Picks and Pans Review: Last Dinner on the Titanic

updated 08/11/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/11/1997 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley

At 11:40 p.m. on April 14, 1912, the unsinkable vessel gave a loud shudder, sending a pan of freshly baked rolls tumbling to the floor of the first-class galley. RMS Titanic had made its fatal contact with an iceberg. Not that many of its wealthier passengers would have noticed—most were already in their cabins, sated after eating a nine-course, Escoffier-inspired menu that included quail eggs with caviar and lobster thermidor. Part cookbook, part Edwardian history text, Dinner recreates the culinary world of that White Star-crossed liner with archival photographs and some 50 recipes served onboard, from the elegant first-class dining saloon to the simpler communal tables of third-class (where passengers ate a last supper of beef stew and pickles). The result is a handsome and sadly fascinating volume that could help you plan your own night to remember, right down to the specially folded napkins. (Hyperion, $24.95)

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