. Just got good was the meal on board the most amazing ship ever float? Here is a sampling of the menu that the Titanic passengers experienced those last few days at sea, and some of them were quite interesting.
First Class Breakfast
First class passengers were the cream of the crop of society, and every meal to this group of elite people was supposed to be the best they were to ever experience. Every meal was a culinary delight, and one of the few surviving menus from April 14th, 1912 shows exactly what these people ate on the last day of their voyage. For breakfast, those high class group of people enjoyed typical breakfast foods such as baked apples and Quaker brand oatmeal, but what about the no so typical foods they ate? According to a surviving menu, the first class passengers not only got to eat eggs any way they wanted, but in terms of meats there were the kind one might find on any breakfast table such as bacon and eggs, but on the Titanic, the passengers were treated to more interesting ones. Anyone ever heard of having herring for breakfast? How about grilled mutton kidneys, steak, and mutton chops? There is no accounting for taste, and apparently in 1912, it was common for people to have fish for breakfast along with their eggs and bacon. In addition to a variety of fish, the passengers in first class also enjoyed cold meat, Vienna and graham rolls, soda and sultan scones, corn bread, buckwheat cakes, black currant conserve, Narbonne honey, Oxford marmalade, and watercress. Quite an interesting breakfast selection!
First Class Lunch
Breakfast was just the start to the day, and was actually considered the simplest of the three meals served to the first class passengers. When it came to the midday meal, first class had three different parts to their meal, which was the luncheon, food from the grill, and a special buffet. To begin the noon meal, passengers were served soup, which could be the consomme, or a special Scottish leek and chicken soup known as cock-a-leekie. For those passengers that did not want soup, they could enjoy beef and kidney pie, roast surrey capon, egg a l’Argenteuil, fillets of plaice or brill, corned beef, vegetables, and dumplings. The food from the grill included mutton chops, potatoes that came in either mashed, fried, or baked jacket, and puddings that were either custard or rice. For dessert, the grill options were apple meringue or a variety of different pastries. The final lunch option was the buffet, and the food served there was quite extravagant. Passengers could enjoy seafood such as lobster, potted shrimp, herring, salmon, and sardines. There were also meat options such as roast beef, round of spice beef, and Virginia and Cumberland ham, sausage, chicken, and ox tongue. In addition to all of these fancy foods, passengers were also offered a variety of imported cheeses that even had its own category on the menu.
First Class Dinner
Naturally, even people back in 1912 considered dinner to be the grandest, and most luxurious, meal of them all. To begin such a fine meal, the appetizers, also known as hors d’oeurves, include oyster, consomme Olga, cream of barley soup. For meat choices, passengers could eat salmon, filet mignons Lili, saute of chicken lyonnais, vegetable marrow farcie, lamb, roast duck, roast squab, and sirloin of beef. In terms of vegetables, passengers could dine on chateau potatoes, green peas, creamed carrots, Romaine, cold asparagus vinaigrette, and celery. For dessert, passengers were offered Waldorf pudding, peaches in chartreuse jelly, chocolate and vanilla eclairs, and French ice cream.
For the passengers traveling on the RMS Titanic, the food on board was the best they had ever eaten, and for some, it would be the last meals they ever ate. The menu for the first class passengers was amazing, but so were the food choices for those in second and third class as well, which will be covered in two articles coming up. Who knew that dining could be such an experience, and for some, among the last they were to ever experience.