Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
jhill

Restaurant Menu - July 1916

Recommended Posts

jhill

Here is a dinner menu for the "Hudsonia" in Edmonton for 8th July 1916. To me some things stick out:

1. The spread looks pretty good. Edmonton did not have a reputation for haute cuisine. This is the restaurant in the Hudson's Bay Department Store. Until very recently in our own time department store restaurants were very popular with middle of the road folks. The dining rooms of the major hotels were more up scale. In 1916 some charged 75c, with the swankiest place in town, The Macdonald, was priced at $1.50.

2. Rationing was not yet in place. Eventually food would be rationed so as to emulate the privations in England. Here, it did not make much sense. England imported food from Canada before the war. Due to lack of finance and transport, this trade dried up, leaving Canadian farmers with no outlet for their produce. There would have been political issues if the government had hastily clamped down on the domestic market.

3. Prohibition had just come into force. One wonders how the 'wine sauce' was prepared.

In those days, unlike today, restaurants had orchestras in the evenings. Of course, Sedgewick's Imperial Orchestra may have only had four pieces. One sees that even after two years of war they still have 'Tannhauser' on the programme.

I wonder if the food was okay or if drafting the menu was a feat of creative writing.

post-75-1276566620.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
janecavell

That description of the salad ('lettuce and egg') takes me back to the really boring salads of my childhood, just a lettuce leaf and a tomato. Thank goodness salads have moved on since then!

But I wouldn't mind going back to the days when you only had to choose between tea and coffee and didn't have twenty questions to answer before you got your beverage (americano/espresso/latte/cappucino....? regular or large? drink in or takeaway? hot or cold milk? soya milk or real milk.... etc etc)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
centurion
3. Prohibition had just come into force. One wonders how the 'wine sauce' was prepared.

I think it hadn't when the menu applied - Alberta voted for Prohibition in July 1916 (possibly later than the 8th) but it didn't take effect instantly as there are all sorts of things that have to be signed issued etc so any law almost anywhere can't be implemented instantly - the Hudsonia wine sauce probably just slipped in in time.

I know that Canadian Prohibition is a complex subject (and one I got to look at at University) from memory the legislation was often very badly drafted and resulted in 'unintended consequences'. For example it remained legal to produce whisky for export and the Central Government actually introduced a subsidy to encourage distillers to remain in business and produce for export (thus safe guarding jobs and helping the balance of payments).Whilst smuggling things into Canada was a criminal offence, smuggling things out and into another country was not. Thus for a while the Canadian government ended up subsidising the production of whisky that was subsequently run across the border in to the USA and sold in the bootleg market there - all perfectly legal in Canada.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
jhill
I think it hadn't when the menu applied - Alberta voted for Prohibition in July 1916 (possibly later than the 8th) but it didn't take effect instantly as there are all sorts of things that have to be signed issued etc so any law almost anywhere can't be implemented instantly - the Hudsonia wine sauce probably just slipped in in time.

..snip...

Your points are mostly correct, but in Alberta prohibition definitely came into force on 1st July 1916. The plebicite had been held in July 1915 and passed with a 60% margin. The same newspaper I scarfed this from announced the first arrests for selling liquor in town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
centurion

Slightly at odds

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia

Prohibition in Canada

[This text was published in 1948; for the full citation, see the end of the document]

Prohibition. The first Canadian prohibition of the sale of intoxicating liquors took place during the War of 1812, when an Act was passed, as a temporary war measure, to prohibit the exportation of grain and to restrain the distillation of spirituous liquors from grain. A local-option measure known as the Canada Temperance Act was passed in 1878, prohibiting the sale of intoxicating liquors in places that should adopt it. In subsequent years a number of counties and municipalities throughout Canada put the law into force, but the greatest advance in prohibition was made after the outbreak of the World War. In 1915 Saskatchewan closed every bar in the province and greatly reduced the number of dispensaries. A referendum of the people was taken at the latter end of 1916, and as a result the remaining liquor dispensaries were voted out of existence by a majority of seven to one. On June 1, 1916, prohibition became effective in Manitoba ; and in July of the same year Alberta voted for prohibition. In September a referendum was taken in British Columbia and prohibition won; in 1920 the question was recommitted to the people, and defeated. After this, liquor was sold under government supervision, in sealed packages. A legislative enactment declared for prohibition in Ontario in the year 1916. Thus by 1921 every province except Quebec and British Columbia had declared for prohibition. Later, all except Prince Edward Island returned to government control. Under Parts I and II of the Canada Temperance Act, provision is made for the prohibition of the sale of intoxicating liquors in counties and cities. A vote taken under these parts in the county of Compton, Quebec, in 1930, in response to a petition for the repeal of the Act in that county, resulted in favour of the repeal, which immediately became effective. Part III of the Act relates to penalties and persecutions, Part IV to the prohibition of the importation and exportation of intoxicating liquors into and from the provinces, while Part V. enacts provisions in aid of provincial legislation for the control of the liquor traffic. It is frequently known as the "Scott Act", from the fact that it was sponsored by Sir Richard Scott.

Consult W. R. Riddell, The first Canadian war-time prohibition measure (Can. hist. rev ., 1920), and R. E. Spence, Prohibition in Canada (Toronto, 1919).

Source : W. Stewart Wallace, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. V, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 401p., pp. 172-173

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John Gilinsky
Here is a dinner menu for the "Hudsonia" in Edmonton for 8th July 1916. To me some things stick out:

1. The spread looks pretty good. Edmonton did not have a reputation for haute cuisine. This is the restaurant in the Hudson's Bay Department Store. Until very recently in our own time department store restaurants were very popular with middle of the road folks. The dining rooms of the major hotels were more up scale. In 1916 some charged 75c, with the swankiest place in town, The Macdonald, was priced at $1.50.

Edmonton Alberta, Canada of course! With the exception of certain hotels, restaurants and clubs of Montreal, Quebec and a couple of similiar estabilshments in Toronto at the time (1916) most of Canada did NOT have a great reputation for "haute cuisine." Ours was a hearty simple fare based on the pioneering spirit: beans, pork, bacon, chicken, beef, hardtack, peas, wheat, corn, sheep(mutton), fish such as cod, salmon apples, cuccumbers, peaches, and the like. Since the vast majority of Canadians made their living directly or nearly so from the land, we were of course overwhelmingly agriculturally cultrually grounded. Since long hours of hard work were the norm for the majority of working adults (read overwhelmingly male) fancy food was NOT culturally demanded. Simple hearty working man's fare was the standard to be expected. Major hotels who catered to visiting persons and who needed to sell themselves offered "higher" end food as part of their selling appeal.

2. Rationing was not yet in place. Eventually food would be rationed so as to emulate the privations in England. Here, it did not make much sense. England imported food from Canada before the war. Due to lack of finance and transport, this trade dried up, leaving Canadian farmers with no outlet for their produce. There would have been political issues if the government had hastily clamped down on the domestic market.

Canadian rationing was only in part inspired by British food controls. It wasn't that Canadians had or anticipated food shortages at all, rather it was that the demands grew so great especially from Great Britain AND the overall economic incentives for EXPORTING foodstuffs became so appealing that rationaing was introduced into Canada. This last as you state was more for domestic economic support for Canadian farmers ensuring prices, partially distribution via government controlled railways and shipping and captive export markets due to overseas war shortages. Moreover, once the USA entered the war in April 1917 this required the Canadian government to negotiate with the US government and others regarding food controls, food prices and supply and markets.

3. Prohibition had just come into force. One wonders how the 'wine sauce' was prepared.

In those days, unlike today, restaurants had orchestras in the evenings. Of course, Sedgewick's Imperial Orchestra may have only had four pieces. One sees that even after two years of war they still have 'Tannhauser' on the programme.

Interesting point but we tend to forget just how many German Canadians and Canadians of Germanic descent there were. After the English(British) and French groups Germans made up the 3rd larges ethnic grouping in Canada. Moreover there were a fair if not large number of German Americans including Mennonites (peace loving!) who settled or lived in western Canada. Putting into the middle musical programe when presumably most listeners would have been busy eating, talking or drinking presumably a relatively short Germanic piece would have reflected the distinct possibility that some of the orchestra members were Germanic themselves and who wished to cater to what they would have realistically presumed to be fellow Germanic restaurant patrons. Live music was also one of the appeals of being "catered to" and thus setting a welcoming ambience for the pleasure of dining out (as it is today with the exception that MUZAK and ipods have transposed this PUBLIC musical accompaniment into a quiet individual's tastes!).

John

Toronto

Ontario

I wonder if the food was okay or if drafting the menu was a feat of creative writing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...