30 Recipes From The Past That Show How Everything Has Evolved, Even Our Taste

Tuna waffles. Bananas with mayonnaise. Hot Dr. Pepper poured over slices of lemon. People can eat anything if they put their minds to it. Anything. Nothing proves this better than taking a gander at vintage recipes that create spectacularly weird combinations of food.

So we bring you [drum roll] adverts of weird meals from the not-so-distant past that will make you pity your parents, shout ‘Yuck!’, and have a whole new appreciation for living in the 21st century. It’s nice having the option of not eating Jell-O topped with mayonnaise and strawberries and—oh God, I think I’m gonna be sick

Honestly, though, ham with bananas, as well as hotdogs in hot cheese soup both sound delicious. I’ll have to try them out at my next soirée. So while I’m thinking of how to lose friends and deter people with my gastronomical genius (read: evil ways), scroll down and enjoy the culinary delights from the 50s. Upvote your favorite disgusting recipes and share this list with your foodie friends. And let us know in the comments which meals you’d be willing to taste or if you’ve tried any of these recipes before!

Bored Panda spoke to Professor Nathalie Cooke from McGill University to learn more about vintage foods. Scroll down for the full exclusive interview.


Seven-Up In Milk


Banana Candle


Ham And Bananas Hollandaise

According to Professor Cooke, vintage party food recipes from the 50s are “the result of food fashion—but not just of a food ‘fad.’”

“That is, the basic flavor combination is something that reaches across the decades. What you’re describing may seem very odd to us in the 21st century, but the taste combinations—savory and sweet (tuna waffles, ham and bananas) or sweet and sour (mayo with lime) are surely very familiar.” 

The Professor continued: “There were ‘fads’ at mid-century: think of cookbooklets demonstrating how to decorate one’s ham with slices of canned pineapple, topped with the bedazzling red of a maraschino cherry, for example! And you don’t mention the jaw-dropping recipes incorporating marshmallows in main course dishes, recipes that were brain children of corporate marketing departments.”


Terrine Of Garden Vegetables


Almonds In A Haystack


Lettuce Salad

“But if we were to create one of today’s favorites from scratch, say Pad Thai, we would start from the same basic taste combinations you describe in what at first glance seem like bizarre plate partners,” Professor Cooke explained how things haven’t changed as much as we believe.

“Cooking bitter tamarind with water, raw sugar and fish sauce will build the basic foundation (sour, salty and sweet). To that one would add the requisite green onions, bean sprouts, and noodles—and likely some additional flavor notes such as shallot, garlic, and perhaps dried turnip (salty and sweet) to deepen the flavor.”

Bored Panda was interested to hear the Professor’s thoughts about what foods future generations will find strange but that we seem to eat without any problem at all.

“Perhaps that we try to ‘eat’ food without any taste at all—in the form of vitamin pills? Or drink it—in the form of smoothies? That we replicate the animal kingdom and encourage children to consume it—as gummy bears, cracker fishes, dinosaur eggs in oatmeal? That we continue to be mystified by the miracle of bread and milk?”


Cup Steak Puddings


Celery Victor

1 bunch celery

1 cup water

1 beef bouillon cube

1/4 cup low calorie Italian salad dressing

Pimiento strips

Trim root end off celery but do not separate stalks. Remove leaves and coarse outer stalks. Cut celery bunch crosswise once so bottom section is 5 inches long. Cut bottom section crosswise into quarter; tie quarters with string.

In skillet, heat water to boiling; dissolve bouillon cube in water. Add celery bundles. Cover; heat to boiling. Cook about 15 minutes. Drain celery; place in shallow glass dish. Pour salad dressing over celery. Refrigerate 3 hours, turning bundles twice.

To serve, place a bundle cut side down on each salad plate; remove string. Top with pimiento strips. 4 servings (30 calories each).


Pour 1/4 cup low calorie Italian salad dressing over 2 cans (16 ounces each) celery hearts, drained, and 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges, in shallow glass dish. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours. To serve, arrange vegetables on Bibb lettuce. 6 servings (25 calories each).


Igloo Meatloaf

Professor Cooke also revealed what vintage party food recipe she personally likes best. “Our gang is always delighted when we’re invited to a winter party where someone serves ‘weenies’—those little sausages that swim in sauce in a serving dish, and one fishes them out with toothpicks.

Every generation has its own fashions and quirks, whether we’re talking about food or clothes. When you’re surrounded by what’s supposedly normal and awesome, it’s hard to see that things are objectively weird and will change with the times.

I’m sure that future generations will think that we’ve been eating peculiar things as well. Like vegetable chips (crisps if you’re British) made from beetroots. Or burgers that have mushroom caps instead of buns. Or anything super healthy and vegan.


Philadelphia Cream Cheese


Lime Cheese Salad


Frozen Cheese Salad

2 2/3 cups cottage cheese

8 ounces blue cheese

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons chives

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon barbecue spice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups raw broccoli florets

Green pepper strips, to garnish

Let cheeses stand at room temperature for 30 min-utes. Place in blender container with buttermilk, chives, lemon peel, barbecue spice, and Worcester-shire, process at medium speed until mixture is smooth. Transfer to freezer tray. Freeze at least 3 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serv-ing. Unmold on serving platter. Surround with broc-coli florets. Garnish with green pepper strips. Divide evenly. Makes 8 luncheon servings.


Tuna Mold


Crown Roast Of Frankfurters


Hostess Tree


Cranberry Candles


Party Sandwich


Sweet And Sour Fish


One fish (about 1 1/2 lb; use either yellow fish or garoupa)

2 tbsps oil

Oil for deep frying

Seasoning for fish:-

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. glutamate

1 tbsp. cornflour

1 1/2 tbsps. dry sherry

Sweet and sour sauce:-

1/3 cup white vinegar

3 tbsps. tomato sauce

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup diced onions

1 big red pepper (diced)

1 tbsp. cornflour

1 tbsp. oil


1) Wash fish and dry thoroughly with clean cloth

2) Cult slanting slits along the fish.

3) Marinate fish with seasoning.

4) Deep fry fish in hot oil until golden brown. Remove from pan, cool for a few seconds. Fry again for 5-6 minutes (to ensure crispness).

5) While the fish is still deep frying, heat 2 tbsps oil in another pan; add in the diced vegetables and saute for a few seconds. Pour in the sweet and sour sauce mixture; thicken the sauce with cornflour and stir in 1 tbsp oil.

6) Dish out the ready-fried fish and drain off the excess fat. Place on a heated dish and pour sauce over it. Serve hot.


Perfection Salad

2 envelopes unflavored gelatine

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 can (12 oz) apple juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

2 tablespoons vinegar

1 cup shredded carrot 1 cup sliced celery

1 cup finely shredded cabbage

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 can (4 oz) chopped pimiento

1. In small saucepan, combine gelatine, sugar, and salt; mix well.

2. Add 1 cup water. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until sugar and gelatine are dissolved. Remove from heat.

3. Stir in apple juice, lemon juice, vinegar, and 1/4 cup cold water. Pour into medium bowl. Refrigerate 1 hour, or until mixture is consistency of unbeaten egg white.

4. Add carrot, celery, cabbage, green pepper, and pimiento; stir until well combined.

5. Turn into decorative, 1 1/2-quart mold. Refrigerate 4 hours,or until firm.

6. To unmold: Run small spatula around edge of mold; invert onto serving plate. Place hot dishcloth over mold; shake gently to release.

Repeat, if necessary. Lift off mold. refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 8 servings.


Monterey Soufflé Salad


Potato Fudge

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Baked Bologna Jubilee


Salad Loaf


Prawn Stuffed Apples

Preparation time: 10 mins.

Main cooking utensils:

bowl, wooden toothpicks

For 6 people you need:

6 red-skinned eating apples lemon juice

Filling: 3 tablespoons thick mayonnaise

1 teaspoon tomato paste

dash Tabasco sauce

2 pickled cucumbers, finely sliced

4 stuffed olives, chopped

2/3 cup peeled prawns or shrimp

1 tablespoon chopped parsley


6 whole prawns or shrimp

6 stuffed olives

1. Cut off the tops of the apples, and scoop out the insides to hollow them.

2. Remove all core and pips and dice remaining flesh.

3. Sprinkle the apples with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

4. Mix the chopped apple with all the other filling ingredients.

5. Just before serving, pile into the apple cases.

6. Decorate with prawn and a stuffed olive on a wooden toothpick.

TO SERVE: With a green salad.

TO VARY: Use same filling with addition of chopped celery or omit the olives and add extra chopped gherkins and a few capers instead.


Jellied Tomato Refresher

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/4 cup cold water

3 cups tomato juice

2 tablespoons dehydrated green pepper flakes

Artificial sweetener to equal 2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 packet instant beef broth and seasoning mix or 1 beef bouillon cube

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 medium green pepper, cut in rings (optional)

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water to soften. Combine tomato juice. green pepper flakes, sweetener, lemon juice, broth mix, Worcestershire, garlic salt, and cloves in saucepan. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Add softened gelatin; stir to dissolve. Pour into bowl. Refrigerate until set. Just before serving. beat lightly with fork. Spoon mixture, evenly divided, into 4 dessert dishes. Garnish with green pepper rings, if desired. Makes 4 servings.


Piquant Herring Salad

Preparation time: 15 mins.

Main utensil: sharp knife

For 4 people you need:

4 pickled herrings

1 small onion

1 eating apple

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 pint soured cream (or 1/4 pint single cream and 1 dessertspoon lemon juice)


white pepper

To pick 6 herrings:

Brine: 2 oz. salt

1 pint water

Spiced vinegar:

1 pint vinegar, preferably white

1 tablespoon pickling spices

Fillet 6 large herrings, soak in the brine for 2 hours. Roll herrings, cover with cold spiced vinegar made by boiling vinegar and spices. Put into screw top jars with sliced onion, bay leaf. Leave 5-6 days.

1. Drain herrings. Cut in half lengthways; cut each half into 4 strips.

2. Arrange on serving dish.

3. Slice onion. Cover with boiling water, drain after 1 minute.

4. Core and slice apple, sprinkle slices with lemon juice. Reserve a few apple slices for garnish.

5. Blend rest of apple, onion rings, cream and 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice. Season well.

TO SERVE: Spoon dressing over herring pieces, garnish with apple slices – watercress may be used if desired.

TO VARY: Use yoghourt instead of soured cream, add a few capers and finely chopped gherkin to the mixture.

Pickled herring and beetroot salad: Mix chopped herrings with diced cooked potato, diced cooked beetroot, diced apples. Toss in mayonnaise.

TO STORE: Cover lightly with foil and keep in a cool place.


Silhouette Salad

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/

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