Image from the Culinary Institute of America, Conrad N. Hilton Library.
We have all been to catered events and have come to realize how boring the food can sometimes be. For the common folks, it’s often no more exciting than trays of ziti and some sort of chicken, which I’ll swear have the name Sysco Foods or US Foods branded on every bite.
That got me to thinking, what it would have been like to dine at an event for the Hudson Valley “Elite” back in the day when opulence and flamboyance were not considered to be near sinful. With a little digging around I came up with the menu for a gala Poughkeepsie event. The 25th anniversary of the elite and prestigious gentleman’s club, The Amrita Club.
The event was held on March 23, 1898, at the Nelson House in Poughkeepsie NY, one of the finest hotels between NYC and Albany. Needless to say, the working stiffs whose sweat dripped onto the floors of nearby docks, warehouses and factories, were not required to attend. They probably wouldn’t have liked it anyway. The bill of fare at their events consisted mostly of bring-a-dish entries.
You can click on the menu to the left for a larger view or read it here. The fare for this gala event consisted of:
Blue Points, Green Turtle, Salmon Hollandaise, Sweet Breads–French Peas, Roast Turkey–Cranberry Sauce, Cardinal Punch, Broiled Quail, Nesselrode Pudding, Cake–Fruit, Crackers, Brie Cheese, Coffee, Cigars.