Visual Analyses

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Wordcloud of Vegetarian Menu

This visualization is a cirrus/word cloud derived from datasets collected from Digital Scholar Lab. The terms appearing on this visualization are the most used terms in our dataset, with font size representing which are used more than the others. Being a collection of vegetarian dishes, we can see that the most used term is "vegetables", which we believe is the centerpiece of many of the dishes. "Meat" is also frequently used in our data, which we observe is most likely due to the fact that vegetarian (meat alternative) dishes are offered simultaneously with meat dishes, so that guests with different food preferences can enjoy their meals at the restaurants. It is also displayed in the visualization that many vegetarian dishes in this time feature "potatoes", "butter", "soup", "bread", and "pudding", and that many of the dishes were served in the UK. "War" is also a common term from these menus, as it was wartime and many of these menus were found in British and American newspapers.

Ngram Bar Chart

This bar chart of term frequencies reaffirms the trends discussed above, and it is interesting to note that potatoes and beans are the most commonly mentioned vegetables across the 34 menus from the content set used to create this analysis. Even though these menus were pulled from Digital Scholar Lab, it upholds the commonality of beans and potatoes as popular vegetarian options that were seen in the New York Public Library menus displayed on our Gallery page. 

"Buy fresh fish, save the meat for our soldiers and allies"

Canadian rationing poster from WWI encouraging citizens to purchase fish and save meat for the troops (from Library of Congress).

It should also be noted that WWI was an interesting time for vegetarian dishes - rationing propaganda like this poster on the left promote the consumption of less meat (poultry, red meat, pork) in favor of fish, as to save hearty meat for the troops. As a result, this may have caused a shift in meal options to serve more vegetables and seafood dishes.