academia barilla  December 2008

Historic Thanksgiving Menus from 1927 and 1929

Before we all forget the Thanksgiving weekend and the nice warm time [...]

Before we all forget the Thanksgiving weekend and the nice warm time we had with our families and friends, we want to share something else we found at BIGAB, the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library in Parma, Italy.

With more than 8,000 titles of gastronomy art, italian and international food culture, and everything cuisine, BIGAB is also proud to treasure culinary and recipe books, hand-written volumes and rare gastronomy treats, some of them dating back to the 16th century.

At the beginning of last year Academia Barilla and BIGAB acquired an historic and rare menus collection we already blogged about, and thanks to our BIGAB friends we managed to select two special historic menus from the collection that are in tune with the Season: Historic Thanksgiving Menus from the US Embassy in Rome’s official Thanksgiving dinners in 1927 and 1929.

The US Embassy in Rome booked for the events a very exclusive locations in Rome such as the Hotel Excelsior, in the heart of Via Veneto that, with the cinema industry boom 30 years later, would have become the heart of the Roman Dolce Vita.


special VIP dinner followed by a gala dance, as in the Thanksgiving 1927 event, and of course plenty of gourmet food, American gourmet reinterpreted by the Italian Chefs at the Excelsior.


This last picture, from the Thanksgiving 1929 menu, doesn’t really show how precious the invitation is – the US flag crossing a missing flag (the Italian flag, that unfortunately has been lost before BIGAB’s acquisition) is a real little flag with the actual pole and flag fabric!

Also the menu is balanced and, of course, gourmet American: Ox tail, Cheese Straws and Tomato Soup, followed by Turbot Washington, and Stuffed Turkey with a side of Cranberry Sauce, Excelsior Potatoes, Texas Salad, and Asparagus Chantilly. Roosevelt Mandarines, the traditional Pumpkin Pie and Fruits closed the gala dinner and, we are sure, opened the gala dance as in the previous Thanksgiving event!

Now that we posted this last Thanksgiving post we can look forward and start getting in the Christmas mood!

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