The Raleigh Hotel Wheatless Dinner, Washington D.C. 1917
A hundred years ago, diners in the US gave wheat a miss in restaurants- but for different reasons than many people’s desire today to be gluten-free.
At the Raleigh Hotel in Washington DC there were Wheatless Wednesdays. This menu from the hotel restaurant dated 1917 is an example. The hotel also had Meatless Tuesdays.
These initiatives were requested by the United States Food Administration, the agency responsible for preserving food supplies for troops fighting in World War I. One of its important tasks was the stabilization of wheat prices on the US market so that a fair price for wheat could be maintained.
The rationale behind Meatless Tuesdays and Wheatless Wednesdays was readily accepted by the patriotic folks holding the fort at home – though by the look of this menu those who ate at The Raleigh didn’t exactly go hungry.
*Courtesy Margaret Barclay Wilson Collection of Books on Foods and Cookery at The New York Academy of Medicine.
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