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Old Menu from the Titanic

Food History

The Last First-Class Meal on the Titanic

It was on April 15th, 1912, in the early hours of the morning, when the prestigious Titanic cruise ship hit an iceberg and sank with over a thousand passengers onboard.

The tragic event made history as the ship sank two miles down to the ocean floor losing hundreds of passengers and valuables. There were three classes of passengers on the ship; 324 First-class passengers, 284 Second-class passengers and 709 third-class passengers. Those in first class had the highest chance of survival as they were accommodated in the upper decks and could get off the ship in time. Amongst the survivors from first class were a few left-over copies of the previous night’s dinner menu which were kept in the passengers’ pockets. This gives us a glimpse into what their luxurious lifestyle entailed from what had to be their last meal on the Titanic.

The Menu starts off with hors d'oeuvres, oysters, soup and fish. No formal dinner was complete without soup and fish. Then, we move on to the entrées, serving a choice of lamb, beef or duck with a selection of vegetables the night before the tragedy. By the time you make it to the sixth course, you would need a break from the food with a sip of icy punch romaine to cleanse palate. Whilst the next course of this meal was squab, it was traditionally roast game. For the final courses, passengers enjoyed a plate of salad and of course, dessert. Certainly a notable event for the food history books. 

First-class passengers could dine in multiple dining rooms and were served delicious, fine food off silver platters every night. Each course had its own wine pairings and the Titanic even had a smoking room with spirits and cigars for men to retire to after a fulfilling dinner, whilst the women could enjoy a coffee in the lounge.  The dress code was full on evening, with men wearing black tailcoats and trousers, white shirts with high collars, waistcoats and bow ties. The women wore elaborate gowns in a range of colours, patterns and fabrics. The dining ambience was also elevated with the tunes of a five-piece orchestra for the ultimate experience. Such passengers' backgrounds ranged from upper-middle classes all the way to the top of society. 

Once they learned there would not be enough lifeboats to save the passengers, several first-class men chose to remain onboard, adhering to the strict social code of the world they lived in to the very end.

A wide variety of quality ingredients are available from Arkadia supermarkets in Malta and Gozo, including Arkadia FoodExpress Swatar and Arkadia Food Market Valletta.

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