This menu, dated from a 4th of July visit by Buffalo Bill's Wild West to Szeged, Hungary, shows the menu for the meal that Buffalo Bill Cody, the cast and crew of his show, and special guests enjoyed in celebration of America's Independence Day.
Catered by D. Ballard, the evening's feast consisted of tomato puree, boiled codfish with hollandaise sauce, ham and spinach, chicken pot pie, beef short ribs with brown potatoes, stuffed duckling, young goose with giblet sauce, new potatoes and lima beans, spring onions and radishes, ice cream with strawberries, biscuits and cheese, assorted nuts and fruits, and coffee, tea, and cocoa.
The menu reflects both the American origins of Buffalo Bill and his show, as well as the European culture they were immersed in and the cultural aspirations and pretensions of Cody and the show's management.
For a fascinating look the intersecting cultural and culinary adventures of Buffalo Bill Cody, check out the new book "Galloping Gourmet: Eating and Drinking with Buffalo Bill" by Emeritus Director of the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, Steve Friesen.
Here is my review of the book:
Steve Friesen, the esteemed emeritus curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave, embarks on a fascinating culinary journey in his latest work, "Galloping Gourmet: Eating and Drinking with Buffalo Bill." This innovative book reveals an unexpected dimension of one of America's most iconic figures, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, exploring his evolution from a plainsman with humble dietary beginnings to a global showman with a palate for gourmet dining.
Friesen masterfully chronicles Buffalo Bill's life through the lens of his dining experiences, starting from his roots on the American Plains, where simple meals like cornbread and fried chicken were staples, to his later years enjoying the luxury of fine dining across America and Europe. The narrative is as rich and diverse as Cody's own life, detailing how his rising fame brought not only opportunities for gourmet indulgence but also a desire to share the finest dining experiences with his cast and crew, thereby introducing a diverse range of culinary delights to people from all walks of life.
What sets "Galloping Gourmet" apart is Friesen's ability to weave historical facts with engaging storytelling, bringing to life Buffalo Bill's exuberant zest for good food and drink. Through anecdotes and more than thirty annotated period recipes, readers are invited not just to learn about but also to taste the history of the American West. The book delves into Buffalo Bill's pioneering efforts in American food culture, such as opening the first Mexican restaurant east of the Mississippi and introducing popcorn to Paris, showcasing his role as a culinary ambassador.
Critics and culinary historians alike praise Friesen's work for its creativity, thorough research, and delightful narration. Statements from esteemed figures like Stuart Rosebrook and Sherry Monahan underscore the book's unique blend of culinary history and biography, highlighting its appeal to both fans of Buffalo Bill and food enthusiasts.
"Galloping Gourmet" is more than just a biography; it's a sensory journey through time. Friesen's detailed recounting of Buffalo Bill's culinary adventures and the inclusion of period recipes offer readers a tangible connection to the past. It’s a book that not only satisfies the curiosity of history buffs but also caters to the taste buds of those who love to explore historical cuisines.
In conclusion, "Galloping Gourmet: Eating and Drinking with Buffalo Bill" is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of American history, culinary evolution, and the life of an extraordinary showman. Friesen's book is a five-star feast for the mind and palate, providing a rich, flavorful taste of Buffalo Bill's world.
Galloping Gourmet is available at Amazon: https://amzn.to/3UBk7rd Or signed by the author at: https://www.dimelibrary.com/product-page/galloping-gourmet-by-steve-friesen