Food & Drink #13: MEAT!

In the 1950s and 60s, there were three basic food groups: pork, chicken and beef.  Vegetable matter could be used for garnish.  Food recipes and ads from this period featured brilliant close ups of glistening mounds of meat, striated with fat ("lean" really was a four letter word back then) and dripping with gravy.  Food stylists were basically nonexistent back then, so what you got was nice full color mug shots of meat, no airbrushing, no Photoshop, no camera trickery.... just slabs of real meat in your face.

This post is a vegan's worst nightmare.  If you prefer a tofu pita wrap over a giant mound of shoulder meat wallowing in its own pan juices, you may want to skip this post.  For those of you (like me), who are akin to Fred Flintstone clicking his heels over his Brontosaurus ribs, then read on my brother!

Wow. Even the skillet handle looks like gristle. The egg in the middle is a nice touch, don't you think? I can literally feel my arteries tremble at the sight of this dish.

"No bone to wrestle!"
This actually looks damn good.
A hot dog wreath. Nice.
Note the slices of cheese between each section of the loaf. Brilliant.
As I said, food stylist didn't exist back then.  No attempt to pretty it up. ... this is meat without makeup.

I'm sad to see an actual vegetable intended for consumption not garnish. 
I encourage you to click on all these images to view them up close.... except this one.
I'm not sure what to make of this strange cheese perched atop these dried shriveled balls of beef. Intriguing.
I stand corrected. Vegetables should not only be used as garnish - you can also use them as meat containers.
You just don't see ads with actual rotting meat in them anymore. Shame.
Greatest invention since the printing press: meat in a can.
Hitler's favorite breakfast treat!
"Out go tough stringy ends!"

Woah. Easy on the cheese there big fella.

Only in the 60s would you have a hot dog wrapped in bacon... in a cracker ad. 
Bacon goes great with Scotch and Marlboros... your husband will love it!
Spam could levitate in the 60s. 


  1. I actually made that chicken recipe in that Campbell's ad shortly after you posted it on Flickr. It was the richest tasting chicken I've ever eaten. Also, that picture of the breakfast with the Armor Star Treet looks rather delicious. All that's missing is the jam for the toast!

  2. I would be hungry if not for all the blasted pork. I'm both Jewish and allergic to it. (Yes, you can be allergic to pork.) But the chicken one looked tasty and I don't see the problem with the one meatloaf you said not to expand. I happen to like tomatoes - but only when cooked or sundried. Can't stand them raw.

  3. We need more canned meat:


  4. You should get your hands on "Manwich 50 Famous Recipes". There are some pretty gruesome concoctions there. Sample: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_s7jBjSLzI1I/ScWOSuwoTDI/AAAAAAAADYk/JkH2If5M9dc/s400/manwich2.jpg

  5. THANK YOU!!! I have framed pages of cooked (and often oddly garnished) meats from vintage cookbooks all over the kitchen. People LOVE them. Next project: to decoupage the top of the vintage red enameled kitchen table (which suffers from a few unsightly worn and rusty spots) with more vintage meat pics, then cover with a healthy dose of durable clear-coat. The chairs are red vinyl and chrome, it's gonna look FAB!

  6. 'In the 1950s and 60s, there were three basic food groups: pork, chicken and beef. Vegetable matter could be used for garnish.'

    That's not my memory of those times.

    Meat was used more sparingly then as it was relatively more expensive.

    A roast chicken was quite a treat in the 1960s. Even now, with all the recent food price increases, it isn't.

    By the way I'm speaking from an urban UK perspective. For all I know back in the 60s people in the USA could still drive a couple of miles out of town and shoot a buffalo and put it in the freezer.

  7. Spam could levitate in the 60s.. Cracks me up! :)

  8. pete, i think here in the usa we have had a slightly different relationship with meant than ya'll who live across the pond :) that roast chicken wasn't nearly as much of a treat when we had to chase him around the yard with his head cut off lolol :)

  9. My friend's mother used to hang her chickens upside down on the clothesline before beheading them. It was an efficient way to slaughter and bleed them. She kept careful books and stopped selling chickens when she could no longer compete with the mass producers.

    The American diet was probably better in those days, when people ate far more meals at home, prepared by wives and mothers who learnt basic nutrition, dietetics, and food preparation in school. The average American is fatter now than in those days.

  10. Max, meat was also better in those days because the animals weren't pumped full of hormones and steroids and other crap. Chicken breasts are WAY too big these days and taste like shit.

  11. walking here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =D

    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

  12. Woah! I think I would have better not have a look at this after lunch... feeling sick now.