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!