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The Gallery of Regrettable food-recipes from the past.

  • d

We've all been here, right? Great pictures. Thank god I wasn't around for some of these


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  1. My sister gave us The Gallery of Regrettable Foods book, because we did indeed grow up with some of those regrettable foods!

    4 Replies
    1. re: zataar

      Forgive me if I can't join in the hilarity here; I find Mr. Lileks's smug, dismissive attitudes towards a lot of perfectly good food*, in many cases simply because the older printing processes produced an image he chooses to find abhorrent, to be amusing, then annoying, and finally insufferable. I recalled having a copy of that book and just now went down to retrieve it; after leafing through it for about ten minutes I rediscovered why I put it on a top shelf after looking through it and hadn't opened it since.

      *My German grandfather, easily the best cook in the family, would have had a thing or two to say about JL's captioning a gorgeous platter of sauerkraut and mixed meats - a choucroute garni, in fact - with the epithet "Hun food." Fie!

      1. re: Will Owen

        How do you "choose to find" anything? Wow! I choose to find $1000!

        Seriously, it's just a look at how things were in the past. 50 years from now, they'll be doing it to us.

        I mean, some of those things are just outrageous to even consider. They WERE bright pink and green and worse.

        1. re: Diana

          I agree. I don't perceive the smugness. For that matter, what about the smugness in the 1950s attitudes he's skewering (e.g., the sexist images in the BBQ cookbook pages)?
          Choucroute's awesome; doesn't mean you can't look at it from another perspective and giggle at it.

        2. re: Will Owen

          If you read any of Lilek's other writing, you'll see that he actually has a great deal of affection for the past, not just these cookbooks, but old motels, matchbooks, faded signs painted on brick walls. It is a lighthearted look back at the food that many of us grew up with, and that some of us still enjoy occasionally.

      2. When I was a kid, I thought I'd get a creamsicle drink by combining OJ and Cool Whip. I drank the entire curdled mess hoping it would get better.

        1. I enjoy looking at some of these cookbooklets.I have several jello ones from the 1930s
          and a Knox one from the 20s.I grew up with this stuff too.wwww.imagineryworld.com
          has lots of photos of stuff like Fruit Float,Swanson tv dinners,etc.
          I even try to find websites on the subject of these old foods and recipes.I understand there is a muesum of defunct foods some place,will have to get back to you on this one.

          1. Yes Lileks' Regrettable Food Gallery has been a favorite for some time.

            In case no one mentioned it yet, here's another: The Potted Meat Food Product pages.

            Eloquent photo (Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy, listed with 1200% US RDA cholesterol limit, crowds Bronte Lamb Tongues). Details on "Meat by-products," history of Mechanically Separated Poultry. Links to Potted Meat Food Product Tribute Page and others.


            7 Replies
            1. re: eatzalot

              But the the grandmommy of them all is I believe Candyboots..

              1. re: tatamagouche

                And, since I think it's been a while since it received its due: thesneeze.com's Steve, Don't Eat It! remains one of the funniest webpages I've ever read, period. I urge all hounds to hound him to enter a new installment--it's been nearly 2 years.


                1. re: tatamagouche

                  The Sneeze is a great site (although I still have problems with him ripping my beloved Huitlacoche).

                  1. re: tatamagouche

                    OMG, the Prison Wine write-up is hysterical!

                  2. re: tatamagouche

                    Grandmommy, or possibly grandkid: note sequence of appearance.

                    pk.org [potted-meat data] 20 March 1998

                    lileks.com 23 April 1998

                    candyboots.com 2 April 2003

                    (thesneeze.com is 29 June 2003)

                    1. re: tatamagouche

                      candyboots is 100% pure brilliance. her comments are genius. that's one of those websites i remember to look at every couple of years, and i still laugh out loud at it.

                      1. re: tatamagouche

                        OMG. that was hilarious. but I seriously feel bad that anyone had to eat that!!

                    2. Whenever I order anything from Archie McPhee, they always send along a series of recipe postcards featuring this type of badly printed, somewhat horrific, always amusing food.

                      I currently have a Chicken Goulash postcard on my desk, and while I actually like all kinds of goulash (goulashi?), the picture makes it look like a traffic accident on a bed of noodles.

                      1. We laugh at those fools from the past, but consider what they will say about this one - the infamous Sandra Lee Kwanzaa cake - Angel food cake with chocolate frosting, apple pie filling and...corn nuts???


                        4 Replies
                        1. re: wak

                          where did she come up with this? is this her take on some sort of traditional ethnic holiday dish, like latkes or mince pies? are there other people out there actually combining chocolate frosting, apple filling, popcorn, pumpkin seeds, and corn nuts?

                          1. re: funkymonkey

                            Her cookbooks are filled with this kind of garbage. Its really quite fascinating. The show is almost painful to watch.

                          2. re: wak

                            the photo doesnt even have any popcorn. who could possibly have invented such a monstrosity...there is no way that anyone could have tasted this.

                            I don't understand her shtick at all...most of her recipes aren't even any easier to make than actually cooking something...but they all look like they would taste far worse.

                            1. re: wak

                              That was frightening, wasn't it?