How were facilities for vegetarians on those days?


Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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Even these days there are places and situations where it can be awkward to get a choice of vegetarian meals in many parts of the world. I imagine it must have been worse during the Edwardian era and immediately thereafter.

Did a vegetarian have to take trouble to request special meals or were they catered for on request? I have a feeling that on board transatlantic ships vegetarians were considered as an undesirable nuisance by the victualing crew.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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I am reminded of the old joke about the restaurant with a sign on prominent display: 'ASK ABOUT OUR VEGETARIAN OPTIONS'. Those patrons who inquired were told "Eat meat or **** off!" I doubt it was quite that bad on the old liners, but it may have been a matter of requesting a particular dish from the menu "with the meat left off". On the other hand, even in 3rd Class the 'Hebrew' passengers had their own kosher cook, so there might well have been some veggie options too though they didn't appear on the menus. I imagine in 1st Class you could probably have expected more effort as the crew were always eager to please for a prospect of a larger tip at the end of the voyage. And of course for the wealthiest on board there was the option of eating in the a la carte restaurant, where you could probably order just about anything you wanted.
 

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