State Offered Meal Plate - A Hospital Food in 19th Century Serbia Cover Image

Оброк о трошку државе - болничка порција у Краљевини Србији крајем 19. века
State Offered Meal Plate - A Hospital Food in 19th Century Serbia

Author(s): Vladimir M. Jovanović
Subject(s): History
Published by: Istorijski institut, Beograd
Keywords: Principality of Serbia; Ministry of Internal Affairs; Central financial control; County hospital; portion; condiment; pepper; red pepper

Summary/Abstract: Unfortunately, there are but fiew data concearning the work of the social institutions, such were hospitals, in the 19th century Serbia. From once huge records of Departmant of Sanitary, only a several hundred documents remained, many in fragments. Everything else was recycled in to a new paper in revolutionary years, after a Second World War. Nevertheless, those medical documents that survived enable us to understand how important materials were lost. One of those few was a special inquiry, made by the minister of police in year 1891, concearning a question of nourishment in state hospitals. Chiefs of the cllinics in county centers were ordered to inform minister in detail about two questions: what were the main dishes in plates of their patients and what measure of spices should be adequate to improve a flavor of a daily food ration. This order, however, wasn`t initiated as a result of humanitatian endeavor, but was prompted by another, more practical reason. Financial police noticed that hospitals are often spending some amount of money for spices, exceeding a limits of their yearly bugets. Under the pressure of financial authorities minister of police, in charge of this matters, insisted that hospitals must make a list of spices that they are using to prepare their patient`s food. Reports sent by the chiefs of several hospitals offer a special insight, enabling us to understand the techniques and methods, used to make a standard hospital meal ration in Serbian Kingdom. Beside the fact that there was not a trace of consistency in cooking hospital food, this document reveals meager, even chaotic conditions, in which main institutions of health and social care operated in the late 19th century Serbia.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 31
  • Page Range: 215-236
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Serbian