What a difference a century can make! In 1916, J.L. Kraft received his first patent for making process cheese; the first electric refrigerators went on sale for the whopping price of $900, and the first self-serve Piggly-Wiggly supermarket opened in Memphis, Tennessee.
Dining out was just coming into vogue during this time. According to the Food Administration, more food was being served and eaten in restaurants than in homes. Courtship etiquette was changing; now a single working woman could meet a man at a restaurant for an afternoon or evening out. Hotel restaurants, lunch counters and tea rooms were popular places to enjoy a meal.
Menu items seldom seen on a modern dining list included consommé, turtle soup, sweetbreads, paupiette of sheep’s head, mutton, fricassee of chicken and venison along with Delmonico pudding, Indian pudding, and bisque ice cream for dessert.
Snacks and street food could be found in larger cities. Vendors with pushcarts or horse-drawn wagons sold freshly roasted peanuts or ice cream.
The attitude against drinking was rapidly spreading across the country. Restaurants quickly crafted menus sans alcohol, offering instead tea, coffee, milk and "punch."
Those restaurants and hotels that continued to cater to the “drinking crowd” upped the ante and began serving cocktails with glamorous names. Here are just a few that were all the rage during 1915-1916.
If you were ordering an alcoholic drink from a restaurant menu, the choices were usually limited to beer, wine punch, or Champagne. But cigars and cigarettes were given specially appointed places on some menus.
My how times have changed, but it makes you wonder, what will menus include, and omit, in 2116?