Would you eat the bizarre diet of Victorian Cambridge University scholars?

Bizarre and stodgy diet of Victorian Cambridge university scholars has just been discovered.

The bizarre and shocking eating habits of Victorian scholars have been revealed in documents found in a university archive.

Students at Cambridge’s Girton College survived on a relentless round of stodge, meat and more stodge, according to work records recently discovered.

One of the dinning halls. The bizarre and shocking eating habits of Victorian scholars have been revealed in documents found in a university archive.

The academics would eat several meals a day – all including meat – starting off with cooked breakfast typically consisting of egg, ham and or fish.

Works records from 1896 to 1903 show that every dinner was finished with heavy boiled or backed desserts, with stodgy sago a prominent ingredient.

Sago – a carbohydrate-starch found in some palm trees – and was blended with water to form a paste-like pudding base.

The bizarre and shocking eating habits of Victorian scholars have been revealed in documents found in a university archive.

Dinner at Girton college was always served with a baked or steamed pudding: Baked Tapioca, Capital Pudding, Castle Pudding, and Vermicelli Pudding, to name a few.

Sago Pudding is made with Sago, water and sugar, and frequently featured, on Girton’s menu, alongside Steamed Sago, Sago Shapes, and even Sago Soup.

Girton College, Cambridge.

The majority of the puddings on the menu at Girton – which was a women only college – would not be so popular today, formed of ingredients like boiled rice, rum and sugar.

Girton became the first Cambridge women’s college to admit men in 1976.

Hannah Westall, Girton’s archive specialist, said: “The books are fascinating to look at.

The bizarre and shocking eating habits of Victorian scholars have been revealed in documents found in a university archive.

“It would have been a working archive, which makes it them all the more interesting.”

The three menu books in Girton’s archive reveal a glimpse of life in the college between 1896 and 1903, showing pictures of the food halls, and recipes of the meals eaten there.

Ladies at Girton College, Cambridge during the 1930’s.

Though it is unclear as to why exactly the books were kept, the detail inside them brings to life what Cambridge was like in the years around 1900.

Woman loses six stone and ‘looks ten years younger’ thanks to extreme diet 95 per cent fruit based

Could humble Hash be the solution to our food waste problem?

Since you’re here …

Real, independent, investigative journalism is in alarming decline. It costs a lot to produce. Many publications facing an uncertain future can no longer afford to fund it. This means journalists are losing the ability to hold the rich and powerful to account.

We do not charge or put articles behind a paywall. If you can, please show your appreciation for our free content by donating whatever you think is fair to help keep TLE growing.

Every penny we collect from donations supports vital investigative and independent journalism. You can also help us grow by inviting your friends to follow us on social media.


Donate Now Button

Leave a Reply