Whipped Fish and other Retro Food Horrors

So a dear friend of mine is hosting a get-together next weekend and declared the theme of the evening to be ‘Retro Foods’.  I thought this was just the cleverest thing – what a fun idea!  We scour the internet or our Moms’ cookbooks for party-favorites of a bygone era, attempt to prepare them, and bring them to share with everyone at an evening that is certain to be a rollicking good time, as always.  Being the slight (throat clearing…) procrastinator that I am, I hadn’t yet settled on my offering, but I decided to do a bit of ‘research’ on the internet today and what I found has frightened me to my core.  I Googled ‘retro appetizer’ and as I scrolled down the images I became more and more certain that the parties of the 50s and 60s were genuine gastronomical horror shows.

I also noticed a bit of a trend towards the following, now near-extinct phenomena:

  • Canned ‘ham’ – or other tinned, gelatinous solids posing as meats
  • Along similar lines, faux cheese products such as Velveeta
  • Pickles – usually sweet
  • Coloured bread – green bread is wrong.  If it’s green, you should chuck it or make penicillin.
  • Jello moulds containing obscene suspended ingredients
  • Balls or ‘loaves’ of ingredients that don’t belong in the same sentence, never mind the same mouthful
  • Whipped fish – need I say more?

Of course I couldn’t resist compiling a small gallery of some of the most terrifying examples I encountered.  Bon appetit!

Jellied eggs:

jellied egg

Almonds in a haystack:

almonds in a haystack

Bologna cake:

bologna cake

Cauliflower with breaded dildos:  (ok, ok, I made that name up)

cauliflower with breaded weiners

And continuing the phallic theme: Ham-wrapped baked banana with mustard sauce  (say what, now?)

baked banana with ham and mustard

Whatever this godforsaken brick is:

brick o food

Creepy smiling salmon mousse:

freaky salmon mousse

Jello with olives. Ya…

olive jello salad

As the Jello Ad says:  Don’t let a week go by without serving one of these magnificent treats.