Platform shoes. Arena rock. Perms. If a trend was born in the 1970s, you know it's going to be flashy. And that quality of showmanship and extravagance was never more apparent than on the many unusual recipes and dishes that came flying out of kitchens during the era’s signature dinner parties and casual entertaining get-togethers. Jell-O mixed with tuna, overly adventurous meatloaves, bizarre fondue hybrids: You dream it up and someone in the 1970s was, often inexplicably, trying it out.
Recording the fruits of those unrequested labors is what led author Anna Pallai to create ‘70s Dinner Party: The Good, the Bad and the Downright Ugly of Retro Food, a book highlighting the greatest, and most stomach-churning, concoctions of the era. NPR reports that Pallai previously began posting recipes from the 1970s online after discovering some of her mother’s old cookbooks and, soon amassed nearly 40,000 followers. Take a look at a few of the outstanding ones below and check out Pallai’s tumblr for more.
1. Savory Bacon Pudding
You probably know someone who identifies as a bacon fiend. This is the type of person who makes claims like: “Nothing with bacon could ever be bad.” Send them this and crush their dreams.
2. A Garden’s Worth of Veggies(?) In Aspic
If you don’t know aspic, you’re a blessed individual. It’s a dish where you put literally whatever you want in a savory-ish gelly created from cooled off meat stock. It was big at the time and, as you can guess, it appears frequently in this compilation.
3. Cod Fiesta
It’s a party no one asked for. Actually it’s so much worse than that. It’s like a party that someone threw, and then when you got there instead of a party you realized he was just tricking a bunch of you into helping him move. And it’s a three-story walk-up. And to thank you he made you Cod Fiesta. Do not RSVP to this party.
4. Potatoes the Way Men Love Them
Sorry ladies – the 1970s might have been a great decade for feminism, but some things will, for literally no reason, remain “for men.” Like eating potatoes out of a skillet, apparently.
5. Snapper En Masque
Ever eaten red snapper and thought, “this is prepared so well, but the chef really skimped on giving the fish an evening gown made of kiwi slices?” We got you.
6. Beef In Aspic
Guess who’s back? Back again? Aspic’s back. Tell a friend.
7. Spunky Shoulder Slices
Each of the words in this dish title is somehow confusing. In fact the only thing more confusing than the title is the fact that the dish is served with both coffee and some sort of…creamy salad? WHAT MEAL IS THIS?
8. Molded Shrimp Salad
The mold they used was in the shape of nausea.
9. Sausage Cake
Sausage. Ginger. Cold strong coffee. Raisins. Pumpkin pie spice. Did we mention sausage? We’ve railed on terrible food mashups in the past, but after seeing this, we’ll think twice before we complain again.
We also may never eat again.
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