Old restaurant menus are often beautiful works of epicurean art, created as part of the complete sensory dining experience to entertain and awe guests. Reading these menus today is both a form of mini-time travel and a horrifying glance at the food habits of yesteryear. Pickled lamb tongue, Canadian Cheese Coup, Calf’s Head Piquante, Boiled Hog’s Head (we used to boil a lot of heads), and lots and lots of celery (apparently the only acceptable raw vegetable for decades) are just some of once-popular dishes that appeared on popular restaurant menus. Tastes have surely changed since Essence of Fowl was a staple of the Occidental Hotel menu in Seattle, but these beautiful menus still tempt us today with their charm and their foul fare, or at least make us glad for modern meat substitutes.
China Airlines (1950s)
On the menu: Tea Sandwich of Ox Tongue and Cucumber
Because cucumber makes ox tongue dainty.