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May 6, 2007 06:53 PM

The Gallery of Regrettable food-recipes from the past.

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
          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:'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.

           [potted-meat data] 20 March 1998

           23 April 1998

           2 April 2003

                    ( 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.