Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Vegetarian Guest

By Alfred Fellows
from Macmillan's Magazine, 1:9 July 1906, pg. 670

11 pages about how to deal with a vegetarian guest in the early 1900s - things have not changed that much in 100 years!

Classification that Alfred proposed (although he admits a person may fall under two headings) - 

Vegetarian - abstains from poultry, fish, game, butchers meat .. for humanitarian motives
Inclusive (or Simple) Vegetarian - may eat cheese, milk, butter, maybe eggs.
Eggs-clusive (his spelling) Vegetarian - the above but no eggs
Non-Purin Vegetarian - A patient at Dr Alexander Haig's school of medicine - eats peas, lentils, mushrooms, eggs, and asparagus.
Literal (or Strict) Vegetarians - no animal products (nor let themselves be bullied into eating meat or products from animals.
Fruitarians - (this word existed in 1906?) - do not eat garden root vegetables - only fruit, nuts, cereals - some include milk, butter and cheese (call them Mixed Fruitarians? he wonders)
Occultists and Mystics - (jokingly?) those who only eat fruit and nuts and refuse food over which the fire has passed.  (raw foods)

Food Suggestions:
  • Make the guest's food look as close to other guests' food as possible, so as to not draw attention to his diet.
  • If serving fish, butterbean fritters could be made to look like fried sole.
  • Haricot chop - lentil steak
  • Savouries of peas, beans, or lentils
  • A chestnut dressing
  • use Cocoa-nut butter in puddings for fruitarians
"Another urgent counsel, - and once more, against preconceived notions -- rather give the vegetarian too little than too much of his special dishes.  The very foolish error that a vegetarian requires a sloppy diet of four times the bulk that a 'sensible person' takes dies hard, and leaves as a legacy the impression that he requires at least four times more food than the unconverted.  If he was so ill-advised as to try subsisting on potatoes and cabbages, probably he would; but on diet judiciously chosen he requires not more, but usually less than other people.  The old mistake lingers even in vegetarian restaurants."

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