Monday, September 28, 2015

The Ichthyophagous Club Dinner in 1885.

The Ichthyophagous Club was started in New York in 1880. According to an article in the New York Times in July 1881, the club “was organized ostensibly to eat novel and entertaining fish. Its founders professed to believe that there are as good fish in the sea as have ever been put in the frying-pan, and they proposed to demonstrate this by eating fish that had hitherto being looked upon as inedible.”

The annual dinner of the Ichthyophagous Club in 1885 was held at the Hotel Buckingham on October 21st. There were certainly some marine creatures placed before the club members at the annual dinner in 1885 which are not commonly seen on bills of fare:

Blue Points
                                                                                                --                                                             Fin de Graves
Extract of Razor Clams
Bisque of Star Fish                                                                                          
Radishes              Celery      Olives                                Royal Sherry
Squid, Fried [Chondopterygien]
Winkles, Burgundy Fashion
Sea Spider Crab a l’Infernal                                          Liebfraumilch
Cray Fish du Potomac    
Cucumbers                         Hollandaise Potatoes
Skate, Cream Sauce [Acandopterygien]
Crevalle a la Marsellaise.
Sea Robins, Bakes a l’Amphitrite
Salmon [Royal Fish,] Parisian Style                          Pontet Carnet
Buisson of Lobster, Tartare Sauce
Filet of Beef
Mushrooms and Tomatoes Farcies                            French Peas
Stewed Terrapin, Buckingham Style
Broiled Teal Duck                                            G.H. Mumm’s
Cordon Rouge
Lobster Salad     Crab Salad           Lettuce Salad
Neapolitan Ice Cream                     Fruit Jelly           Assorted Cakes
Fancy Pyramide                Fruit                      Cheese
Café       Liqueurs

I would like to have given you a recipe for the bisque, but sadly I was unable to find anything at all made from starfish.

Skate or Bale au Naturel.
Pare and cut off the fins from half a skate weighing four pounds the half; divide it into six square pieces, wash them well, being very careful to scrape it with a sharp knife, so as to remove the mucus adhering to it. Put the pieces into a saucepan in which are already placed one sliced carrot, one onion, half a bunch of parsley- roots, one sprig of thyme, two bay-leaves, half a handful of whole peppers, plenty of salt — at least a handful — and half a cupful of vinegar. Cover it well with water, boil on a moderate fire for forty-five minutes, then take it off and lift up the pieces of skate with a skimmer; lay them on a table, and remove the skin from both sides; place them on a deep dish, and strain the stock slowly over, and use, whenever needed, with any kind of sauce desired.
The table: how to buy food, how to cook it, and how to serve it;

by Alexander Filipini (New York, 1895.)

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