Word Visualizations

In 1943, featured in boldface at the beginning of each menu read the words “Better short rations than a long war!” The Terrace Room was a luxurious restaurant whose characteristics stuck out more in comparison to the rest of the US especially during WWII.

Referring to the word cloud and frequency chart below, the prevalence of dairy is immediately noticeable: ‘cream’ has the highest frequency amongst all other words at 246 occurences from all menus. Close behind are ‘cheese’ and ‘milk’. Wartime rationing subjected dairy to rationing, allocating each registered American with 64 points for ‘meat, fish, and dairy each month -- that is, if the items were in stock in the market’. These points varied depending on the commodities’ availability, so it is interesting to note the frequency of consistency of such items throughout the 5 years of menus we have examined.

Despite the rationing in the US, it appears that The Terrace Room maintained a degree of affluence in their menus. https://www.history.com/news/food-rationing-in-wartime-america

Word Cloud created with Voyant

For a closer look CLICK HERE

We can see with smaller frequency menu items that even today we associate with high quality dining: ‘champagne’, ‘clam’, ‘shrimp’, ‘cocktail’, to name a few. Perhaps ‘imported’ could also be an indicator of this, because despite imported not necessarily implying fine dining, restaurants even today often remember to include this detail to attract the customer.

Term Frequency Chart created with Voyant

For a closer look CLICK HERE