Chef Boyardee
June 21, 2011 8:34 PM   Subscribe

26 years ago today, we said goodbye to Ettore Boiardi - who fed the Plaza Hotel, Woodrow Wilson, millions of GIs, and - more likely than not - you.

Famous Italian Dishes, published in the 1930s, is part of the Szathmary Recipe Pamphlet collection - one of the many interesting collections viewable at the Iowa Digital Library.
posted by Trurl (18 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Some supplemental info on Boiardi from our friends at snopes.

I'd be much more of a staunch defender of his product had he managed to invent that most perfect of foodstuffs: Spaghetti-O's, however.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:28 PM on June 21, 2011

I had no idea there was a real Chef Boyardi! Thanks for the post.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:29 PM on June 21, 2011

I have real genuine affection for Chef Boyardi. Turtle pasta (with meatballs!), a glass of milk, and a potato roll was my routine Saturday lunch throughout my childhood. Cartoons + chef boyardi is like happy brain crack for me.

Never was much of a fan of spaghetti-o's though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:37 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "Chef Boiardi was a real person" was first introduced to me when this commercial came out in the early '90s. (poor quality, best I could find) Granted, commercials are no strangers to inventing real-life backstories for their fictitious founders, but this one was (more or less) the real deal.
posted by ShutterBun at 9:44 PM on June 21, 2011

Oh man, do I have vivid memories of that commercial.

But yeah, spaghettiOs always had a distinctly foul taste to me--the sauce wasn't as sweet, and was so . . . orange. Though FrancoAmerican did have a line of spiral "gourmet" canned pasta for awhile that I liked.

Man, do I have opinions about canned pasta.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:55 PM on June 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Beefaroni would be high on my short list of things to have on a desert island.
posted by The Potate at 10:17 PM on June 21, 2011

My house was more of a Mamma Leone house.

Do they still make that stuff? My afterschool snack for years.
posted by madajb at 10:49 PM on June 21, 2011

Growing up, I thought the Spaghetti-Os were rank. But the beef ravioli were divine!

Grazie, Chef Boiardi!
posted by darkstar at 12:03 AM on June 22, 2011 [3 favorites]

This post is disgusting.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:01 AM on June 22, 2011

I used to love love love their ravioli. I will not even think about eating it now for fear that I will hate hate pity hate my former self.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:57 AM on June 22, 2011

Loved Beefaroni and the beef ravioli. Can't eat it today due only to allergies, but I would always have a can on the shelf just in case of emergency. Spaghetti-Os always seemed too watery and syrupy to be real food.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:02 AM on June 22, 2011

I'm actually a little surprised to learn that he died so relatively recently. I would have guessed that he died in the 1970s.
posted by briank at 6:34 AM on June 22, 2011

Yes he did feed me.

And gave me the poos.
posted by stormpooper at 7:03 AM on June 22, 2011

The ravioli, plus melted cheddar cheese, plus mustard. As a latchkey kid I would make myself a big dish of this and then take a book and a quilt out to my backyard and have a Chef Boyardee picnic. Good times...
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:00 AM on June 22, 2011

The ravioli, plus melted cheddar cheese, plus mustard. and your lived?
posted by stormpooper at 9:52 AM on June 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Try it. TRUST ME.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:15 AM on June 22, 2011

Here he is in the flesh. 1953 and 1980s (scroll ahead sixty seconds.)
posted by evilcolonel at 12:34 PM on June 22, 2011

But this is the commercial I remember most vividly.
posted by evilcolonel at 12:35 PM on June 22, 2011

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