Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Bill of Fare: what some Mormons ate...

As I worked at finishing up the last of the images for the publisher I had occasion to visit the Special Collections at University of Utah's Marriott Library. I must say Walter is among the most helpful and kind of any library personnel I've met in the course of this adventure.

Walter brought out an original 1863 copy of a book by Richard Burton called City of the Saints, which is a travel memoir written by a British fellow passing through Utah in 1860. In this book is a reproduction of the Bill of Fare for the 1860 Territorial Ball. It exhaustively lists the menu for this upper crust dinner. The book is also available through Google books online here if you want to read the whole thing. That's where I got the image below.



So... which of a hundred interesting things on the menu surprised you the most?

5 comments:

Jana said...

I'm a little disappointed that they weren't taking the W.O.W. very seriously, although not surprised at the variety/amount of meat for the time.

Scarehaircare said...

I can’t pick just one, so I’ll start at the top. Vermicelli? I’m surprised to see something so non-pioneer on the menu. Boiled trout and salmon? Boiled fish?! It doesn’t sound appetizing. Pineapple pie was surprising –tinned pineapple, I assume. What are snowball fruits? And what is a gypsy cake? Mountain pudding? Pioneer pudding? (anything like Indian pudding?) If I were to choose right now what to sample, I’d like a serving of apple soufflé, please.

Brock said...

Yes, I was also surprised at how "continental" the menu was, and also how diverse.

As for tea and coffee being served in the church-owned Social Hall--I read a piece in the DesNews of the day about a missionary homecomeing in 1855 (I believe) which detailed the refreshments served in the Social Hall, including "excellent tea and coffee" with plenty of cream and sugar. At a missionary homecoming. I think the WoW wasn't a big deal until after WWII.

Renae W. Mackley said...

Hi, Brock. Nice blog. Beaver tail surprised me, as did bear, for the shear fact that they could get the volume to feed a large crowd. Interesting list.

Brock said...

Hey Renae, thanks for dropping by. Good point-- how many beaver tails would it take to feed a crowd of 50 or 100?