View Full Version : Pub snacks before peanuts and crisps

03-15-2008, 05:27 PM
I'm revising a story set in an alternate world where the Americas haven't been formally discovered or settled by Europeans, set in about the 1920s. Before peanuts and potato chips, what did rural pubs offer as pub snacks? My MC needs to drink another guy under the table without the guy realizing what's happening, so MC's going to eat in advance and only offer the other man pub snacks so he'll get drunk faster. I just don't know what to serve him.

Thanks! Hmm, I could probably use some information about typical pub drinks too, pre-brand-name days. My MC drinks bitters, but I don't know if that's how it'd be termed. Thanks! Oh, and would there be a milder drink that he could switch to that would keep him from getting tipsy as fast as his drinking partner?

ETA: I used pickled eggs and pretzels--does that sound right?

03-15-2008, 05:44 PM
Pork scratchings (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crackling). You have to be drunk before eating those things.

Mild (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mild_ale) was the name for a beer weaker than bitter.

Pretzels are an American variant of a German bread, and (if your story is set in the UK) unknown in Britain until quite recently.

03-15-2008, 05:52 PM
Oh, I didn't realize those were eaten as snacks outside of the U.S. Thanks!

Mr Flibble
03-15-2008, 06:12 PM
mmm Pork scratchimgs -- originally stocked in pubs for dogs apparantly.

Also pickled eggs and gherkins used to be very popular -- my gran ran a pub and there were always jars of them on the bar.

endless rewrite
03-15-2008, 06:41 PM
pork pies

03-15-2008, 07:26 PM
Pickled eggs and gherkins yes, in some places. Pork Scratchings, not in southern pubs.
I think a lot of pubs just didn't sell snack foods at all

03-16-2008, 07:52 AM
In Shakespeare's time, taverns served bread and cheese, meat pies, and pickled vegetables. Oh, and pig's ear.

03-16-2008, 10:35 AM
bread, cheese, cold meat pies, bangers (sausage), fried potatoes,hard boiled eggs, pints and half pints of ale, cider, etc.

03-16-2008, 01:33 PM
KP may be the answer to your prayers!


and their parent company


all have snacks which do not contain potatoes!

If no peanuts then there are lots of other types of nuts to be eaten...

03-16-2008, 03:26 PM
Potatoes and tomatoes are "New World" plants as well as maize (commonly called corn, at least here in the US). So if they're not going to have peanuts, they probably won't have popcorn, potatoes, and any tomato based dishes. That is, if your setting is outside the US.

Your setting sounds interesting.

03-16-2008, 04:51 PM
Thanks, everyone! I went with pickled eggs (ugh), gherkins, and pork pies.

Sandi LeFaucheur
03-17-2008, 12:09 AM
Please remember that in England (unlike the States), cider is alcoholic. Sometimes wildly so! "Scrumpy". Was incredibly disappointed to find in Canada that cider is only apple juice. I'm assuming this holds true for the States, too.

I'd go for bread and cheese as being served in pubs. Blimey, I could use some half-decent cheddar and a half of cider right now... :)

Mr Flibble
03-17-2008, 12:10 AM
*hands over can of Scrumpy Jack and lump of Extra Mature Cheddar*

Ahh scrumpy. Legless but smiling

Craig Gosse
03-17-2008, 12:14 AM
Was incredibly disappointed to find in Canada that cider is only apple juice.

Well, that's probably because you were silly enough to simply ask for 'cider'. Ask for 'hard cider' next time...

03-17-2008, 12:45 AM
Cider: Depends where they are in the country.
In 1920s era cider would not have been as widely available as it is now

And yes, it can be very strong!

03-17-2008, 12:57 AM
Something that hasn't been mentioned yet.. in seaside taverns they would have a lot of whelks/cockles/prawns as snacks... as well as possibly dried kelp, crab sticks, whitebait, sardines etc...

There are still many places in the UK where you can get a pint of prawns with your pint of beer.