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Disney Food History: “Good Morning! What’s Good About It?”

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!

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

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10 Comments

  1. iheartbiscuits says:

    Gotta love the copious amounts of cream that were used.

    I also had to go look up “Shirred Eggs”.

  2. AFoodie says:

    Buttermilk is a common beverage in India, but I’ve never seen it on a non-Indian menu! :)

  3. Maseca says:

    Cereal with cream??? That’s crazy talk! But shirred eggs are divine. I serve them for dinner with spinach and polenta.

    The Carnation Ice Cream Parlor reminds me of the ice cream menu there during the 1980′s-1990′s. I distinctly remember the “Big Thunder” sundae which had a dusting of malted milk powder over it to make it look like a mountain. And my favorite was the “Star Tours” sundae which was chocolate ice cream with marshmallow cream, chocolate chips and whipped cream.

    When the new ice cream parlor opens up next year, I hope they have some inventive desserts like that again!

  4. AJ says:

    iheartbiscuits — Yeah! What are Shirred Eggs?!?

    AFoodie — I don’t imagine Buttermilk would be my first pick.. ;-D

    Maseca — I would LOVE to have a sundae with malted milk powder sprinkled over the top! That sounds delish!

  5. Aydin says:

    Dinsey? Who’s Dinsey?

  6. Alan says:

    A very interesting post. I think it shows how our taste in food changes, but in such a slow evolution that we barely notice. My parents would have looked at the commissary menu and thought it not unusual. I remember my father drinking Postum, eating corned beef hash with an egg and even eating lamb and pork chops for breakfast.

  7. Amy says:

    I also did a double take at “all cereals served with cream.” :O

  8. AJ says:

    Aydin — Thanks for the typo catch! :-)

    Alan — Back when breakfast was BREAKFAST! ;-)

    Amy — I wonder if “cream” was really cream… because that does sound a bit over the top!

  9. Marianne says:

    Cereal with cream (light or 1/2-&-1/2) is delish! A favorite midnight snacks, although I don’t indulge very often. When I traveled in the U.K. and Ireland 10-20 years ago, it was often offered at B&Bs. They wouldn’t even mention the “cream” part; it was just automatically what you got with cereal (hot or cold).

  10. James (Disneynorth) says:

    I’ve seen a copy of that original menu come up on eBay before. Came close to adding it to my collection but too expensive for my blood.

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