Have you ever looked at something on a menu and thought, “No way would I ever eat that!”? Everyone has their limit when it comes to unusual cuisine. Some are brave enough to venture into the world of fried frog legs and sauteed insects, while others can’t even stomach something as common as broccoli.
Recipe books have all sorts of dishes with varying ingredients, and if you ever look in a vintage cookbook, you’ll realize decades ago there were some very bizarre combinations of flavors. So odd, in fact, it’s hard to believe anyone had the urge to indulge in them. These vintage recipes will make time travel suddenly seem a whole lot less appealing…
1. Ham and banana hollandaise: If someone tells you they have a recipe that requires ham and hollandaise sauce, you assume they’re talking about Eggs Benedict. But when you hear there are also bananas involved, you run the other way.
2. Liver sausage pineapple: If it looks like a pineapple and feels like a pineapple, it must be a pineapple, right? Wrong! It could also just be a mound of liverwurst in the shape of a pineapple and covered in yellow gelatin. Talk about a classic bait and switch!
3. Decoratively-shaped hot dogs: Have you ever been to a barbecue where you asked for a hot dog and someone handed you a link of meat in the shape of a balloon animal? No, you haven’t. And it should stay that way forever.
4. Perfection salad: Sitting down to a fresh salad can be a good idea. Eating a plate of delicious jello after dinner can be a good idea. Eating jello that’s filled with salad ingredients is not a good idea. So, act accordingly.
5. Frosted ribbon loaf: If this was presented to you at a party, at first it would probably pique your interest. But when you cut a slice and realized the inside of this log of icing was ham and egg, and the “frosting” was cream cheese, you might have second thoughts about indulging.
6. Lobster relish: Who doesn’t like lobster? Dunking a fat piece of claw meat in warm butter is one of the most beautiful things in the world. Digging chunks of lobster and other seafood out of a pink jello mold, however, isn’t.
7. Jellied tomato refresher: It’s a hot summer day and you just finished mowing the lawn. You’re probably craving a cold water, or maybe even a beer, right? You’re probably not craving a glass of rubbery tomato juice and beef broth.
8. Steak pudding: This may be one of the most misleading product names ever. There’s neither steak nor pudding in this dish. These dumpling-esque shapes are actually made with suet, which is the hardened fat that lines the organs of cattle and sheep. Pudding, anyone?
9. Lime cheese salad: Now even you can terrify your taste buds with this haunting flavor profile. First, fill a ring of lime jello with cottage cheese and try not to cringe. Then, once the jello hardens, plop a nice-sized spoonful of seafood salad in the middle. Citrus, dairy, and seafood all in one dish.
10. Shrimp sandwich roll: To be completely honest, the idea of a shrimp sandwich doesn’t sound bad at all. But when you make the whole thing look like a Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcake Roll, you lose a lot of people.
11. Tuna and jello pie: This horrific-looking concoction is also known as Summer Salad Pie, and it’s exactly what it looks like: a baked pie crust filled with a base of strawberry jello and topped with canned tuna fish. This recipe needs to be torn out of every cookbook.
12. Super salad loaf: For this dish, buy an entire loaf of bologna, carve out the middle, and pack the whole thing tight with peas. Now throw it in the garbage before you scare your guests away and order takeout.
13. Frozen cheese salad: For those who enjoy a block of frozen cheese lying dormant on a plate, this dish is for you! Just make sure you give people miniature chisels alongside the broccoli so they can break apart the cement block of dairy you’re offering.
14. Monterey souffle salad: Even though the color scheme on this bizarre dish looks somewhat appealing to the eye, the inner workings are pretty gross. Tuna fish nestled atop a quivering jello mold of veggies and lemon juice gets a hard pass.
15. Spam and Lima beans: This might not be an ideal meal, but at least it doesn’t have some weird ingredient suspended in gelatin. And, for all the hate Spam gets, there are plenty of weirder meats to eat. Have you heard of tripe?
16. Glazed potato salad: This is actually one dish that doesn’t look half bad. In fact, it kind of looks appealing if you’re into potato salad. Why did everyone back in the day constantly feel the need to shape food into loaves?
17. Baked stuffed salmon: You’ve probably seen this dish on restaurant menus all over, and that’s because it’s actually delicious. The only problem with this particular presentation is the poor fish looks like it’s staring into your soul while you dig into it.
18. Igloo meat loaf: Here’s quite a unique way to serve a loaf of meat. It might look a little startling to guests when you first set it down on your dinner table, but once they cut into the mashed potato and cheese igloo, they’re sure to relax.
19. Aspic-glazed lamb loaf: This culinary nightmare will haunt you long after you take a taste. Basically, you grind up lamb into a paste-like texture and cover it with, you guessed it, gelatin (are you sensing a pattern here?).
20. Cream chipped beef on toast: What is that pile of mush melting off that bread? It’s chipped beef, of course! Chipped is another word for sliced, and the meat comes submerged in a creamy white sauce. Dump it on some toast, close your eyes, and take a big bite!