Retro Dishes You Won't Believe Existed

Retro Dishes You Won’t Believe Existed

In food, as in life, trends come and go, then come back again. Certain foods, like fondue, rose to prominence in the 1960s before falling by the wayside, but later came back into vogue. While the resurgence of certain once-trendy foods is welcome, there are some retro delicacies we'd be happy to never see again. 

Ham and Bananas Hollandaise

Yes, this is just what it sounds like: In McCall's 1973 Great American Recipe Card Collection, bananas are given a truly royal treatment that involves ham and hollandaise. Why did anyone think that this was a good idea?

Liver Sausage Pineapple

Liver sausage exists (it's usually called liverwurst), as do pineapples. Why a Better Homes and Gardens employee thought to sculpt a giant glob of liver sausage to look like a pineapple, the world will never know. Yes, to make this dish, someone mixed a whole lot of liver sausage with gelatin, formed it into a big tube, covered it with a lemony, mayonnaise-based... shell (?), then topped it with a pineapple top. To think of all the time it took to make this dish... that's time that could have been much better spent. 

Frosted Ribbon Loaf

The name of this dish reveals absolutely nothing about the finished product, except for the fact that it's a loaf. So let's slice it open and see what's inside! Down through the cream cheese frosting (at least it's not mayo) and into what looks like white bread, ham, and eggs. No thanks. 

Lime Cheese Salad

Back in the day, Jell-O spent many years trying very hard to get people to use their product in savory applications. Take this dish: It starts with a ring of lime Jell-O mixed with vinegar, onion, cottage cheese, and mayo, and is finished by filling in the ring with a "seafood salad" that contains no identifiable seafood. It appears as though the only cheeses readily available in 50s kitchens were of the cottage, cream, and American varieties. 

Super Salad Loaf

We're not sure what's so "super" about this salad loaf besides the fact that the recipe calls for a 1 ½-pound block of baloney with the center scooped out and mashed peas shoved inside. While this dish dates all the way back to the World War II era, it was a sad, sad harbinger of things to come. 

Frozen Cheese Salad

Even the broccoli looks like it's sad to be included in this circa-1974 dish. It's partnered with a frozen block of cottage cheese, blue cheese, and buttermilk. The secret ingredient? Barbecue sauce

Spam N’ Limas

This dish proudly describes itself as Spanish-inspired. It involves slices of Spam tucked into a mixture of lima beans, canned tomatoes, onions, green peppers, celery leaves, and some lard for good measure. We have a feeling that the bottom of this pan is hiding a giant pool of grease. 

Jellied Chicken Salad

The fact that this looks almost identical to the contents of a can of Fancy Feast says a lot about either the high quality of Fancy Feast or the poor quality of this dish. We're assuming that this "salad" was intended for those who weren't fans of mayo: just swap it with gelatin, it's the '50s way!

Christmas Candle Salad

This "salad" (seriously, did every cold dish in the '50s qualify as a salad?) is wrong on so many levels that we don't even know to begin. In fact, we won't. 

Tropical Hamburger

It was a simpler time, when all you had to do in order to call something "tropical" was top it with pineapple slices and a Maraschino cherry. This is more of a meatloaf (the beef mixture also contains egg, milk, and bread crumbs), and it's brushed with a pineapple-based cornstarch slurry while it's broiling. We have a feeling that this was never served anywhere south of "very well done."