Arnold Shircliffe — The Edgewater Beach Hotel Salad Book

This is a book I found in the library at school. Officially it is called The Edgewater Beach Hotel Book of Salads and I originally took it off of the shelf because it looked like a beautiful book. Then I opened it and was somewhat horrified by what was contained within. It was written originally in 1926; this edition is from 1928. Let me say that salads, at that time, were very, very, very very very different creatures. Many of them have cream cheese. Most are a bunch of sliced things “artistically” arranged on sad looking leaves of iceberg lettuce.

Here are a few pages to give you an idea of what most of them look like. I think the Lady Windmere looks a little like caterpillars. Personally, if I were Lady Windmere and someone named this thing after me I probably would have been extremely offended. The book made me so sad because it was obvious that Arnold Shircliffe was very passionate about salads and took this book quite seriously. I can’t quite get over the caterpillars though. Or the “salad” that is a half a tomato stuffed with scrambled eggs and draped with ham, sitting on top of iceberg lettuce.

This is the cover of the book. Quite lovely, right?

This is where you can see the terrible earnestness of Arnold Shircliffe in full force.

I would have been very offended if someone named this salad after me.

The "salad sandwich" is truly horrifying.

I wonder if all salads looked like this or if Shircliffe was just a mad scientist.

A page of actual recipes for comparison.

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2 Comments

Filed under Books, Libraries

2 responses to “Arnold Shircliffe — The Edgewater Beach Hotel Salad Book

  1. Oh, do not be sad! Yes, many of the salads are a bit weird by today’s standards but to be fair, a lot of what passes for salad today is just as sad, if not sadder and nowhere near as entertaining to look at. Anyway, the wealth of historical information in this book is pretty dizzying for a cookbook. Apparently, Mr. Shircliffe was quite the scholar, chef, socialite, and epicurean. Also, if you have not read the entire foreward and epilogue, do yourself a favor and do it. It is written in the grandiloquent style of the early 20th century that is unmatched today; you’ll chuckle so hard it will hurt. It is best read out loud amongst friends, perhaps after a few drinks.
    (PS I found this blog entry while doing a Google search for Arnold Shircliffe). Cheers!

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