I'm serving food to 11 people in a dinner that is supposed to be set at the house of the Deputy Mayor of Casablanca in 1942. I can't seat that many people at table, so the food will have to be capable of being eaten from laps - I'm thinking of nibbles for a starter, followed by either a fork buffet or fork food such as a boeuf bourguignon.

How or where can I find out what food would have been served at one of these historical dinners?

  • I doubt that there is much fork food typical for that period. They used to dine on gigantic hams etc. But it shouldn't be hard to find recipe books from that period, maybe ask an antiquarian. I have a book on old English cuisine, but it is about much older times (although written in 1969). It cost 3 Euros on Amazon.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 19:07
  • 1
    You only need to find a ninety year old to ask...well one who was exposed to society dinners in their young adulthood. I admit they are not thick on the ground, but you must know someone who knows someone. The people I know of that age are mostly in nursing homes and similar places, and they generally appreciate company. Alas, my last surviving relative of that era has bad memory trouble caused by TIAs and in any case is about four states away. Commented Aug 17, 2011 at 22:16

1 Answer 1


The Los Angeles public library has a historical restaurant menu archive online, which will allow you to search restaurant menus for specific years. It will give you an idea of what fashionable people were eating at that time. The menu archive is a GREAT way to find ideas for period cuisine.

EDIT: I have a second historical menu archive for you! Collectiblemeals hosts a collection of menus for famous meals, including many presidential dinners.

Add in some Moroccan fare and a splash of French haute cuisine, and you should be able to build a historical and delicious menu.


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