Explorers Club Dinners

Explorers Club

Thank you to the Village Voice‘s food blog, Fork In the Road, for posting these great Explorers Club menus from their famous dinners of yesteryear. More info:

The Explorers Club was founded in 1904 by a couple of full-time explorers and a ragtag crew of archaeologists, journalists, and professors — they finally began admitting women members in 1981, starting with the geologist Kathryn Sullivan and deep-sea diver Sylvia Earle.

Today, the club is still driven by “the instinct to explore,” especially at the dinner table. Once a year, international members gather in New York to honor “various accomplishments in exploration” and to eat extremelyadventurously, from a banquet that famously celebrates the marginalized delights of maggots, scorpions, and roaches, and offal of all sorts, from duck tongue to pig’s face. (Back in 2001, three allergy-prone diners suffered from burning, itchy mouths after eating improperly prepared tarantula tempura – the spider had been served with its urticating bristles, or poisonous leg hair, still intact.)

This year’s feast — the club’s 109th — takes place on Saturday evening at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. Here’s a look back at some of the club’s menu designs over the years, starting in 1896 when it was still called the Arctic Club, through 1974.

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