7 Forgotten Foods Found on Old Restaurant Menus

iStock
iStock

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.

3. CHOW-CHOW

"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.

Amazon's Best Cyber Monday Deals on Tablets, Wireless Headphones, Kitchen Appliances, and More

Amazon
Amazon

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

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Hate Brown Apple Slices? Use This Simple Trick to Keep Them Fresh

Jessica Lewis, Unsplash
Jessica Lewis, Unsplash

Though they're perfectly safe to eat, brown apple slices aren't the most appealing-looking snack. If you love sliced apples but can't stand that fading color, eating them faster isn't your only option. All you need is a bowl of water and a bit of salt to keep your apples looking and tasting fresh and crisp long after you cut into them.

This trick for keeping apple slices from browning comes from Reader's Digest. Before picking up your knife, prepare a bowl of cold water. Stir in roughly half a teaspoon of salt for every cup of water and set the bowl aside until your apple slices are ready. Soak the slices for 10 minutes, drain them, and rinse them off to get rid of any excess salt. You can eat your apples right away or store them in a plastic bag or container for later. Either way, they should keep their appetizing white color for longer than they would without the saltwater soak.

Discoloration on an apple slice doesn't mean it's gone bad. When the enzymes inside an apple are exposed to air, they produce benzoquinone and melanins in a process called oxidation. This chemical reaction is behind your apple's rapid browning. Salt inhibits these enzymes, which slow down the oxidation process.

The saltwater trick is great for keeping apples looking fresh, but it only works if they've been sliced. Here's a tip for stopping your whole apples from going bad after bringing them home from the grocery store (or picking them straight from the tree).

[h/t Reader's Digest]