Cruise food sure has changed in the 100 years since Titanic set sail on its ill-fated voyage. With the anniversary of the ship’s tragic sinking just a couple of days away, the Internet has been abuzz with details of what it was like for passengers aboard the ship prior to the tragedy.
We’ve been poring over menus and even some recipes from meals that were served the day before the ship sank, and guess what? While some would still be considered succulent today, others might warrant a side-eye.
One thing to note is that Titanic’s menus differed depending on the class of passenger. So while first-class pax were indulging in filet mignon and foie gras, third-class passengers were chowing on vegetable soup and boiled potatoes. Of course, while any of those offerings would be welcome in the Main Dining Room today, we can’t quite say the same for dishes such as “soused herrings,” “veal and ham pie” and “corned ox tongue,” which all appeared on the lunch menu for first-class patrons.
If the most elite passengers were served such treats, it’s no surprise that second-class passengers were offered “grilled ox kidneys and bacon,” and cold “roast mutton.”
We’re actually betting that your average 21st century cruise passenger would probably be more pleased with the dishes offered to third-class passengers. The menus consisted of such dishes as “oatmeal porridge and milk” and the more typical “smoked herrings” for breakfast, “roasted pork with sage and pearl onions” for dinner, and “ragout of beef with potatoes and onions” for tea. In fact, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see some of these items on a modern-day ship.
But of course, these were the only passengers who were also served “gruel” — a peasant dish of oat, wheat, rye or rice boiled or soaked in milk or water that gained notoriety for its apparently unsavory characteristics in novels such as Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.”
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