7 Forgotten Foods Found on Old Restaurant Menus
As our tastes have changed, and so have menu offerings across North America. Here's a sampling of meals that you rarely—if ever—see dished out at today's luncheons or dinners.
1. FARINA SOUFFLE
We've eaten cake, ice cream, and chocolates, but few modern diners are likely to have savored farina souffle—a puffy dessert made from the same milled cereal grain that Cream of Wheat is made from—at an upscale establishment. However, on September 16, 1891, it was standard fare at the Windsor Hotel in Montreal.
2. BOILED OX-TONGUE WITH SAUCE PIQUANTE
In addition to beef, goose, duck, and turkey, meat lovers could have savored boiled ox-tongue with sauce piquante if they visited the Howard House in Malone, New York on December 25, 1899. Options for vegetarians included puree of chestnut with raw tomatoes or asparagus tips on toast. Both parties, however, would have likely enjoyed traditional English Apple Charlotte—a crust of buttered bread slices filled with caramelized apples.
"Chow Chow" is a pickled vegetable relish that is today considered to be a regional delicacy in the South. However, it was once a staple on restaurant menus across America. In 1901, it was enjoyed by patrons of the Pan-American Exhibition in Buffalo (the same exhibition where President William McKinley was assassinated).
4. FRICASSEE OF CALF'S FEET
Somewhere between a sauté and a stew, a fricassee of calf's feet would have consisted of, well, calf's feet, simmered in a thick white wine sauce. It was served to voyagers on the R.M.S. Lusitania on September 18, 1913, less than two years before the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat in WWI.
5. MOCK TURTLE SOUP
Turtle was once a popular meat used in stews. If restaurants were short on the reptile or couldn't afford it, they would serve mock turtle soups, which were filled with other types of meat. Mock turtle soup was dished out at the Hotel William Penn on February 23, 1939.
6. BROILED CALVES' LIVER AND BACON
At the Hotel Rellim in Pass-A-Grille Beach, Florida, you could have celebrated New Year's Eve in 1944 with broiled calves' liver and bacon, hot essence of tomato, and a large fruit-and-nut-filled cake called a Lord Baltimore Cake.
7. ROAST PEACOCK
The Culinary Institute of America doesn't prepare just any old fowl recipe. At the 175th Meeting of the Wine and Food Society on April 14, 1969, they served a roast peacock. According to one 1950s recipe, peacock can be cooked like turkey, although its dry flesh requires lots of basting with butter.