A Menu From The Gathering of A Raw Food Society From 1921 in Cinncinati
You may have thought that the raw food movement is a fairly new thing. The truth is that raw food groups have been around since at least the start of the 20th century. Here is a great example:
A menu from a gathering of a raw food group in 1921 has been unearthed which tells us some interesting things about what people were eating on their raw food diet back then. Here is a picture of the menu:
As you can see, the group was called the Apyrtropher Society. I found this description of the group:
“The Apyrtropher Society was a Chicago-based group of the early twentieth century, founded by George J. Drews, for the promotion of “unfired foods and hygienic dietetics” as the best means of preserving health and the attacking of allopathic medicine and any consumption of meat, alcohol, salt, processed sugar, and other unnaturalness in the human diet. Among their efforts to service the public good was a sanitarium, Health Haven, which employed Dr. J. W. Wigelsworth, D.N., of Pathometric and Anabolic fame, as lead diagnostician, offering all the latest in radiational and biodynamo-chromatic analysis.”
Looking at the menu in more detail we see some interesting things.
- Firstly, the soup is a bit of an unusual recipe that I have never tried. Tomatoes, cucumbers, beets and lemon juice. I am not a fan of beet root so I will not be trying this soon.
- Secondly we move on to the “Aesthetic Synede”. I am not sure what this means and can not find a definition for the word “synede” please feel fee to let me know. However this is a very unusual combination. Lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, bananas, almonds and honey. If this is a kind of salad it is certainly an unusual recipe. if you are willing to try it, let us know how it went!
- Thirdly, we move on to a Bromade. Once again, I can not find a suitable definition for this. Any clue would be good. The ingredients are: raisins, almonds and wholewheat flour. It is unusual to see flour used in raw food recipes today as it is generally not considered part of the raw diet. Potentially this tasted quite good, though I am not sure how palatable raw flour is.
- Fourthly, we have a Relish of Bananas, Cranberries and Honey. This is the second time they have used honey and they were clearly not vegan in the same way that people are today. Once again, an unusual combination of a sweet fruit, Bananas, with an acid fruit, Cranberries.
- Fifthly, Grape Drink, a mixture of Grapes, honey and water. Essentially this would taste like a sweet grape juice, probably quite delicious. Perhaps the grapes they had back then were not as sweet? Grapes on their own can make a sweet juice with out the need to add any sweetener.
- Lastly, we have the Unfired Pie. “Unfired Foods” was a common term for raw food back then. The pie contains:
Crust – raisins and flaked almonds, Filling – bananas, apples, almonds and coconuts.
This would probably be a delicious recipe if made today. It may be a little high in fat for some people but it would be a delicious one off treat.
We can learn a few things from this menu
- The concept of a mostly vegan, raw food diet was around as far back as the 1920s and there were enough people interested to host events at the Hotel Gibson (one of Cinncinnati’s best hotels at the time)
- They did not come across the concept of eating mono meals but instead ate unusual mixtures of foods.
- They did not eat meat or dairy but they did consume honey and therefore were not strictly vegan in terms of today’s definition of the word.
- They used dried fruits, nuts and whole wheat flour in some of their recipes
- They did not have a meal called a “salad”, unless that is what one of the unusual names means.
It is wonderful to try to make a connection through time with these old societies and communities of raw food eaters. Imagine what it would have been like to be there. Would they have been asking the same questions and having the same problems as people have today with this lifestyle?
Back then of course there would have been less processed food and fast food. The diet of that time would have been even lower in meat and dairy than it is today. Perhaps more people were open to the idea than now?
If you have any more information on this group or any other old raw food group feel free to get in touch.
As ever, we would appreciate if you share this post with others.
Looking to learn more about the raw food scene now? Why not come along to UK Fruitfest. You can learn more about the event at our registration page. http://www.fruitfest.co.uk/registration