Titanic's Final Feast:

Edwardian Eating on the Unsinkable Ship

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More than one hundred years after its fateful encounter with an iceberg on April 14th, 1912, the Titanic still captivates history buffs as a microcosm of Edwardian society. This week we’re exploring the culinary life onboard the unsinkable ship, looking at everything from those who worked in Titanic’s state of the art kitchens to the epic meals served only a few hours before the ship sank. We’ll talk to Dana McCauley and Rick Archbold, co-authors of the definitive guide to Titanic dining, Last Dinner on the Titanic. Find out how to hold your own Titanic-themed meal with elegant Edwardian recipes that were the inspiration for not only James Cameron’s iconic film but even Downton Abbey!

Written and Produced by Laura Carlson

Technical Direction by Mike Portt

Special Guests: Dana McCauley & Rick Archbold, co-authors of Last Dinner on the Titanic (1997)

 The menu for the final meal of Titanic's First Class Dining Saloon

The menu for the final meal of Titanic's First Class Dining Saloon

 This is the only known photograph taken when the Titanic's First Class Dining Room was in use. It's believed to date from luncheon on April 11th, 1912. 

This is the only known photograph taken when the Titanic's First Class Dining Room was in use. It's believed to date from luncheon on April 11th, 1912. 

Sample Recipes from Last Dinner on the Titanic

Although you'd need at least a few hours (if not a few days) to prepare the whole menu from the April 14th dinner, here are a few recipes to get you started for a Titanic-themed evening. All the recipes for the entire menu can be found in Rick Archbold & Dana McCauley's Last Dinner on the Titanic as well as recipes featured in the 2nd & 3rd Class Dining Rooms. 

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Consommé Olga (Second Course: Soups)

 

 

Ingredients

7 cups degreased veal or beef stock

1 Carrot, finely chopped

1 Leek, finely chopped

1 Celery Stalk, finely chopped

1 tbsp Parsley stems

1/4 lb lean ground veal or beef

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

3 egg whites, beaten until frothy

1/4 cup port

Garnish

6 large sea scallops (or vésiga or Sardinian bottarga, depending on availability)

1/2 celeriac bulb or head of celery, blanched and julienned

1/4 English cucumber, seeded and julienned

Method

1. In a tall narrow pot, gently heat stock until body temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together vegetables, parsley, and meat until well combined. Add salt and pepper. Fold in egg whites.

2. Whisk heated sock into egg mixture; return to pot and, whisking, bring slowly to boil. When mixture begins to look frothy, stop stirring to allow mixture to rise and solidify into a raft. Lower heat to medium-low. Carefully make a vent hole in raft with spoon handle. Simmer consommé gently for 30 minutes.

3. Leaving pot on heat, carefully push raft down with the back of a ladle. Ladle clarified consommé though cheesecloth-lined sieve into clean pot. Heat until very hot. Stir in port.

Garnish: Slice scallops crosswise into 3 pieces, place 3 discs into bottom of each of 6 warmed bowls. Pour hot consommé over scallops; arrange celeriac and cucumber decoratively in each bowl. 

Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings. 

 

Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette (Eighth Course: Salad)

Ingredients

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1 1/2 lb. asparagus

1/4 tsp saffron threads

1 1/2 tbsp champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch of granulated sugar

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1/2 sweet red or yellow pepper, finely diced

Lettuce

Method

1. Holding asparagus halfway up stalk, snap off woody ends at natural breaking point and discard. In wide, deep skillet or large pot of boiling salted water, cook asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender but not limp. Drain and run under cold water until completely cooled; drain well.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir saffron into 1 tsp boiling water. Let stand for 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in champagne vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Whisking, drizzle in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add asparagus and diced pepper; toss to coat.

3. Arrange on lettuce-lined serving platter.

Makes 6 servings. 

Buy the Book & Hold Your Own Titanic Feast!

Featuring an introduction by Walter Lord (author of A Night to Remember), Last Dinner on the Titanic presents a time capsule of Edwardian cuisine as it would have been enjoyed on board the RMS Titanic. Packed with photos, illustrations, and first-hand accounts of dining on that fateful ship, Dana McCauley & Rick Archbold present a unique opportunity to go back in time and experience the cuisine of first, second, and third class on board the ship. Complete with recipes, including the full menu of the final meal of the first class dining room served on April 14th, the book is the best resource for any foodie fan of the Titanic story. 

Buy Your Copy from Amazon Here! 

 

Episode Soundtrack