First class passengers aboard Titanic ate very well (so did second and third comparatively speaking). Nothing was spared for those who paid the big money. And the food the upper class ate was very different from what we call today fine dining. The terms supper and dinner had a different meaning as well. Dinner was a formal meal and most often at night, while supper was a less formal meal often eaten by workers and others. Lunch and dinner for first class passengers on Titanic were formal with foods not served in less formal settings.
Mental Floss recently took a look at the menus and found some interesting things, most of which are not eaten much today (or have been reconfigured). It should be remembered that dinner back then was a 10 course meal in first class. That was a lot of food to consume! However, eating was not rushed and there were pauses between each meal course. Still for the amount of food served it seems enormous today. Only on special holiday feasts does one have multiple dishes of food served.
Items on the menu included:
Egg à l’Argenteuil
This was a luncheon dish with fancy title but really was scrambled eggs with asperagus. There are many variations of it today. An Italian version, Frittata di Asparagi e Uova, can be found here.
Chicken À La Maryland
This dish was also served for lunch. It was breaded fried chicken with gravy and garnished with bananas. Back then, bananas were considered a luxury and expensive. It became popular in Baltimore since they imported the fruit. This recipe remained popular and the famous Auguste Escoffier put it into his recipe book. A current version can be found here.
Roasted Squab and Cress
For dinner, you could have this entrée which was as the name indicates: a roasted pigeon with cress. Squad was actually considered a pretty delicious meat (note these are raised pigeons bred for the table, not the common pigeon you see in parks). If you want to get a sense of what it was like, take a look at the recipe at Downton Abbey Cooks.
Peaches in Chartreuse Jelly
This was dessert and often served last. Most comments I found indicate that it does work well. Back then gelatin was very labor intensive to make, so making for a dessert was a special treat. Downton Abbey Cooks also has a recipe for it as well. Today with instant gelatin packs, a bit easier to prepare.
Michele Debczak, 11 Jan 2021
11 Items From ‘Titanic’s’ Final Menus, Retrieved 9 Jan 2023