Dinner on the Titanic - What the Third Class Ate

April 14th marked the 100th anniversary of the tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic. Living in Halifax, the Titanic has always had a strong connection here, as the city was the closest port to the disaster in the frigid North Atlantic. Halifax played a key role in communications as well as the recovery of 300 bodies; 170 of those poor souls are buried here, within three local cemeteries. It has always been a big attraction for tourists, but particularly in light of the anniversary, it's certainly a big deal this weekend.

One of the local attractions this week was a dinner based on the White Star Line's menu for the Titanic. You can see the original Titanic menu for April 14th, 1912, right here: http://www.webtitanic.net/framemenu.html#G. If ever there was a place where you could see the class differences on the ship, it was the menu. If you traveled first class, your dinner choices would have included oysters, salmon, foie gras, beef sirloin, ice cream and eclairs - true decadence. Those in second class also had lovely courses, including baked haddock, curried chicken, and roast turkey. Perhaps not as exclusive, but nothing to pooh-pooh at either. At the very least, their dinner was served in courses. Lastly, there was a sparse menu for those at the very bottom of the ship - figuratively, and literally - the third class passengers. There were no specific courses, and their menu was such:

Vegetable Soup
Roasted Pork with Sage and Pearl Onions
Green Peas
Boiled Potatoes
Plum Pudding with Sweet Sauce
Cabin Biscuits

Had I been a passenger at that time, I most certainly would have been in this category, given my Irish-Canadian heritage. Therefore, I dedicate this week's post to the third class passengers of the Titanic, and will make a dinner in their honour: 

Along with these economical dishes, we had boiled potatoes. Was it lacking, despite being the bill of fare for those in steerage? Not one bit. The biscuits and soup were a big hit for the six year old passenger, and the cook's mate had a hard time imagining this was peasant food. 


  1. denise @ singapore shiokApril 17, 2012 at 2:13 AM

    Hmmm.....if soup, biscuits, sage roasted pork and plum pudding for dessert was bottom of the ship fare, then all I can say is people used to eat waaaaaaay too well back then! That roast pork plate looks scrumptious, especially the cheesy biscuits. Bet you knew I'd say that :D


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