While sometimes I’ll admit people can have strange cravings for weird foods, I tend to think that as a whole, our palates are alright. Sure, perhaps we don’t have the refined taste buds of a seasoned food critic, but at least you won’t find us in the kitchen preparing weird vintage recipes. Seriously: the look of these dishes will have you losing your appetite in no time.
To be fair, everyone has different taste in food. But there comes a time when you realize that the best use for gelatin is to make jello shots — not to whip up weird wiggly dishes that are best reserved for the kids’ table. Sure, an occasional, elegant jello dessert can be a fun dish to serve — but home chefs in the 1950s and 1960s had a whole different idea.
The past can be just as mysterious as the future. It causes us to look at old recipes, and conduct our own empirical research. We ask questions like, “Why are you putting that in a cake mold?” and “Did you really need to put olives on that?” Our parents and grandparents had some strange taste, so we can only look at these vintage recipes and thank our lucky stars that we live in the day and age of hot Cheetos and seasonal lattes, and not these unbelievably odd dishes.
1. Fiesta Peach Spam Bake
Granted, Spam is still widely eaten in places like Hawaii, where Spam musubi is a not-so-unusual sushi dish. Still, I prefer to enjoy our peaches separated from our canned meat.
2. Mayonnaise Jello
Surprise! Did you ever think you'd see something this gross come out of a jello mold?
3. Vegetable "Salad"
You can't get salad this vibrant at the farmers' market nowadays.
4. Tomato-Banana Tarts
We understand that tomatoes are a fruit, and this could technically be considered a tomato salad... and yet this still seems like a cruel and unusual snack.
5. Olive-Topped Hot Dogs
You get bonus points if you can balance the olives on top of your hot dog while downing it.
6. Canned Hamburgers
OK, maybe fast food hamburgers aren't much better, but at least you don't see them coming out of a can. Ignorance is bliss, right?
7. "Sandwich Spred" Salad
Nothing like a fresh bowl of lettuce topped with a nice coating of Sandwich Spred. Zesty!
8. Shrimp Orange Walnut Cocktail
In practice, maybe this cocktail wouldn't taste too awful. But there's something about the mixture of orange and brown in a margarita glass that's just unsettling.
9. Any And All Of These Open-Faced Sandwiches
We have come a long way to achieve today's perfected open-faced avocado sandwiches that populate the chicest brunch locales. But these sandwiches here just seem like a sad and sorry waste of bread.