This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
This Is a minority report. There is almost always a minority that disagrees; somtimes the minority is called a respectable one, and it is allowed to present a report even after the question has been decided against it It is decidedly in bad taste to include "Relishes," with big black letters, as a heading in a bill of fare, and being in bad taste it Is wrong, and is so acknowledged by nearly all, for the finest Sunday bills and Christmas and New Years bills, which are sent out for show, seldom include any "relishes"; yet a minority of those who send them out put "relishes" on their bills the very next day, and every day, for the home folks and for that class of travelers that wants a large and plentiful-looking bill for so much a meal. A part of this minority runs "relishes" in order to encourage manufacturers of table delicacies, inventors of new table sauces, importers of foreign novelties, purveyors of pure oils, the makers of all that glittering array of finely bottled and artistically labeled goods which makes the shelves of the dealers in fancy groceries the handsomest display in the city; and, as there is no limit to the enterprise of some hotel keepers and stewards, who make the excellence of their table the pride of their life, they constantly look over the columns of their hotel papers to see what new oils, catsups, soys, chutneys, salad dressings, fish sauces, flavored vinegars, or whatever else have lately come into U8e and fashion, and to find the places to buy them.
Others still, belonging to the minority, grow very tired of catering to people who are not, in the mass, gastronomically educated, and they try to educate their customers to a point beyond Worcestershire sauce by placing on their tables such things as mushroom and walnut catsups, Bengal and Madras chutneys, chili-colorado, Tabasco sauce, anchovy essence, Harvey's sauce, India soy, tarragon vinegar, and compounds of that class to the number of about fifty, in turn, and when they find the bottles remain untouch d, or scarcely a bottle used up in a year, because these are such mysterious things, they put the names of such "relishes" on their bill of fare, knowing that as everybody has read about everything in this land of newspapers, their boarders and visitors will thus be led to appreciate the provision made for their more luxurious dining.
The fight against "relishes" in the bill of fare has never been made against the refinement of the table, however, but wa6, and is still, directed against the silly "padding out" of the bill to make it look big and plentiful, though there is nothing in it; against such parades as used to be met with often, as: "Plain Pickles, Mixed Pickles, Stuffed Pickles, Spiced Pickles, Cucumber Pickles, Sharp & Soursauce's Celebrated Piccalilli," - which would all be strung out in one bill, followed by "Plain Mustard, French Mustard," and a lot more such stuff, and this brought the whole department of relishes into disrepute. In this connection it must be noted again, and still on the side of the minority, that recent innovations in setting the table have done away with the chance of the guests seeing what they want when the bill of fare does not mention it The best of the first-class hotels now have no cruet-stands on the tables, but instead, a small regiment of tiny ornamental vases, decanters, jugs, pitchers, amphorae, amfullee, of china - such things as are found on the ornamental shelves and in the show-windows of the dealers in hotel china; these hold the various accessories of condiments and relishes, and yet give no outward token of their contents; the guest cannot be sure that even his familiar Worcestershire sauce and tomato catsup are there until he gets acquainted; he must either learn them from daily use, or ask the waiter, or come and go in ignorance of the fact that the thing wished for was so near, or else the bill of fare must tell him.
There is no need of a heading for "Relishes" to tell this; ene line across the bill might be introduced to tell all that is worth telling.
The line might be in smaller type than the main body of the bill, as has been shown in several bills printed on preceding pages.