Friday, January 15, 2016


INTERNATIONAL: SEA AND OCEAN DISASTERS: Part 1 - Hindenburg Dining and Menus


Cooking aboard the Hindenburg presented a unique set of challenges. Of course, when dealing with an enormous balloon full of highly flammable gas, open flames were strictly forbidden. The galley of the ship was fully electric, from stoves to ovens. A head chef had a team of five assistants to help with all the duties of serving three meals a day to a hungry crew of 60 along with the 40 or so passengers. Roughly 440 pounds of meat and poultry were brought aboard, along with 800 eggs and 40 gallons of milk, among other supplies. Even though the average Zeppelin voyage only lasted three days, extra food was carried, in case of delays due to storms or other dangerous weather conditions.
No breakfast menus exist for the Hindenburg trips, as voyagers dined on the now-ubiquitous “Continental” style breakfasts—a spread of pastries, eggs, meats and fruits. As both German and American passengers flew on the ship, breakfast eggs could be prepared in two ways: soft-boiled in the shell for Germans, scrambled or fried for the Americans. Bread was baked freshly every day. Lunch and dinner had proper menus, so we know exactly what the passengers ate. Travelers on the airship were well-heeled, well-traveled individuals, often sports or film stars or leaders in the increasingly powerful Nazi government. As such, they dined on a glamorous mix of French, German and English cuisine. Lunch was always a first course of soup or salad (different types of consommé were especially popular), followed by some kind of roast meat with a couple of vegetable sides, a tart or cake and coffee. On the ill-fated last day of the final trip, lunch was English style roast beef with turnips, stuffed tomatoes and roast potatoes, with a French-style rice pudding for dessert.
Dinner was more elaborate, with separate fish and cheese courses added to the proceedings. Halibut with mousseline sauce and roast capon were on the menu for the final dinner, along with traditional German pumpernickel and rye breads. The Hindenburg had its own wine cellar, full of bottles of German Rieslings and Mozelles. And for after dinner drinks, the ship featured a fully stocked, elaborately decorated bar, directly next to the most popular room on the ship: the smoking parlor. How did they get away with a smoking section on a hydrogen ship, you might ask? The room had a double door airlock, and was kept pressurized at a higher level than the rest of the ship to keep flammable hydrogen from entering the room. The bartender’s main job wasn’t just pouring cocktails – he was also the first line of defense for the ship in case any tipsy passengers wandered in with flaming cigarettes!

About the Menus (photos were difficult to find so I did my best to replicate)

Tuesday, May 4th, 1937

Mittagessen                                             (Lunch)

         Kraftbrühe Gutenberg                              (Consommé Gutenberg)

             Englische Hochrippe                                 (English Prime Ribs of Beef                                      Kohlrabigemüse                            with Young Turnips)
      Gefüllte Tomaten                                     (Stuffed Tomato)
     Pflaumenkartoffel                                       (Plum Potatoes)
         Richelieu Pudding                                  (Richelieu Pudding)
          Mokka                                                (Demi-Tasse)



Abendessen                                           (Dinner)

  Legierte Cremesuppe                                     (Cream Soup)
    Frischer Schweizinger                                 (Fresh Whole Swiss
mit rohrem Schinken – zerl.               Asparagus  with Smoked Westphalian                                                                            Ham & Melted Butter)
   Farciertes Kalbskotelette                                    (Veal Cutlet Farci
        mit Malta Kartoffeln                                       with Malta Potatoes)
          Gurkensalat in Sahnen-Marinade                      (Cucumber Salad in Cream Sauce)
  Gemischtes Kompott                                          (Mixed Compote)

Wednesday, May 5th, 1937

Mittagessen                                                (Lunch)

       Kraftbrühe Germinal                                       (Consommé Germinal)
  Junter Lammbraten                                              (Roast Lamb with  Prinzessbohnen                                      (with Princess Beans)
     Bäckerinkartoffel                                             (Baker’s Potatoes)
       Kopfsalat                                                      (Lettuce Salad)
   Diplomaten-Crème                                            (Diplomat Crème)
       Mokka                                                        (Demi-Tasse)


              Tapiokasuppe  mit   Gemüsestreifen                                     (Tapioca Soup                                                                                                   with Julienne Vegetables)
Heilbuttschnitte gekocht                                    (Boiled Halibut)
    Mouseline Tunke                                           (Mousseline Sauce)
    Salzkartoffel                                                 (Salted Potatoes)
          Brüssler Mastpoularde mir Gemüse                                   (Capon a’la Brussels                                                                                                  with Mixed Vegetables)
  Gemischte Käseplatte                                (Assorted Cheese Platter)
  Pumpernickel-Knäckebrot                             (Pumpernickel Crisp Bread)
   Westfälisches Schwarzbrot                            (Westfalian Dark Rye Bread)

Capon or chicken with mixed vegetables

  Tapioca Soup with Julienne Vegetables (modern version not using julienned veggies)


Cucumber Salad in Cream Sauce

  Assorted Cheese Platter

 Baker’s Potatoes

 Diplomat Crème

 Boiled Halibut 

  Pumpernickel Crisp Bread

Westfalian Dark Rye Bread

  Consommé Gutenberg

  Stuffed Tomato

Fresh Whole Swiss Asparagus  with Smoked Westphalian Ham & Melted Butter

 Consommé Germinal

Roast Lamb with Princess Beans

 Richelieu Pudding

   Mousseline Sauce

  Cream Soup

   Veal Cutlet Farci

   Mixed Compote