You Can Eat The 'Last Meal' Served On The Titanic At An Orlando Exhibition

The demise of the "unsinkable" Titanic has become more than just a moment in history. While the fictional movie story of Jack and Rose might have mesmerized viewers at the awe and grandeur of the transatlantic journey, many have long wondered what it was truly like aboard that ship. For guests heading to Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, they can enjoy a taste of the passengers' final first-class dinner.

Available on Friday and Saturday nights, the Titanic First Class Dinner features a Captain's cocktail party, dinner, and reenactments of the night of the ship's sinking. The four course meal offers a taste of some menu items that could have been served on the Titanic. For adults, they can enjoy salad, soup, a plated entree of either chicken or beef, and dessert. Younger guests will enjoy a dinner of chicken fingers and mac and cheese. Although these food choices might not be an exact replica of the actual final Titanic menu, it is more about the "eatertainment" experience. The event seeks to recreate the ship's atmosphere. With iconic guests like Captain Smith and the unsinkable Molly Brown portrayed, the event is almost like dinner theater. Luckily for guests at the Orlando attraction, their final course does not involve navigating an icy disembarkation.

What food did Titanic passengers eat at their final dinner?

While today's cruise passengers might be more accustomed to buffets, quick service bites, and some select specialty dining, the first-class guests on the Titanic were treated to more opulent dining experiences. As shared, the galley was as well stocked as an elegant European restaurant. Even though the food offerings differed between the classes, the menu was far better than a cheese sandwich served in a to-go container. The chefs did their best to offer familiar and hearty options for all classes.

Based on the recovered menu, Executive Chef Rousseau prepared an elegant affair for the guests who paid for the VIP treatment. The first-class guests enjoyed a multi-course meal consisting of options like oysters, soup, salmon, filet, squab, and dessert. Paired with wine and other offerings, it was the luxury expected considering the ticket cost. Even though this menu is from April 14, 1912, the offerings read like a dinner at one of today's celebrated restaurants. Given the long voyage, the four to five-hour dining event allowed guests to savor the luxurious experience, even though they did not expect that notes of a violin would be played as the ship sunk into the abyss. 

Are Titanic dinners a taste of history or stepping too far into the macabre?

While the James Cameron movie might appeal to the romantic, it is more than the film fanatic who is into doing a deep dive into the history and mystery surrounding the Titanic. Whether it is visiting the ship's last port, exploring museums with various artifacts, or even recreating elements of that final night, some people wonder if the interest might go a little too far. As Dana McCauley, co-author of the book "Last Dinner on the Titanic" told NPR, the intent flavors that taste of history.

McCauley asserts food offers that glimpse into the past. Without getting into a time machine, recreating the dishes eaten at the final dinner can make people feel more connected to the event, the people, and era. Similar to how a particular dish or flavor can spark a personal memory, these Titanic recreations seek to make that greater connection. Although people can debate whether character dinner guests or other ambient details could be a little kitschy, the desire to sit at that table has not waned.