One of the newest additions to my home library is Menu Design in America, a lavishly illustrated history of, you guessed it, menu design in America.
This book is a fabulous resource for any student of food history or graphic design, but as a Disney foodie my favorite page is the one dedicated to the commissary breakfast menu at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, circa 1942.
The grumpy Donald on the cover is a nice comic touch, giving a sense that Disney was a fun place to work right from the start. “Good Morning!,” shouts an unseen lark. “What’s good about it?,” replies Donald. Maybe they were only serving Nescafe
The menu items are both educational and amusing. Buttermilk as a standard beverage! Coffee for a nickel! Pound cake as a breakfast item! Stewed prunes, my grandma’s favorite!
And I was left with some questions: Why is grape juice more expensive than orange or tomato juice? What’s a cream waffle? Were lamb chops a common breakfast food? Must do some research.
That’s all the Disney in this large coffee-table book, but the entire volume is filled with similar amusements. Definitely worth a look.
And if you want to stick with historical Disney menus, check out this Disneyland Carnation Ice Cream Parlor menu from 1962!