Titanic menu reveals ritzy cuisine planned for fateful cruise

By | April 2, 2019

This ship was certainly king of the world when it came to cuisine. The Titanic, which sank 107 years ago this month, was more than four city blocks long, as tall as an 11-story building and as grand as a luxury hotel — especially when it came to dining and drinking.

It was equipped with five kitchens employing 60 chefs and assistants turning out cuisine fit for the finest tables in Europe and New York. Piles of oysters and crates of seasonal vegetables, fresh game and other delicacies packed the ship’s hull.

For a glimpse into what dining was like on history’s most famous doomed ocean liner, there’s “The Last Night on the Titanic: Unsinkable Drinking, Dining and Style” (Regnery History), a new book by food writer Veronica Hinke.

“So many people are so mesmerized by the food,” Hinke tells The Post. “I was really intrigued by it because it gives us insight into what these people’s lives were like.”

Of the 2,224 people on the Titanic, an estimated 1,516 died when it sank in the early-morning hours of April 15, 1912. Much of what is known about the food served aboard comes from menus tucked into the pockets of survivors.

Irwin Flynn was a buyer for New York’s now-defunct Gimbel Brothers department store. He was dining in first class the night the ship hit the iceberg. He had his dining companions sign his menu, and he stuffed it into his overcoat pocket because it would not fit into the one on his tuxedo.

When the ship’s hull was punctured at 11:40 p.m. on April 14, Flynn was in bed. He grabbed his coat and a life vest, headed up to the deck and made it onto a lifeboat, from which he was ultimately rescued.

The First Class luncheon menu from The Titanic
The First Class luncheon menu from The TitanicAdam Gasson

The menu reveals an opulent feast — a 10-course extravaganza that would likely bust the gut of modern-day gourmands.

The dinner began with appetizers, including oysters. (The Titanic was loaded with 1,221 quarts of the shellfish before she left Southampton, England, and may have picked up more during a stop in Ireland.)

The starter was followed by consommé Olga, a veal broth with wine and vegetables.

Then came salmon with mousseline sauce and cucumbers, a fish dish covered in a heavy sauce of cream, egg yolks, lemon juice and melted butter.

Full yet? It’s entree time, and diners had a choice of filet mignon topped with foie gras and truffles or chicken Lyonnaise, a French preparation that likely meant meat sautéed in a red-wine-vinegar sauce.

Then diners actually tucked into a second entree: lamb with mint sauce, roast beef or roast duck.

After a quick palate cleanser of punch Romaine (an alcoholic slushie made with rum, egg whites, lemon juice and Champagne poured over crushed ice), it was time for the home stretch. The seventh through 10th courses consisted of roast squab, cold asparagus (the ship stocked at least 800 bundles), foie gras and a selection of desserts, including ice cream.

Dining in the era of “Downton Abbey” was often a tedious and stuffy affair, and a meal could last for hours. For those looking to replicate the experience, several restaurants have in recent years re-created this meal, including a high-end Hong Kong hotel charging nearly $ 2,000 per person.

First-class lunch didn’t offer much of a break, with some 40 dishes offered. A lunch menu from April 14 was tucked into the purse of Ruth Dodge, who was traveling with her husband, Washington, and their 4-year-old son. The family was returning to America from Paris.

When the ship began sinking, Ruth and the boy made it onto one of the first lifeboats. Washington remained behind but got aboard a lifeboat when, he claimed, a crewman told him to “tumble in.”

He later described hearing distant cries as his boat rowed away from the sinking vessel. “To my ear . . . the awful fact was borne in upon me that many lives were perishing in those icy waters.”

Ruth’s menu shows lunch diners were enjoying cockie leekie, a fowl-based soup with egg yolks and prunes. There were also mashed and fried potatoes, grilled mutton chops and corned beef.

Beyond that, diners could nosh from a heaping buffet that included potted shrimps, roast beef and smoked herring.

Those traveling in third class didn’t eat all that badly, either. They took their meals in one of two dining rooms on the middle deck with a joint capacity of 473.

“Even in steerage, the food was much better than it would have been on other ships,” Hinke says. “The bigger meal of the day was lunchtime, and it was usually a brown gravy and beef.”

Supper was lighter, and often consisted of biscuits, cheese and gruel.

The nearly 1,000 employed on the ship were not neglected, either, which we know from a crew menu that made its way off the ship in the pocket of steward Edenser Wheelton. He was asleep when the boat hit the iceberg, and after assisting others into lifeboats, he escaped himself.

The Second Class menu for the final dinner on The Titanic
The Second Class menu for the final dinner on The TitanicAdam Gasson

His handwritten menu lists a lunch of fried sole, grilled chicken, porterhouse steak and lobster tail, among other substantial offerings.

When it came to drinking, the atmosphere aboard the Titanic was jovial, to say the least.

“This was pre-Prohibition,” Hinke says. “It was a fascinating time because no one knew what was to come. They were at the height of their indulgence.”

The ship’s manifest listed some 850 bottles of spirits, and bottles of the high-end bubbly Heidsieck & Co have been recovered from the wreck site.

Many of the cocktails quaffed onboard are today largely unknown to all but the most seasoned mixologists. Hinke theorizes that Prohibition changed people’s lives so suddenly, many of the recipes were lost or had simply fallen out of fashion when booze was again legalized.

One popular tipple of the time was the Clover Club, a pink drink made with gin, raspberry syrup, lemon juice and egg whites.

The drink was invented in Philadelphia but came to prominence after it was introduced at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel. A 1910 newspaper article boasted that “all of the actors drink it now.” (You can still get one at Brooklyn’s aptly named Clover Club.)

The Bronx, which one newspaper at the time raved was “the golden dream of alcoholic delight,” used oranges, which at the time were still a luxury item.

It was invented at the Waldorf-Astoria after a waiter challenged a bartender to come up with something new. The bartender blended gin, orange juice and Italian and French vermouths and named it “The Bronx,” because he had recently visited the borough’s zoo.

The Titanic passengers also drank milk punches, a dairy-based concoction often made with brandy, bourbon or gin.

And then there was beer. It’s unclear exactly which and how many kinds were aboard, but we know from a single line at the bottom of a first-class lunch menu that “iced draught Munich lager” was available.

The brew was made by Wrexham Lager, a Welsh brewery founded some three decades earlier by two German immigrants who were attempting to make beer of the style they enjoyed back home.

The author hopes that, for readers, food and drink will be a way into learning about those who were aboard the ship, more than two-thirds of whom lost their lives.

“What these people went through this night that was unimaginable, and we wanted to honor them through the lens of culinary,” Hinke says. “The things that they would have been eating and the way that they would have lived is a story told so well through the food.”

Living | New York Post

33 thoughts on “Titanic menu reveals ritzy cuisine planned for fateful cruise

  1. Denver IT support techs

    I like any well compiled write-up just like a number of other online viewers. I actually had been amazed that this particular information was so fascinating. You have offered me cause to think on many aspects of your own material. I actually adore that.

  2. Denver IT support

    Thanks for writing as well as formatting this post really well. This has truly provided my own mind a boost. I accept much of this information.

  3. Denver tenant rep

    Content articles with informative material similar to this are nothing short of class. I thoroughly loved each and every point you made and am in agreement with you on almost all. This particular is wonderful writing.

  4. Colorado Springs salon

    This post is an appealing wealth of educational info which is interesting and well composed. I actually applaud your work on this as well as thanks so much for this information. You have got what must be done to grab attention.

  5. office rental Denver

    It requires a unique person to compose a terrific post and you’re this type of individual. The points you make in this particular writing are very well considered and also written.

  6. artificial lawn colorado springs

    You have all the characteristics of any awesome writer. I actually don’t know what sort of educational background you have, but it is obvious that you are intelligent and you have a talent for compiling, particularly on this particular topic.

  7. EMF protections

    To date, I agree with you on a lot of the info you’ve compiled right here. I will have to ponder some on it, nevertheless by and large this is a brilliant article.

  8. Aurora cleaning service

    I actually take into consideration your work here awesome. It is effectively created, very well planned and fascinating. Many thanks for keeping my mind operating. I genuinely wanted that.

  9. Window Tinting Colorado Springs

    I actually appreciate you for compiling this specific good article. This particular info is very well-researched and fascinating. I became so involved with this particular content that I couldn’t make myself stop checking out. Thanks for generating extremely good quality work.

  10. 1stChoiceGDS.com

    I am truly surprised about how good you have arranged this information. It is an easy task to understand and go through and also enlightening. It is so nicely worded that I cannot challenge the good points you tend to make.

  11. Farmington AR movers

    Thank you for discussing this valuable as well as informative post. I actually appreciated reading your views on this material. It is a pleasure to look through this kind of well-written content.

  12. Party bus Denver blog

    I personally greatly loved reading your article. I personally know you placed lots of hard work into this which deserves recognition. Quite premium quality post.

  13. Crime Scene Cleaners NW

    You made a few really special points in your material right here. I personally couldn’t agree more with you. I personally wish many individuals get access to this information.

  14. Denver party bus

    It is a brilliant content. It’s not just well-written, it is interesting and you’ve conveyed the viewpoints superbly. You’ve struck gold with this particular content.

  15. Denver limo service

    It’s really an honor to read excellent quality material similar to this today. You’ve demonstrated your true article writing expertise within this particular post as well as presented the views with good style. I actually accept lots of your perspectives.

  16. Dallas limo service

    I’m stunned by how nicely you’ve voiced your perspectives here. This requires a very smart person with high quality writing skills to put this kind of information into words and phrases.

  17. downtown property services Denver

    It takes a special individual to create an outstanding post and you’re this type of person. The points you tend to make in this specific writing are very well considered and also written.

  18. vape shop colorado springs

    Good work on this article. I haven’t gone through anything at all this thought provoking in a long, long time. I agree with a lot of just what you have stated. This is very well laid out as well as written in my personal opinion.

  19. Junk hauling colorado springs

    Fine article! I really relished the reading. I am seeking to go through more from you personally. I personally feel you have high-quality insight and also perspective. I am remarkably pleased with this specific information.

  20. motorcycle dent repair

    You have a special article writing talent I’ve seen a few times in my own life. I personally agree with this content and also you genuinely know how to put your feelings into words and phrases.

  21. Colorado Springs auto injury lawyer

    It is seldom I read content on this specific subject, but I found your post interesting from the beginning. You make remarkable points and did a really fine work of rendering it interesting.

  22. ColoradoSpringsAutoAccidentAttorney.com

    Tremendous article! I wish I had your understanding regarding this subject matter and could compile as nicely as you. I personally hope lots of individuals are able to take pleasure from this particular extraordinary material.

  23. EMF damage defense

    I actually desire I had found your own post before now, but it is still professional reading. I adored reading your own point of view and I concur with a lot of your own information. This is surely very good content.

  24. Best Denver limos

    I cannot convey my own thanks sufficient for your personal viewpoints in this article. I am inspired to find out more and also am wishing you plan to continue compiling content similar to this.

  25. Denver office space

    The information within the article like it is composed, is a fresh option to the identical dull information discovered elsewhere. I personally like your own perspective.

  26. Computer repair Colorado Springs

    This type of reading content isn’t anything I’m generally serious about. Nonetheless, I totally liked reading the content material. It’s obvious you place a lot of work into this. Remarkable work.

  27. second chance rentals

    Just a perfect author can get their point across in words and phrases. You are such a author and I value this info a lot more than you understand.

  28. Houston apartment finder

    You were able to really load this post up with info that’s of true value. I appreciate fantastic writing, and that is brilliant. I accept the points you make right here. Extremely wonderful job.

  29. Family Law Moses Lake WA

    I am the sort of person who loves to show appreciation for remarkable composing. I thank you for compiling this as well as making it so intriguing.

  30. 안전놀이터 6년

    This post is proof to me personally that there are even now excellent authors who do their exploration prior to they compile their material. Many thanks for composing this sort of informative material. Remarkable post.

Comments are closed.