On scanning the menus and bills of fare it strikes one as peculiar to see so many proper names and other ones used. Guests are often puzzled by such names and invariably ask what they signify.
The thousands of different styles of preparing dishes from the proportionally few ingredients (elements) cannot all be briefly named without them. But in modern times there is an objectionable custom introduced of using proper names, etc. They appear very obtrusively on bills of fare while the principal discriptions are left out. The French have gone so far, even, that they sometimes use a personal name for a dish as for instance Soubise for a soup. And if they write Orly d'asperges then it does mean nothing else but Asperges a VOrly (Asperges a la d'Orly) in English : Asparagus in Orly style. It is only natural that such misrepresented names of dishes do not, assist in making the culinary language clear. This bad habit has been adopted more or less in other languages and it has become so universal that it will be hard to return to intelligible writing, In the following instances one can see that the simplest dishes are sometimes called by absolutely unintelligible names when plain English words would be far more satisfactory.
Potatoes Bonne Femme Turkey en demi-deuil.
Consomme Royal Consomme vert-pre.
Sauted potatoes w. Bacon and Onions Truffled Turkey; Turkey w. truffled cream sauce.
Clear soup w. vegetables.
Thick chicken soup, Hortense (with Parmesan cheese, chicken balls [and vegetables Consomme w. vegetables, Montpensier [Montpensier (with shredded vegetables and [whipped eggs).
Pullet fricassee Talleyrand Pullet fricassee w. lettuce.
Veal sweetbread, Talleyrand Larded veal sweetbread, Talleyrand (w. stewed vegetables, truffles, chicken [balls, and asparagus tips on rice) Anchovy paste, Millionaire (Anchovies [hashed and mixed with yolks, [butter, olives, cream, etc. [Thickened, cut in cubes and [served on toast) Potato-Celery Salad, Micado Mixed Salad, Italian Mixed Salad, Hunter's.
Salad, Micado Salad, Italian Salad Chasseur.
Salad Hollandaise a la HusarMixed Salad, Dutch.
From the foregoing it can be readily understood that many of the proper names, etc., can be omitted. There is absolutely no reason for their inclusion at all; on the contrary they make the names of the dishes all the more mysterious. By omitting the said names and substituting plain words one can give the dishes more intelligible names. But on the other hand, one also can see that certain dishes must have personal or other style names to briefly indicate the many different ingredients that are used in their preparation.
Now that we are familiar with the instances quoted in the foregoing chapters and also with the explanations, we may set the following rules:
1. All dishes are primarily named according to their main ingredients and their main preparation.
2. QPlain ingredients in soups and plain side dishes should be given their real names: Wine Soup w. Dumplings, Co n-s o m m e w. Egg, Milk Soup w. Rice, Roast Veal with String Beans, etc.
3. Plain sauces, garnitures, fillings and salads should be named according to their ingredients : Butter Sauce, Apple Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Bread Filling, Potato Salad, Fruit Salad, as to garnitures :with French fried Potatoes, with Asparagus Tips, etc.
4- Several ingredients in soups are followed by style names, e. g. Thick Chicken Soup, Hortense, etc.
5. Complicated prepared sauces are called by proper names, etc., whereby the word sauce must always be mentioned if it does not appear in the heading: Sauce/, /M a r e n-g o (Marengo Sauce), Sauce/, /Rachel (Rachel Sauce), Sauce/, /Soubise (Soubise Sauce), etc.
6. Complicated prepared garnitures are designated by proper names, etc. The word garniture can be left out and the proper names, etc., can follow right after the name of the ingredients and its preparation which is garnished. Designations are not given to complicated fillings but a stuffed food is simply mentioned as being stuffed (filled) : Larded, roast Tenderloin of Beef, Baltimore /garniture/, Stuffed Breast of V e a 1/, American Style/, etc.
7. Other than liquid dishes (no soups) which are prepared with several ingredients (no garnitures) for which a short name cannot be given are designated with style names as e. g. in Anchovies, Millionaire (better: Anchovy Paste, /Millionaire). Similar dishes which have names that already include known ingredients and preparations but which can be prepared in different styles are called with style names: Goulash/, /Hungarian (Hungarian Goulash); Goulash/, /Bohemian (Bohemian Goulash); Chi c.k en Fricassee, French; Chicken Fricassee, R o n a n; etc.
8. Complicated prepared salads are divided into five classes: Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, Fish, and Mixed Salads. The different styles of such are given proper names, etc.
9. Certain dishes which are plainly prepared do not need to be designated with their principal manner of preparation as they are to be known as plain. Therefore, if the name of an element (a food) is given without the kind of preparation then the simple customary method of preparation is always meant: Carrots, Peas, String Beans, Asparagus, etc. If such dishes are prepared in a different way then give the manner of pre-them with style names. If a dish can be fried, pa ration; if prepared in a complicated style call baked, etc., in different ways, then the style designation is used as in the following instances: Fried Potatoes, French/ style/ (French Fried Potatoes); Fried Potatoes, German/ style/ (German fried Potatoes).
10. Therefore, style designations may express: Several ingredients in soups, a complicated prepared garniture, a complicated style of preparations, and different styles for such names of dishes that include known preparations and ingredients. (It is understood that spices, with few exceptions, are not included in the words several ingredients as they are to be considered as self-evident in certain dishes).
These rules, together with the other explanations given, explain which meaning the personal nouns, geographical names, titles, etc. should have on bills of fare and menus if intelligible naming is desired to the advantage of all interested in the restaurant trade. The guests will but rarely ask the meaning of a style designation, and if they should ask it can be easily explained to them that all style names have an unchangeable meaning as given under No. 10. A waiter may politely remark that it is not possible to learn the meaning of more than 10,000 style names and that they are only secondary designations. A short printed explanation on the bills of fare may do much good. The guests will easily understand this and the waiters and others will be relieved of much trouble.
Furthermore it is to the advantage of waiters and waitresses when taking a position in a new place because they do not lose any time in studying the names on a bill of fare which is new to them. Every waiter knows what it means and how long it takes to get well acquainted with names peculiar to a restaurant, and therefore will welcome this innovation. And the headwaiters, managers and proprietors have the advantage of breaking in new waiters and other men, who want to become waiters, quicker and with less trouble. This feature should not be underestimated, especially at a time when shortage of labor prevails. A guest very likely will ask what Soup Bourgeoise and Soup Bretonne means, but is perfectly satisfied with Consomme, Bourgeoise and Bean Puree Soup, Bretonne. The same in the case of Caviar in Eggs, Varsovienne for Eggs, Varsovienne. One may say: "We also serve smoked salmon and jelly with this." To this one can answer that the named dish is an expensive one and by mentioning caviar, as undoubtedly the dearest of the four things, the guest will see that it is worth the price mentioned. And just the word caviar may tickle his tongue and make him give an order while the simple word Egg would not produce an order from him. The salmon and jelly may be considered as secondary and is expressed by the designation Varsovienne (or better and snorter in English: Warsaw), though it would be better to call it Caviar in Eggs w. Salmon and Jelly. By making up a bill of fare one must ask: "In which way can a dish be named most attractively and to the best advantage"? Business men have spent millions for attractive advertisement and thousands have made it their trade and have become experts in setting their words for attractive ads. Every maker of bills of fare should become an expert in naming dishes. Success is bound to come, and the day is not far distant when large restaurants will employ special men for this art of naming dishes which, to a very small extent, is already being done. Write Apple Fritter; Puff-paste Patty of Chicken; Sour Roastbeef with Potato Dumplings; Giblet Soup, Spanish; etc. for Apple Beignet; Vol-au-vent fof Chicken; Sauerbraten with Potato Dumplings; Godinga; etc., even, if some people may say that one or the other name does not exactly tally with the translation. Rather leave out 25% or more of the names on a large bill of fare and use the room for detailing the rest as there are already too many dishes offered on most of the table cards, so that a guest gets confused and uses more time for reading it than he perhaps would spend on a newspaper and this to the disadvantage of a house in busy hours. It will save more money and stop wasting of food to such an extent that the average restaurant proprietor will be surprised at the result. How many "little" things are kept in stock just waiting for a call and often spoil by being held too long only because there are too many dishes offered, most of which are not given in detail but presented with such confusing names and, are therefore not ordered.