Humanity has always been creative with our food. After discovering fire, the art of creating and consuming cuisine has been on the up and up. While there are recipes from the past that are still in widespread use today (like pie crusts and beer), some recipes have fallen through the cracks of time. Whether it was due to economic progress or an evolution of trends from the food scene, these recipes are mostly unheard in this day and age.
Let’s take a brief field trip back to the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s and see what was commonly served on dinner tables during some of the most interesting times in history.
Great Depression Era Ritz cracker apple pie
Almost a century ago, The Great Depression took a hold of the world. From the excitement and growth of the Roaring ’20s, the economy took a nosedive, people lost their jobs and millions went hungry. The thing is though, difficult times are a breeding ground for innovation. This apple pie recipe doesn’t even have apples in it. The resourceful folks from the early 20th century used broken up Ritz crackers as a substitute for the expensive and seasonal fruit.
Honestly, we’d love to try it just to see how it tastes.
Great Depression Era hot water pie
Water pie isn’t the most appetizing of names, but people did what they could back then. This pie used water (yes, as in H2O) as the main ingredient in lieu of more milk and cream. The recipe is supposed to yield a smooth, creamy, custard and a perfectly golden brown crust.
Again, our curiosity is just gnawing at us to give this pie a chance. If we ever do, we’ll let you know how it goes.
Wartime super salad loaf
Serving your salad, appetizer and main course in one dish sounds like a lot—and this “super salad loaf” recipe from the 1940s is testament to that. The super salad loaf is made of a block of hollowed out bologna (yes, the processed meat) stuffed with mashed peas and mayonnaise. Given it was the 1940s when this recipe came out, we’ll just nod our heads instead of saying more.
We’d still give it a try, though. You know, for science.
Post-war lime gelatin and cottage cheese salad
Gelatin became a huge culinary trend in the middle of the 20th century. People were just putting everything in it. From salads, soups, mains to desserts, if it didn’t have a little gelatin in it, it just wasn’t of the times. Case in point, this post-war lime gelatine and cottage cheese salad from the 1950s.
Aside from lime gelatin and cottage cheese, the other components of this gelatinous dish include crushed pineapples, mayonnaise, horseradish and a can of sweetened condensed milk. This is a little beyond imagination for us, but that combination does sound… Interesting.
1950’s perfection salad
Whatever you’ve imagined a “perfection salad” is, scrap it. Scrap it completely. This recipe goes leaps and bounds beyond what you could ever think of. The perfection salad is another member of the gelatinous salad family. Its main ingredients are gelatin (of course), cabbage, carrots and tuna.
While a rule we religiously observe is not to yuck anyone’s yums, we’re going to have to pass on this one.