Ever wondered when the humble apple pie first appeared in restaurant menus? Or where people went to eat salmon in the 19th century and how much they paid for it? How much could you get a cup of coffee for a century ago? Lucky for you, New York Public Library has digitized and transcribed nearly 45,000 menus, from all over the world, dating from the 1840s to present times. The transcriptions contain very specific information pertaining to the names of the dishes, down to the price of each dish. This project is entirely volunteer-driven. Over 9000 menus were digitized in just 3 months. The archives are housed in the Rare Books Division of the Library. The goal of the project is to, ultimately, make this collection available to educators, researchers, chefs and other people that might be interested in lost treasures of a long forgotten culinary history. Amongst this vast assortment of menus, we managed to find a few gems closer to home. For instance, what was being served at the private dinner held by the Maharaja of Baroda in honor of the Maharaja Scindia in 1897? But first, here are two others.
I. Dinner by The Earl of Minto, Viceroy of India at Government House, Calcutta, January 8, 1906
II. Dinner to T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales at Government House, Malabar Point, Bombay, November 11, 1905
III. Dinner by the Maharaja of Baroda for the Maharaja Scindia, Gwalior, January 29, 1897