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Food and Recipes from the Titanic

Updated on September 12, 2015
Adele Jeunette profile image

Adele Jeunette has been a librarian for 20 years. She lives in Denver, not too far from the Molly Brown house.

Cookbook Provides Recipes and Social History

With the information in the following cookbook, you can invite a few friends over for a nice dinner, put some of the recommended Edwardian music on the stereo, and serve up a few of the dishes that appeared on the Titanic's menu.

The following cookbook includes recipes prepared for all three classes of the passengers on the Titanic.

If you would like to re-create the first-class dinner of that last night on the Titanic in its entirety, this book will give you details on how to do that as well. Be warned that you will need to have a sous chef, squab, and Edwardian outfits. Not to mention the three days needed to prepare and serve this 11-course meal..

Last Dinner on the Titanic

Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner
Last Dinner On the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner

To help readers visualize the scene, the publishers include numerous portraits of passengers, photos of actual advertisements and flyers from the White Star Line, and colored illustrations and paintings depicting the time period.

After the introductory section, the author includes a section "Choreographing a First-Class Titanic Dinner." Here he talks about what would have been served before dinner, how the passengers were called to dinner (a bugler played the tune "The Roast Beef of Old England"), the type of music that was played (he includes a list of recommended compact discs), and a description of what the passengers would do after dinner.

 

Another Titanic Cookbook

Titanic: The Cookbook: Recipes from the Era of the Great Ocean Liners
Titanic: The Cookbook: Recipes from the Era of the Great Ocean Liners

This book includes a sampling of first-class fare, along with the humbler dishes served in second class. One of the contributers has a connection to the Titanic: her uncle was first violinist on the ship.

 
Laurent-Perrier From the Lord Price collection
Laurent-Perrier From the Lord Price collection

Being a Chef on the Titanic

Being head chef on a ship the size was an enormous undertaking involving coordinating several restaurants and feeding over 2000 people for three meals a day. Accordingly, the pay of the head chef was second only to that of the captain of the ship.

For this voyage, the Titanic carried 800 bundles us fresh asparagus, and 1221 quarts of oysters

Most of the recipes are surprisingly doable, ranging from "Curried Chicken and Rice," to "Cream of Barley Soup" to "Chteau Potatoes." For the most part, chef Dana McAuley uses fairly common ingredients, though many cooks may have trouble finding foie gras or duckling. And they may scratch their heads at her comment that since squab is difficult to find in the United States, "partridge makes an acceptable substitute." It's tough to find partridge your local Safeway store.

Most recipes include an informative or entertaining little description about the background of the dish, or how it would have been served on the Titanic. Every now and then McAuley had to take her best guess at a dish for which research turned up no existing recipes, dishes such as "Waldorf Pudding" or "Coconut Sandwich."

Ready to Try Some Recipes?

Riley's Revellers Public domain in the US
Riley's Revellers Public domain in the US

Here are some links to recipes that I have tried with my family. These have common ingredients that you can find at any grocery store and are relatively simple to prepare.

Lamb with Mint Sauce

The mint sauce nicely complements the lamb, so much so that my teenage daughter - who is not a big fan of meats - actually ate a small portion because she liked the mint sauce so much. If you're running out of time to make the sauce, you can just substitute mint jelly.

The next day we ate the leftovers with pita bread and a cucumber yogurt sauce to fashion a homemade gyro.

Waldorf Pudding

Here, the authors had to improvise a little, since no record exists of the recipe of the times. This dessert has a custard base with the apples and nuts that are characteristic of a Waldorf salad.

Music to Set the Mood

The music on the Titanic ranged from ragtime to classical. These CD's compile a wide selection of songs that were reported to have been played by the two bands on board.

There is disagreement in the historical record on which song was the last one played by the Titanic musicians. Some say it was "Nearer My God To Thee." Others say it was "Songe d'Automne." It's interesting that each of these CD's chose a different song to include.

There is a little overlap between them, but for the most part you are getting a different selection of songs on each one.


Songs include:

Paddy O'Carroll

Leaving Queenstown

Oh You Beautiful Doll

Alexander's Ragtime Band

Vilia

Menuet

I Want a Girl Just Like the Girl...

Maple Leaf Rag

Andante Cantabile

Song Without Words

Blue Danube

Merry Widow Waltz

Nearer, My God, To Thee


Songs include:

The White Star March

Glow-Worm

In the Shadows

Merry Widow Waltz

Alexander's Ragtime Band

Somewhere a Voice is Calling

Shine On Harvest Moon

Silver Heels

Moostruck

Songe d'Automne


Downton Abbey Provides Historical Context

The runaway hit series on PBS is now available on DVD.

Events on the Titanic set this series in motion. When Downton’s heirs are lost in the sea disaster, the future of this rich and powerful family is turned upside down.

The sumptuous photography captures the elegance of the era, and the plot delves into the historical and social controversies of the times.

If you're not sure you want to buy the first season, give the first episode a try for just $1.99.

Try Out Downton Abbey by Streaming the First Episode

The World of Downton Abbey

This book is just a lot of fun for fans of the PBS series.

If you've ever wondered why the characters on Downton Abbey act as they do, Jessica Fellows has put together this book to explain character’s motivations in their historical and social context.

There are plenty of beautiful photos and lots of behind-the-scenes information and interviews.

King Edward Himself

King Edward VII, National Portrait Gallery London  Public domain in US
King Edward VII, National Portrait Gallery London Public domain in US

The times were influenced by King Edward VII of Britain, a man with a big personality who lived lavishly and love to eat and entertain. Meals were elaborate affairs involving almost a dozen courses.

Edwardian Fashion

Edwardian Fashion Plate publick domain in US
Edwardian Fashion Plate publick domain in US

Wealthy women of this era were especially interested in couture. A Lady Cynthia Asquith commented "It must be admitted that a very large fraction of our time was spent in dressing and undressing. We were forever changing our clothes a custom which necessitated traveling with a mountain of luggage."

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Baker Remarkably Survived the Sinking

The epilogue recounts the remarkable story of Charles Joughin who had a busy night after the Titanic struck the iceberg. He organized parties of bakers to take bread up to the lifeboat; he assisted in loading the lifeboats, and when the ship sank, he almost nonchalantly stepped into the ocean and survived for several hours in the icy water.

3 bars of Vinolia Luxury Cold Cream Soap
3 bars of Vinolia Luxury Cold Cream Soap

This is the brand of soap that was used on the Titanic.

 

Guestbook Comments

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    • hntrssthmpsn profile image

      hntrssthmpsn 4 years ago

      What a wonderful idea for a dinner party! A Titanic-themed dinner, right down to the menu, sounds like a good time and a great excuse to dress up with some good friends.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      How cool to be able to reproduce the last dinner on the Titanic.

    • OrganicMom247 profile image

      OrganicMom247 5 years ago

      Great lens.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Very interesting...blessed