Food & Drink #1: Gastroabominations

The Velveeta Golden Glory Casserole: a bowl of mac and cheese, topped with hard boiled eggs and more Velveeta

The 1950s were definitely the decade of gross artery clogging food - I wasn't alive back then, but judging by the food advertising and published recipes from this era, the food was downright hideous. What was on the menu? How about a little Ketchup Pistachio Cake, maybe some Meat Pie with Meat Crust, or how about some Baked Peppers with Creamy Marshmallow Sauce? Gag!

The food creations might be forgivable if they were at least nutritious. Last time I checked, a thick, untrimmed porterhouse steak slathered with ketchup and then topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs wasn't considered a healthy meal. These were the days when the only spice permitted in excess was fat.

I love to peruse retro ads for particularly bad kitchen desecrations and this next one may be my worst. At first it doesn't seem so bad, then you start to imagine actually eating it - that's when my stomach starts to turn. Cheese slathered hot dogs floating on a bed of cream corn?

I posted this next one a while back but can't get enough of it. This Betty Crocker dessert looks like a giant infected pimple! And how about the vegetable pie? Yet another casualty of gelatin misuse in the 1950s. This one courtesy of the brilliant Found in Mom's Basement.

Mmmm... is that milk being poured into a big bowl of ripe raspberries? Nope. That's a bowl of ground beef. Delish!

A couple of good books to recommend are A Gallery of Regrettable Food and Gastroanomalies: Questionable Culinary Creations from the Golden Age of American Cookery.


  1. Yuck! Those are downright gross. It's not that I mind it being unhealthy. I live in the South of the US. Most of what we end isn't really all that good for you, but it tastes good. This looks sickening though. I can't imagine why anyone would want this. I guess I definitely found something from the 50's I don't like now.

  2. Keith- I don't necessarily mind unhealthy either - but they took it to the extreme in the 50s. Compared to the dull food of the Depression era and WWII era, I'm sure gelatinized Veg-all with tartar sauce "icing" sounded pretty fancy shmancy.

  3. Nasty, sure. But not as cynical as the recipes you can find on packages from all eras. The meals that could stand alone without anything added but is recreated only to push the product. Meatloaf isn't made worse by adding Heinz but isn't necessary. Same with these featured concoctions.

  4. ahhhh, tasty recipes from back when sugar, salt, fat, and booze were the 4 main food groups. that corn concoction is particularly... interesting.

  5. Ha ha! These are both disgusting and fantastic!