Join 3,434 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Is that a banana candle in your pocket...
January 17, 2014 11:52 AM   Subscribe

Liver sausage pineapple? Igloo meat loaf? Tuna Jell-o pie? “21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Recipes” [via Buzzfeed]
posted by LeLiLo (230 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
These made my inner seven-year old cry.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:55 AM on January 17


Stop it, you're making me hungry!
posted by mazola at 11:55 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


What is it with that era and pimento-stuffed green olives? did they just like the look?
posted by Think_Long at 11:56 AM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Cronenberg must have a huge collection of 1960s cookbooks.
posted by benzenedream at 11:58 AM on January 17 [12 favorites]


It's kinda charming that we once lived in a time when #16 was made and nobody said anything.
posted by jbickers at 11:59 AM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Pretty sure this should read "aorta."
posted by uncleozzy at 12:00 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Pimento-stuffed green olives were (are) delicious! It's just that those were pretty much the only kind sold in suburban grocery stores back then - other than the tins of pitted black olives which I also thought were delicious at the time.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 12:01 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


We've sure come a long way when it comes to hotdog presentation.
posted by ckape at 12:01 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


But there was a time that aspic salads or even fish in aspic wasn't all that strange. And Spam, while not my first choice ever, can be pretty tasty. I think Lilek's Gallery of Regrettable Food is far funnier than Buzzfeed's compilation, but I think just about everything is better than Buzzfeed.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:03 PM on January 17 [19 favorites]


I'm sort of intrigued by ham and banana hollandaise. What was the point? It has never occurred to me that ham and banana should ever be on the same dish.
posted by jeather at 12:04 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


Oh man I think my mom made that fake pineapple with liver inside. It might have been salmon mousse. I'll ask her this weekend.
posted by shothotbot at 12:06 PM on January 17


You know, I've lived in Asia and Latin America and I just love to eat wierd street foods and some of these are making me feel queezy!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:06 PM on January 17


I dunno -- Number 7 (Tomato Refresher) could be good if it's made with fresh vine-ripened summer tomatoes, and a splash of vodka and worcestershire sauce.

A kind of chunky Bloody Mary.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:06 PM on January 17


More like a bloody mary slushie.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:07 PM on January 17


Seconding the recommendation for The Gallery of Regrettable Food (the book, because I'm old, and the website).
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:07 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I'm just astounded that there was a time when the phrase "The Good Beef Suet" would have been usable as an advertising tagline instead of a knowing punchline.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:08 PM on January 17 [9 favorites]


Pretty sure this should read "aorta."

In fact, after a typical American diet of the last 40 years, beef suet is what our aortas are mostly made of!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:08 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


The phrase "chunky Bloody Mary" should not be applicable to any decent comestibles.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:08 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Now I've read the recipe, and all that's missing is the vodka! (I'd lose the gelatin, though. Bleeagh.)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:09 PM on January 17


More like a bloody mary slushie

On a 90 degree day, I'm there.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:10 PM on January 17


I'm sort of intrigued by ham and banana hollandaise.

Yeah, apart from the meatloaf igloo that was the one that seemed the least at odds with a 21st-century American palate to me, since ham with a sweet glaze is still a thing.
posted by XMLicious at 12:11 PM on January 17


The sad thing is that it all looks so tasty when it's drawn by Chuck Jones.
posted by elizardbits at 12:11 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


I was reading the supermarket ad yesterday and noted that they were running a special on "our own homemade sea leg salad." Conceptually I understand that this is a thing that people actually eat, but ... please no.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:13 PM on January 17


Here's the actual recipe for ham and banana hollandaise... which I had to look up because, even though the picture looks horrible, I had convinced myself that it would actually taste great.

I'm still not convinced it wouldn't, but there''s something about seeing the words "thin slices boiled ham" that has put me off of it. For now.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:17 PM on January 17


Gelatin mold ALL THE THINGS!
posted by xedrik at 12:20 PM on January 17 [7 favorites]


"Perfection Salad"

NOT what it says on the tin.
posted by zarq at 12:21 PM on January 17


A lot of these are manufacturer's suggestions or like stuff from the Beef Farmers Of America's 50 Idea Booklet, right? They make a lot or sense if you imagine a stoned, desperate Peggy and Stan trying to come up with copy.

"Vodka and Mountain Dew isn't a cocktail, it's an emergency."
posted by The Whelk at 12:22 PM on January 17 [12 favorites]


Truly upsetting, really? These are just recipes from a different era. Try harder, buzzfeed.
posted by troika at 12:25 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


And also, I'm sorry, but I'm totally going to make the igloo meat loaf and there's nothing you can do to stop me. I mean any recipe that has something called "potato frosting" sounds like was basically invented to win my heart.

And possibly stop it.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:25 PM on January 17 [14 favorites]


Also, that Lobster Relish dish looks like it comes from The H. R. Giger cookbook.

Ye gods, now I want an H. R. Giger Cookbook.

Think of the possibilities!

Facehugger Flambé

Artisanal Alien Amuse-Bouches

Necronomicon Nachos

...

posted by zarq at 12:26 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


This should read "21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Food Photographs." If the recipes were so upsetting, how come they're not presenting the recipes directly?

Honestly I think a lot of this "gross out" comes from the way photography has changed. Even old photographs of people look weird and off-colored. This is especially true of the lighter greens and pinks.

But viewers at the time saw every photo like that, and they knew how to "correct" the colors in their heads. We 21st century people are used to digital photos -- and we imagine that the food really did look like it would if those vintage images had been taken with modern equipment (more accurate?).

I will bet you that if you really made those dishes and took an iPhone picture of them, they might look out-of-fashion, but they wouldn't look as hideous as these pictures scanned from old cheaply-printed flyers, articles, and cookbooks.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 12:26 PM on January 17 [8 favorites]


It's like everyone in 1960's America was incredibly hungry but hadn't gone to the store in weeks and had to throw random crap together out of sheer desperation.
posted by vorpal bunny at 12:28 PM on January 17 [13 favorites]


Truly upsetting are those way way too enthusiastic suggestions for replacing bread for a sandwich. "Lettuce leaves!" they chirp, "Just like ciabatta!" Smiles forced, eyes hollow and unconvincing, pleading with you to accept this lie they themselves cannot be forced to believe.

Just make a salad or eat the damn ingredients alone, don't force me take part in your sad delusional puppet show.
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 PM on January 17 [21 favorites]


On some whim I recently made "Lime" Jell-O, which states clearly that the flavor is artificial, for the first time since I was a kid. On pouring the boiling water into the powder my nose was assailed by the most powerfully aversive smell I can imagine: cleaning products.

It seems to me now that the artificial flavor must be at least similar if not identical to that used in countertop cleaning sprays and dishwasher detergent to give them their citrusy scent. With a shudder I went through with making it but could not eat any. On getting a spoonful even near my mouth I had the overwhelming, tastebud-clamping, uvula-contracting sensation that I was eating something from a package normally stored under the sink or a basement shelf.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:29 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I will bet you that if you really made those dishes and took an iPhone picture of them, they might look out-of-fashion, but they wouldn't look as hideous as these pictures scanned from old cheaply-printed flyers, articles, and cookbooks.

I'll take that bet. Send me a photo of, say, lobster relish, cup steak puddings and baked stuffed salmon.
posted by jeather at 12:30 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


any recipe that has something called "potato frosting"

At a craft party once we made little deep fried meatloafs (meatloaves?) with whipped mashed potato frosting. Highly recommended. Probably even better in igloo form (especially if the igloo's inhabited by gravy).
posted by troika at 12:30 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


sorry wait an important detail there was that they were decorated to look like cupcakes and presented to our friends as such, that's why frosting.
posted by troika at 12:31 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Who doesn't like to, ah, frost the potato now and then? (nudge, nudge)
posted by xedrik at 12:31 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Hang on.

Did you deep fry the meatballs BEFORE or AFTER adding the mashed potato frosting?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:31 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]



It's like everyone in 1960's America was incredibly hungry but hadn't gone to the store in weeks and had to throw random crap together out of sheer desperation.


Dad is either passed out on the couch or off having illicit sex in an office somewhere and Mom's only got an hour of lucidity after the uppers wear off but before the benzos kick in. You do what you can.
posted by The Whelk at 12:31 PM on January 17 [29 favorites]


those cup steak puddings look like the michelin man's prolapsed rectum
posted by elizardbits at 12:32 PM on January 17 [24 favorites]


And here I thought the random recipe generator was ahead of its time...
posted by obscurator at 12:33 PM on January 17


Also this is the correct way to make a tasty and visually appealing meatcake.
posted by elizardbits at 12:34 PM on January 17 [12 favorites]


Wendy McClure worked this gag maybe ten years ago with her memetastic Weight Watchers Recipe Cards set. The captions might be even funnier.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:35 PM on January 17 [10 favorites]


Also this is the correct way to make a tasty and visually appealing meatcake.

this Lie Bot, this is the saddest thing.
posted by The Whelk at 12:35 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


little deep fried meatloafs (meatloaves?)

meatsloaf.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:36 PM on January 17 [7 favorites]


meatsloav
posted by elizardbits at 12:37 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I would eat a Hot Dog Fondue. There, I said it.

I would not eat anything covered in "suet"* (calling it a "pudding" is just plain fraud).

And that "Banana Candle" is so phallic it makes penises weep in shame.



*And no, it doesn't help calling it The Good Suet.
posted by tommasz at 12:38 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Somewhere on my shelf I have a traditional recipe for flipper pie, useful if I ever get the urge to brain a seal.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:39 PM on January 17


sorry wait an important detail there was that they were decorated to look like cupcakes and presented to our friends as such, that's why frosting.

Meatloaf cupcakes with mashed potato frosting and green pea sprinkles have definitely made an appearance or two on our dinner plates.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:39 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah the hot dog fondue was not just the least offensive of the bunch, it had a certain kindergarten appeal to it. I would eat that while stunningly high.
posted by elizardbits at 12:40 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


I have been working my way through Ruhlman's Charcuterie and some of Julia Child's work and I have been a little afraid of ending up with food that looks like this. Especially with terrines and the like, you end up at a point halfway through the process with this... meat paste... that's kind of gray-pink and you wonder what exactly you're doing with your life. Once it's cooked and on a plate, though, it looks and tastes fantastic.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:40 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


If gelatine is made from hooves, isn't any loaf that uses it technically feetloaf?
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:41 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


I now want Fluffy Mackerel Pudding for lunch. Thanks a lot DirtyOldTown, thanks a lot.

Also "Convenience Fish" is a species I wasn't aware of....
posted by spamandkimchi at 12:41 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


They should have followed the goddamn recipes, photographed the results, and then filmed the eatings. Cheap lazy bastards.
posted by aramaic at 12:41 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


What the hell, elizardbits? That meat cake is made with instant potatoes. I wanted to get some sleep tonight.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:43 PM on January 17


Once it's cooked and on a plate, though, it looks and tastes fantastic.

Yes, exactly. I think the problem with the 60s-70s and classic terrines is that they were incapable of seeing the plain and simple forcemeat as being pleasant on its own, they could not contain themselves inside their orange and avocado kitchens and had to decorate their foods just as garishly. It's like letting your toddler put glittery construction paper flowers on your bone Lanvin sheath.
posted by elizardbits at 12:44 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I did eat hot dog fondue in kindergarten. (Not high.) But stuff like this is so in my mom's wheelhouse. She was the macrame of food preparation... so part of the 1970s in hindsight it hurt.

However, as she pointed out to us this Christmas when we talked about our favorite comfort foods from childhood, she pointed out that we didn't eat such "creative" meals because she was trying super hard but because we were poor.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:44 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Also "Convenience Fish" is a species I wasn't aware of....

It really sounds like something from Apple Cabin Foods.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:45 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


#21, which apparently didn't even merit a name, can only be understood by bringing the photo into Photoshop and inverting the colors. At which point it looks like an icy treat that Tron would eat.
posted by mittens at 12:45 PM on January 17


Most of these look really gross to me. And I'm someone who likes eating jellied pigs feet.
posted by Kabanos at 12:47 PM on January 17


Family pride/horror confession time - a number of those weight watchers recipes were designed and written by my mom. (See here for more of them: http://weightwatchers1974.tumblr.com/)
posted by drewbage1847 at 12:47 PM on January 17 [25 favorites]


My mom has the cookbook with this in it. There is a lot of disturbing stuff in there. Shudder...
posted by Naberius at 12:47 PM on January 17


Ah, Perfection Salad. My mom's go-to recipe for family get-togethers. To tell the truth, it's not quite as bad as the picture makes it look. Honest.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:48 PM on January 17


we just all join in the salad's perfection, come, let us go now into the aspic baths...
posted by The Whelk at 12:49 PM on January 17


And I'm someone who likes eating jellied pigs feet.

Wow, I thought it was too much to hope that anyone would actually post feetloaf.
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:50 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


There's a really excellent book about these recipes and the culture that created them called, obviously, Perfection Salad.
posted by troika at 12:51 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Prompt: Hannibal AU fic where all his dishes look like this.
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


We made Pineapple Surprise once. It was one of these old recipes where you slice hot dogs lengthwise and then wrap it around the pineapple and stick it with toothpicks.

Problems are:
A) how do you eat such a thing
B) the acid in the pineapple leeches the meat juice in the hotdog and then it gets all bloody looking.

Just ugh.
posted by Sophie1 at 1:02 PM on January 17


So glad I grew up with New Orleans and Southern style cooking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:02 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


The best thing about the recipe card for Perfection Salad is that it is classified under "The Midwest" because that's pretty fucking accurate.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:03 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I bet a well made one of those is awesome too, actually.

I am definitely showing my roots in this thread.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:04 PM on January 17


Curse you, elizardbits, the word meatcake is stuck in my head!
posted by tommasz at 1:06 PM on January 17


For the full 1950 aspirational effect you really need to put on some Percy Faith Orchestra before looking at these.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:10 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


It's kinda charming that we once lived in a time when #16 was made and nobody said anything.

Are you kidding? The jokes were made. Trust me, the jokes were made.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:11 PM on January 17


Found it!! Not pineapple surprise but Frankfurter Spectacular! (#11)
posted by Sophie1 at 1:11 PM on January 17


Those meat & suet puddings are an actual real thing over here in the UK. Seriously, I doubt there's a supermarket in the land that doesn't stock them. I have eaten them as a child, and why yes, I have had a heart attack.
posted by punilux at 1:13 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


My family has a recipe we bring out on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The original name is lost to the ages and it is now only known as "green stuff".

It is green.
posted by ckape at 1:20 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Found it!! Not pineapple surprise but Frankfurter Spectacular! (#11)

I must be 12 because I can't stop giggling at the name "frankfurter spectacular."

I'm also just old enough to remember being served dishes like these by friends of my parents. I was one of those picky kids who didn't link different foods to touch, so all those dishes with everything mushed together with jello or aspic were my own special hell.
posted by Dip Flash at 1:21 PM on January 17


Those meat & suet puddings are an actual real thing over here in the UK.

Yeah but those look like actual food items and not like the disemboweled viscera of Nyarlathotep.
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


But guys, those steak puddings are so... digestible!

"Digestible" as hyperbolic ad copy is almost as sad as my all time favorite real estate slogan --

LeFrak City: Live A Little Better
posted by Sara C. at 1:22 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]



My family has a recipe we bring out on Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Please tell us you have a photo of this wonder.
posted by elizardbits at 1:22 PM on January 17


I love good updated versions of aspic (Saveur did a spread on them a year or two ago IIRC) and there's a recipe in Charleston Receipts (again IIRC) where you take ham or beef or something and roll it in a banana biscuit fritter thing and slice that I made and was pleased by (yeah really), but what gets me is the old timey tendency to turn savory dinners into sweet cake-like visual presentations. It trips an uncanny valley-like eugh wire in my brain.
posted by ifjuly at 1:23 PM on January 17


Digestible! So close to the poop that they will become that your body hardly has to do any work at all!
posted by elizardbits at 1:23 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


The original name is lost to the ages and it is now only known as "green stuff".

Is it one of those horrifying fluffy waldorf salad type things where you mix whipped cream and green jello mix?
posted by Sara C. at 1:23 PM on January 17


the not so subtle message is that Americans back then where constipated like hell.
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Is it one of those horrifying fluffy waldorf salad type things where you mix whipped cream and green jello mix?

My mother would make a salad with Lime Jello that had cream cheese and canned pears mixed in. It was great.
posted by mmmtofu at 1:30 PM on January 17


Love it! I have the 1968 Oster Osterizer Spin Cookery and the Borden's Eagle Brand 70 Magic Recipes booklet from the same year.

The Spin Cookery book has recipes like Salad of Gold and Lime Cheese Salad (both of which involve Jello, natch).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 1:31 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I just. Why would you want all the food you eat at every meal to have the exact same texture. Was it some kind of futuristic fetish where people were preparing themselves for the Martian nutrient slurry they'd be quaffing in their flying cars on the way to the Sprockets factory?
posted by elizardbits at 1:31 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


So glad I grew up with New Orleans and Southern style cooking.

You should skim through the first River Road Cookbook sometime. I have a copy which I actually cook from (heavy on the substitutions, of course), but seriously I'm pretty sure the entire vegetable section doesn't include a single recipe that calls for fresh vegetables of any kind.

Also, it contains the New Orleans equivalent of all this nonsense, Spinach Madeleine. AKA my all time favorite food. Yes, as a matter of fact it does call for a third of a pound of Velveeta. Is there some kind of problem with that?
posted by Sara C. at 1:33 PM on January 17


So glad I grew up with New Orleans and Southern style cooking

My grandmother, who was as southern a human being as you'll find, was famous for her "Spam and Pineapple" dish at family reunions that would be right at home on this list. I recently found the recipe in a family cookbook. The recipe is as follows: cut spam into cubes, heat in some oil, dump in some canned pineapple, heat, serve. People went nuts for this. They'd show up and start asking "Where's Della's spam and pineapple?" as if this super-secret recipe wasn't just two canned things thrown together that they could have literally any time they wanted.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:37 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


They were also crazy because the real star of our family reunions was whoever set up the 2x2 matrix* of ham biscuits so that everyone could have the ham biscuit they wanted most.

*Country ham, city ham, both with or without mustard.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:40 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I don't have any pictures of my own and I'm uncertain on the exact recipe, but our green stuff is something like this cottage cheese jello.
posted by ckape at 1:40 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


oh god it's even more bizarre than i was imagining

it's glorious
posted by elizardbits at 1:46 PM on January 17


I'm pretty sure this is from the war.


I mean, it would have to be, right? There's no way a sane person would actually make this without rationing and the spectre of the Axis looming over Europe and the Pacific, would they?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:49 PM on January 17


I like how the Gestapo are coming to take them away for their horrible grocery crimes.
posted by Sara C. at 1:51 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


what are "corn sticks"
posted by elizardbits at 1:52 PM on January 17


I am not sure whether to be ashamed or strangely proud that the recipe of the post title, #16, was a special dessert treat my mother would make ... for Christmas dinner. It has a festive look, perhaps? My older sisters chuckle about it to this day, but I have few memories of it, other than it was pretty gross-tasting (to me) and I never finished mine. I believe mom was proud of the creation, and thought it was clever. The purported source of the recipe, Be Bold with Bananas, is not one I remember from mom's recipe book collection.

The banana itself stands in a ring of pineapple, if it's unclear from the photo. I don't remember what the sauce/glaze was, but I do recall that mom would shape little pieces of cut apple, dyed red, for the flame.

While a source of sibling amusement today, long after the chef has passed, this recipe to my knowledge has not been replicated for any holiday dinner among us.
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 1:54 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Do they mean cornbreak sticks, like these? That's what I would mean if I said corn sticks.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:54 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Oh man, cottage cheese jello -- using green ONLY -- is the reason why I still always eat pineapple and cottage cheese together in salad bars if it is an option to this day.

I haven't had it in decades, but I just realized that many, many church and football/basketball potlucks as a coach's child have shaped my taste buds a lot more than I realized.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:56 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Live A Little Better

What I love about that is while it doesn't necessarily mean "blunt the horror of your existence slightly", it doesn't NOT mean it either.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:57 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


Country ham, city ham

My favorite fable from Aesop.

(But what does it mean?)
posted by mittens at 1:58 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I am befuddled at what makes the baked salmon so offensive. It's plain salmon, stuffed with rice stuffing (with carrots, celery, and onion for flavor) and served with Hollandaise and parsley. I would totally eat this if I could finish a whole salmon (ok, if I could afford a whole salmon, I could totally finish one) and weren't too lazy to make Hollandaise.

The recipe doesn't even call for the sprouts on the side.
posted by pie ninja at 1:59 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I keep waiting for someone to link to "Lime Jello Marshmallow Cottage Cheese Surprise".
posted by mefireader at 2:00 PM on January 17


Just sayin, I would probably eat a fried Spam slice with lima beans and it actually looked good to me (other than the quantity).

The rest though, especially the gelatin stuff, is somewhere between bizarre and revolting.

My theory is some of this had to do with having fewer ingredient options available. I could be wrong, but when I was a kid in the 80s it seemed like the grocery store did not have anything like what they do now. Like, hummus and tabouleh were not things you could get, that was "ethnic" food and you had to go to some weird little restaurant to get stuff like that. Sushi? Man, we didn't even trust rare meat. Even Italian food that wasn't those dried noodles with canned sauce was pretty unusual. So with this limited number of ingredients, you probably had to go overboard on presentation. One in particular in there--the frosted loaf with ham and eggs? That's basically a big sandwich, inverted. Presentation turned up to 11. I can only guess it's to do something to mask the fact that it's ham and eggs, probably "again."
posted by Hoopo at 2:01 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Am I going to have to defend jello salad again? It's tasty! My mother still makes it. I just had a cranberry one at New Years.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:01 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I am really upset by these appalling misuses of the term "salad". JUST BECAUSE IT'S GREEN DOESN'T MAKE IT A SALAD.
posted by elizardbits at 2:03 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


here try my used doublemint "gum salad" coming soon to the underside of an auditorium seat near you
posted by elizardbits at 2:03 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Those meat & suet puddings are an actual real thing over here in the UK.

Yeah but those look like actual food items and not like the disemboweled viscera of Nyarlathotep.


Not really. Also it'll generally be steak and kidney not just steak - whether that's a good thing or a bad thing I guess depends on how you feel about offal.
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on January 17


i added some juicyfruit as an accent!
posted by elizardbits at 2:04 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


They should have followed the goddamn recipes, photographed the results, and then filmed the eatings. Cheap lazy bastards.

Wendy McClure again.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:04 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


elizardbits, my mother actually always calls hers "jello mold" not salad. Which is worse.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:04 PM on January 17


Elizardbits, "salad" as a term can refer to suspensions of meat/greens in a thick white sauce like Egg Salad Or Chicken Salad, of which these are ....technically.
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on January 17


I was reading the supermarket ad yesterday and noted that they were running a special on "our own homemade sea leg salad."

holy crap someone who lives in real life Liar Town USA
posted by threeants at 2:06 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Shredded carrots suspended in green jello with mini marshmallows is not a salad and I don't care what definition you use and if you keep calling it a salad then zombie Escoffier will rise from the grave and slaughter you and I will not stop him.
posted by elizardbits at 2:07 PM on January 17 [12 favorites]


Personally, I think it's tragic that we, as a nation, no longer beloaf all our foods with the same pluck and ingenuity of generations past.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:07 PM on January 17 [17 favorites]


If I ever go back to the UK I might have to write "REMEMBER: THE KIDNEYS IN STEAK AND KIDNEY PIE ARE NOT KIDNEY BEANS" on my arm with sharpie.
posted by Sara C. at 2:08 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


So if, as Escoffier said, "Show me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are," does that mean everyone who eats jello "salad" is a liar?
posted by Sara C. at 2:09 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


oops, looks like George_Spiggott beat me to that thought.
posted by threeants at 2:09 PM on January 17


The one thing that's stuck with me from reading Ulysses was that kidneys taste like pee and that's supposedly a good thing.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:10 PM on January 17


A LIAR AND A FOOL
posted by elizardbits at 2:10 PM on January 17


I am really upset by these appalling misuses of the term "salad". JUST BECAUSE IT'S GREEN DOESN'T MAKE IT A SALAD.

the floodgates opened wide when the twin abominations of tuna and egg were accepted as standing members of saladry.
posted by threeants at 2:12 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


So if, as Escoffier said, "Show me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are," does that mean everyone who eats jello "salad" is a liar?


That was Brillat-Savarin. HAS IRON CHEF TAUGHT US NOTHING?


Actually, an Iron Chef 1950s battle would be pretty awesome/horrifying.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:12 PM on January 17 [8 favorites]


Apparently this is a thing, I see it once a year at several local stores. The first time, I thought it was just bad joke.
posted by mediocre at 2:13 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Ahhhh, I fantasize about organizing an aspic/jello mold cookoff for fun but not if everything goes down the trash chute in the end. :(
posted by peripathetic at 2:14 PM on January 17


Apparently this is a thing

Holy shit this is the worst thing in the thread, what the hell?
posted by Hoopo at 2:17 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


> no longer beloaf

That's beautiful. I'd also love to see "enloaved" on a pretentious menu. "... waygu medallions enloaved in gelatine tarragon ..."
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:17 PM on January 17 [14 favorites]


niçoise tried to pull for a veto on both counts but the political will just wasn't there. the narcissism of small differences and such
posted by threeants at 2:17 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Ahhhh, I fantasize about organizing an aspic/jello mold cookoff for fun but not if everything goes down the trash chute in the end. :(

Well what the hell else am I gonna do with all these lark's tongues?
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:18 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


I'm just kidding, niçoise is obviously no less a fucking abomination unto the lord
posted by threeants at 2:19 PM on January 17


i will now devour my forbidden meal of mcnuggets drowned in a honey mustard bath

i hide my head beneath this leopard print snuggie both to bathe my senses in the glorious aroma and to conceal my gluttonous shame from god
posted by elizardbits at 2:21 PM on January 17 [7 favorites]


In fact the tragedy is you could probably serve most of these in the priciest restaurants now provided you made them tiny and served them on repurposed found-art objects splashed with small amounts of dreck chosen more for color and contrast and then described it on a menu written in the language known as Poseur Markov.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:22 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Using gelatin in salad makes a lot more sense when it comes in mixed vegetable and celery flavors.
posted by mittens at 2:24 PM on January 17


Tuna that is not good enough to be served raw is always a mistake however.
posted by The Whelk at 2:24 PM on January 17


Let me know when the jello mold cook off is and I'll eat them all.
posted by interplanetjanet at 2:26 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I saw pre-prepared molded jello salads for sale on the deli counter of my local Safeway. Last week.

Mind, I do live in Saskatoon, which is like the Midwest squared.

But when I was growing up in Vancouver, Mom used to make an orange-carrot-pineapple version of Perfection Salad. I took it to potlucks. It always got eaten with great enthusiasm.

Now Mom is in love with Martha Stewart, and I spend my time brining turkeys and making several different versions of frosting for sugar cookies. Each generation has its own Fussy Foods that you make to prove you have the time and energy.
posted by jrochest at 2:26 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


In fact the tragedy is you could probably serve most of these in the priciest restaurants now provided you made them tiny and served them on repurposed found-art objects splashed with small amounts of dreck chosen more for color and contrast and then described it on a menu written in the language known as Poseur Markov.

I got pea jelly served in little checkered squares for dessert at that schmancy Chicago restaurant people were yelling about recently and it really bummed me out.
posted by peripathetic at 2:27 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Pea jelly is passé'

But what about jello made from exotic animal urine?

Dare we to dream?
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on January 17


Yeah for $500 I want a towering decadent behemoth of sugar, not something my eastern european ancestors might have been forced to consume in the gulag.
posted by elizardbits at 2:29 PM on January 17


(calling it a "pudding" is just plain fraud)

'pudding' has a very different meaning in the UK, where this recipe is from

frankfurter spectacular

I always thought of him as more fabulous than spectacular.

I'm just kidding, niçoise is obviously no less a fucking abomination unto the lord

The hell? a niçoise is a perfect summer lunch.


Thank God we have Aunt Drunky to continue the regrettable food trend.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:30 PM on January 17


I have a friend whose job, among other things, entails digitizing a lot of old church cookbooks. One of which contained a lovely Jello concoction entitled "Men Like It Salad." My boyfellow has already vetoed the dish with extreme prejudice, and I am extremely disappointed that the recipe has not detailed exactly how I am meant to use this recipe to attract men.
posted by pemberkins at 2:30 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Gold coins, adventurer bones and chain main enloaved in hydrocholric acid gelatin.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


Apparently what is a thing? I want to be horrified, but my network is blocking it!

I agree with the earlier posts, sites like these are mostly bad photography rather than bad food. The really horrid recipes seem to be from advertisements. I don't know if they actually made it to the table.

But then again, I loved jello salads growing up, think hollandaise is the perfect sauce for everything, and would eat beef & suet pies every day if we had them here.

I also have an urge to start cooking in aspic. Partly from these posts, and partly from reading Proust (the family cook is praised for the crystalline architecture of her gels). I'm off to search for those Saveur articles.
posted by kanewai at 2:32 PM on January 17


Sliced gelatinous cube in a rust monster reduction ( use only ceramic flatware )
posted by The Whelk at 2:32 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


orange-carrot-pineapple version of Perfection Salad

somehow jell-o with citrus fruits and pineapple inside is less objectionable.
posted by Hoopo at 2:32 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


You know, an edible D&D diorama would be pretty nifty.
posted by aramaic at 2:32 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


What is a thing?

Gummi bear bratwurst. I am not joking
posted by Hoopo at 2:33 PM on January 17


One of which contained a lovely Jello concoction entitled "Men Like It Salad."

"Pour into greased container and let congeal."

8(
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:33 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


My takeaway from all of this is that the typical US diet was, for a time, 74% cream cheese.
posted by The Whelk at 2:33 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


"BEHOLD! your kid's mind will be flayed over in enjoyment from these simple healthy recipes!"
posted by The Whelk at 2:34 PM on January 17


You know, an edible D&D diorama would be pretty nifty.

I'm pretty sure at least half the recipes in the linked article are avatars of Juiblex.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:35 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Rack of Kobold, Mimic Surprise....
posted by The Whelk at 2:36 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


a lovely Jello concoction entitled "Men Like It Salad."

I will never ever make a recipe that includes the words "let congeal."
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:36 PM on January 17 [7 favorites]


Wheat-free Prismatic Dessert.
posted by The Whelk at 2:36 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Worth noting: MeFi's own treebjen made the jellied salad Niçoise for a potluck (on what I'm afraid I have to describe as "my recommendation") and followed up with a Flickr photo set.
posted by Elsa at 2:37 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


TIL Escoffier and Brillat-Savarin are not the same person.
posted by Sara C. at 2:38 PM on January 17


Found it.

Gelatin - A Thing of Beauty
posted by kanewai at 2:39 PM on January 17


Wheat-free Prismatic Dessert

I... could actually see myself creating something for which that would be an appropriate name.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:39 PM on January 17


followed up with a Flickr photo set

The series of four reaction photos in that set are perfection and should automatically be appended to any discussion of jellied salads.
posted by elizardbits at 2:39 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


i will now devour my forbidden meal of mcnuggets drowned in a honey mustard bath

Blasphemy. McNuggets can only be properly consumed with Sweet Chili sauce.
posted by Sara C. at 2:40 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


How long has McDonald's had sweet chili sauce? Since, like, last Thursday? The One True Dipping Sauce for McNuggets is a tub of plain honey. Which they probably don't even offer anymore. We live in dark times.

That said, tell me you wouldn't enjoy a McNugget salad in a suspension of sweet chili gelatin.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:46 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Guys I've discovered the best American food- bourbon and cool ranch Doritos
posted by The Whelk at 2:48 PM on January 17


I don't even wanna know what the bad suet looks like.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:49 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


You can tell the bad suet from the tattoos and leather jackets.
posted by backseatpilot at 2:55 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


I hope whoever it was at Hellmann's that came up with coating a loaf of mayonnaise-based potato salad with a thick layer of mayonnaise-based jellied glop got an award.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:01 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Ok. I'll admit that I scour Los Angeles estate sales for these mildly yellowed booklets crammed with mildly yellowed food like items. I have about 100 of the finest examples. Really, you must look up Spry lard.
posted by Sophie1 at 3:03 PM on January 17


I love how so many recipes had gelatin back in the "bad old days", and don't understand why it is such a reliable target for dis-nostalgic condescension.

When I look at old pictures, the groovy 60s people seem to have better skin and hair; maybe it was all that hilariously lame collagen they were getting from their diets.
posted by dgaicun at 3:04 PM on January 17


My new historical theory is that eating tons of jell-o made everyone so sexy that it unintentionally and single-highhandedly triggered the sexual revolution.
posted by dgaicun at 3:10 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


I think a good argument could be made for erecting a time-travel barrier around the 70s to prevent the horror of this food escaping.
posted by Artw at 3:11 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Basically, we suspend the 70s in impenetrable aspic.
posted by The Whelk at 3:24 PM on January 17 [4 favorites]


In that case, use gellan.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:28 PM on January 17


Vintage Ads is approximately 1000x better than Buzzfeed. Click “Spam!” in the sidebar for many horrifying images.
posted by davidpriest.ca at 3:29 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Best comment in this thread receives a CROWN OF FRANKFURTERS!!!!!1111

(scroll down a little bit, worth it)
posted by lattiboy at 3:48 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


This is taking me right back to the culture shock I experienced at the age of five (in 1976) when we moved from the Jersey shore to rural/small town Pennsylvania. All the church dinners had a rainbow of various Jell-o salads. I think some were savory and some dessert, but they all terrified me and I never ate any.
posted by JoanArkham at 3:53 PM on January 17


Best comment in this thread receives a CROWN OF FRANKFURTERS!!!!!1111

Whoa.

More of a top hat.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on January 17


oh god snacks on a stick what is it

is it pudding

is it gravy

is it meat

is it the congealed blood of the innocent
posted by elizardbits at 4:01 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


And why are they being served on the linoleum floor of the entryway to my parents' house?
posted by ckape at 4:04 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


oh god snacks on a stick what is it

It's the scepter to go with your frankfurter crown.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:04 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


this is not the land i wish to rule
posted by elizardbits at 4:05 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Best served in the trunk of a Chevy Malibu.
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on January 17


Some of these pictures in this thread are reminding me of how common radishes used to be when I was younger. We had radishes a lot, in salads and as sides. I can't remember the last time I bought radishes or even saw them on a menu. It's weird because I'm pretty sure I've always liked radishes. I'm going to start eating more radishes, and when they become the next cool ingredient, I can be like a radish hipster, all "I was into radishes before they sold out" and "yeah I was into red radishes way back but now I'm all about daikon"
posted by Hoopo at 4:11 PM on January 17 [5 favorites]


I hear you about radishes, but I've seen two online recipes in the last week with some kind of roasted radish thing, so I think radishes are headed back.
posted by Kaleidoscope at 4:20 PM on January 17


I thought about these recipes a lot when I was taking a Garde Manger class -- '50s suburban "Jell-o mold" cuisine owes a lot to classic, haute-cuisine French cooking, which really used to be a coveted thing in America before more casual/bistro style places took over. My guess is a lot of these cookbook authors of gross-looking recipes studied at Cordon Bleu or did externships in France and spent those years making a shitload of terrines and aspic molds and did elaborate things with fish.

We think it's so weird now because contemporary French food just means "steak frites" and "crepes" to so many of us.
posted by mirepoix at 4:35 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


eponysterical
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:37 PM on January 17


eponymildlyfunny, maybe
posted by mirepoix at 4:38 PM on January 17


That just reminded me, the grill guy at a place where I did garde/pastry had a whole series of WoW characters named after sauces. Bechamel, Hollandaise, etc. I don't play but it was funny as hell.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:41 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Radishes are coming back. Sliced radish with herb butter and coarse salt are totally the hip appetizer now and I like that cause It means I barely have to do anything to make a trendy side dish.
posted by The Whelk at 4:43 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Sliced radish with herb butter and coarse salt are totally the hip appetizer now

Is actually a reallllllllllllllllllllllllllllly classic French dish.

Try radishes braised in butter sometime. You're welcome.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:45 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Oh I know that, just that it's popping up on a lot of American menus right now.
posted by The Whelk at 4:47 PM on January 17


Ah. I wonder why that is.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:48 PM on January 17


Oh also sautéed red onion and finely chopped radish in beef pan juice makes a really amazing peppery sauce for steak.
posted by The Whelk at 4:49 PM on January 17


( seasonal dining is more and more popular and radishes and other root vegetables are in season?)
posted by The Whelk at 4:49 PM on January 17


The pub where we're having a meetup tommorow has them, they shall have to be sampled.
posted by Artw at 4:50 PM on January 17


( I'll be here, the Parsnip Hipster, here having done everything it possible years before you, tha you Emglish SO.)
posted by The Whelk at 4:50 PM on January 17


Speaking of banana candles, Bad Jelly is still making these and eating them.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:59 PM on January 17


It would explain the Miracle of the Loaves, if they were these kind. "And lo the disciples offered the loaves to the masses, and it came to pass that none of them were hungry anymore..."
posted by George_Spiggott at 4:59 PM on January 17 [6 favorites]


Sounds like I'm going to have to up my game to get radish cool cred then. Hoopo's Radish IPA maybe?
posted by Hoopo at 5:10 PM on January 17


Now I remember why I lived on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a child. Everything else was disgusting!
posted by freakazoid at 5:11 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


Sliced radish with herb butter and coarse salt are totally the hip appetizer now

Is actually a reallllllllllllllllllllllllllllly classic French dish.


This is why food is so cool. Not that it's subject to fad-type events, but that there's both an individual discovery process and a sort of collective discovery process that periodically remembers hey, we've been forgetting about radishes for a while, what do they have to say today? And if it turns out Escoffier was right and we just have to remember to listen to him, then that's cool too.
posted by kiltedtaco at 5:35 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Lime Jello salad with cottage cheese and, I think, celery floating in it used to be a constant at my grandma's house. The other fucked up 'salad' we used to have all the time when visiting my mom's family was that stuff with the mini marshmallows.

I think aspic is due for a comeback. It's often the best part of pate.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:06 PM on January 17


There is always a jello mold/salad at Thanksgiving. ALWAYS.

One year it failed to congeal and we drank it out of cups with straws.

hi midwest how you doin'.
posted by like_a_friend at 6:10 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


I think aspic is due for a comeback. It's often the best part of pate.

I agree with your first point. But the best part of pate is the pate. (Maybe I'm weird, but the textural combination of aspic and pate just... glurge. I like textural contrasts but that specific one makes me want to retch.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:23 PM on January 17


Might have to buy mallet in case shaping frankfurters comes back.
posted by Artw at 7:17 PM on January 17


I think aspic is due for a comeback.


Just hang out with unreconstructed Russian or Polish immigrants- plenty of meats suspended in things.

Also vodka.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:24 PM on January 17


I'm going to start eating more radishes, and when they become the next cool ingredient

Best radish recipe of all time:

Slice radishes.

Spread a generous dab of good room temperature butter on each slice of radish just before you put it into your mouth.

These are the best radishes.

Drink some white wine or a nice crisp kolsch with it.
posted by Sara C. at 7:36 PM on January 17


the grill guy at a place where I did garde/pastry had a whole series of WoW characters named after sauces. Bechamel, Hollandaise, etc.

BRB changing my username to Bain-Marie Bechamel d'Hollandaise, comte de Mis En Place
posted by Sara C. at 7:40 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Comtesse, darling. Comtesse.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:55 PM on January 17


unreconstructed Russian or Polish immigrants- plenty of meats suspended in things.

Also vodka.


"So you made ...fish jello."
posted by The Whelk at 7:58 PM on January 17


In the 50's and 60's the shared culture of gross meat jello combinations was the bedrock of US-USSR diplomacy.
posted by kiltedtaco at 8:07 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


No, M. Bechamel is a dude. Bain-Marie is in the manner of Jean-Marie.

Of course.
posted by Sara C. at 8:08 PM on January 17


Madame la Baronne has a much better ring to it; oldest titles, after all.
posted by elizardbits at 8:36 PM on January 17 [1 favorite]


if the food exists post-Napoleon it can't really be said to be properly aristocratic....
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on January 17


that dreadful little arriviste
posted by elizardbits at 9:22 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Years from now, the only Vintage Recipe that will matter is how to cook up one of these toxic buzzfeed listicles.
posted by Catblack at 9:22 PM on January 17


mirepoix: "I thought about these recipes a lot when I was taking a Garde Manger class -- '50s suburban "Jell-o mold" cuisine owes a lot to classic, haute-cuisine French cooking, which really used to be a coveted thing in America before more casual/bistro style places took over."

I wish I knew more about this. Not that y'all Mefites trading wisecracks aren't perfectly fine and damn hilarious!!, but every time I check out one of these links promising a look at "the weird food of the '50s and '60s" I hope that I just might get a little bit of historical understanding of the home-cooking mindset of the time. But instead the blogs, like the Buzzfeed article, are full of WTF OMG EPIC FAIL HURF DURF JELLO EATER LOL.

I think that very seldom did previous generations do things because they just "didn't know better." When they felt these sorts of weird dishes were a good idea, they believed that they were smarter and more sophisticated than their own previous generations. For instance, there must have been a time in the 1950s when generic steakhouses, chemically synthesized food products, and government-standardized everything were so self-evidently obviously BETTER than the unhealthy "natural" and "authentic" and "local" shit that the backwards hicks of the past had stupidly liked. I guess I want to know deep down what would it feel like to be a native to that time?

(This is why I loved the 1st season of Mad Men so much more than the rest.)
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:09 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear: I'm whining about a failure of the original blog, not trying to upbraid you guys!! (I hate that idea that Metafilter discussions are supposed to be held to a higher moral standard than just "whatever we feel like saying.")
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 11:23 PM on January 17


A lot of it is down to Better Living Through Chemistry.

Of the culinary science kind, of course. Mostly.
posted by Sara C. at 11:34 PM on January 17


In all seriousness, there was a great faith in science as a magic fix for everything in the domestic sphere, especially when it came to processed foods. Anything technological was better, because it was newer, and faster, and sweeter, and more uniform in texture. And probably cheaper, too.

I'm also pretty sure that most of this also comes down to the fact that, in a lot of the US, fresh vegetables were either not available for most of the year or were much more expensive and poorer quality than canned or frozen. Even into the 80s, some of my earliest memories are of my dad putting canned mushrooms into a recipe. Because in Louisiana you just never saw fresh mushrooms, back then. I had fresh pineapple for the first time and saw my first actual raspberry as a teenager, in the late 90s.

If all the food is mushy on purpose, nobody will notice how mushy the canned vegetables are. If some component of the food is artificially colored and shaped into a pretty mold, nobody will notice how ugly the components of the dish were before they got coated in lime jello.

Mix that with postwar abundance and taste for things that were special and fun in comparison to serious and stodgy WW2 and Depression food, and the vogue for anything Continental, and the jello salad is a no brainer.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


Somewhere buried in there is a theory about how the moldable processed food craze coincided with the great era of poured concrete architecture, and symbolized man's dominion over nature and someone please finish this thought for me, I gotta go to bed.
posted by evil otto at 2:03 AM on January 18 [3 favorites]


I really should not have read this thread directly after eating.
posted by dogheart at 5:37 AM on January 18


The banana candle seems to be served prematurely.
posted by anothermug at 6:53 AM on January 18


Because in Louisiana you just never saw fresh mushrooms, back then. I had fresh pineapple for the first time and saw my first actual raspberry as a teenager, in the late 90s.

The oddest thing about your experience is that pineapple grows just fine in Louisiana. The USDA says raspberries can be grown there as well. That you grew up eating things out of cans says a lot about US food culture.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:23 AM on January 18


Heh, two of these are my scans from magazines I've found. This is the closest I'll ever get to Internet fame.
posted by PussKillian at 7:36 AM on January 18


That you grew up eating things out of cans says a lot about US food culture.

What's interesting about that is, while you've got this nationalization of cuisine based on spreading recipes and ingredients to everyone who can afford them, there are still some strict regional lines drawn, where dishes in one area never seem to cross into another. I was just talking to someone yesterday about frogmore stew, a seafood boil that was popular all along the coast, a mere two hours from where I grew up...and I never heard of it for the first forty years of my life. Same for shrimp and grits. We had shrimp, we had grits (by the metric ton)...yet the idea of putting the two together was alien to us.

But, eating things out of cans is liberation. We would get vegetables from the farmers' market, or from gardener friends all the time, and the effort involved was just crazy. Shelling peas? Shucking corn? When you could, y'know, buy peas and corn at the store, all ready to cook?
posted by mittens at 7:59 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


Oh, also - while books like Perfection Salad, which was recommended above, are fantastic, you can also buy a lot of the original publications from places like EBay - there were a lot of magazines like Table Talk from 1916 (links to my scans in Flickr) that show a lot of this sort of over-refined food even before we got to the Jello stuff of the 1950s. Stuff like Lobster Salad in Ice Mold, early lists of stuff that fit the Pure Food Law guidelines, and a recipe for Jugged Hare. Also some dubious Recipes from Over The Seas

Here's a Pinterest board collecting cookbooks that are fully scanned and readable online. It doesn't have the one I'm looking for, however, an early 1900-1920s one that's written almost like a novel - to the point where someone noted it contained a great femslash pairing that should be proposed for Yuletide. I'm cudgeling my brain to try and remember what it was named.
posted by PussKillian at 8:37 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


and a recipe for Jugged Hare.

One dead, unjugged rabbit fish later...
posted by Sys Rq at 8:47 AM on January 18


Yeah, it's definitely not that we NEVER got fresh produce. Just that certain things were much more common in canned form in certain places until surprisingly recently.

I mean, there could have been somebody else in Louisiana who happened to grow pineapple in their yard back in the day, and thus had grown up eating fresh pineapple rather than canned. I must have seen it in supermarkets, too. But my parents never bought that, and I didn't know anyone who even knew how to cut one up, and all the pineapple I encountered came out of a can well into the Alice Waters era.

I also remember peaches and pears being much more common in their canned form when I was a kid than they are today.
posted by Sara C. at 9:10 AM on January 18


We have one of my grandmother's church lady cookbooks from Ocilla, Georgia, and of course it has an entire section of congealed salads. My favorite (to contemplate, not to eat) has always been "Daughter-in-Law Salad". Because why is it called that? I mean, there are a lot of obvious jokes to go with it - "How much do you hate your daughter-in-law?" - but, really, what is the story behind that name?

The congealed salads are balanced by my Great-Aunt Dot's recipe for caramel cake which, once you translate it into modern cooking instructions (oh god, "bake in a moderate oven until set," WHAT?) is really and truly amazing.
posted by darchildre at 9:55 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


I used to have a blog that highlighted the strange recipes that I found in various old cookbooks I was trying to sell. The strangest recipes I found were usually in the cookbooks from Chicago-based Culinary Arts Institute. I think their most notorious/popular book is the 250 Ways with Meat. It contains curious things like recipes for squirrel.

They are Depression/WW II era cooking at its most innovative. All the ones I'd found were edited by Ruth Berolzheimer. There are so many books published under her I always wondered what her story was. A quick Internet search found this 2008 article about her. The Internet Archive has her American Woman's Cookbook so you can try some of them yourself. I didn't find the recipe for tuna delight in there.
posted by fiercekitten at 10:50 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Radishes are coming back. Sliced radish with herb butter and coarse salt are totally the hip appetizer now and I like that cause It means I barely have to do anything to make a trendy side dish.

Behold! The hipster radish.
posted by Artw at 7:55 AM on January 19


« Older Sweden's Eurovision Song Contest selection vehicle...  |  During oral arguments this wee... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments