In Pursuit of Grossness

by Esther Schindler

I thought the Gallery of Regrettable Food was the epitome of food entertainment -- in the opposite way of the Food Porn on, say, the FoodTV network:

They're not really recipe books. They're ads for food companies, with every recipe using the company's products, often in unexpected ways. (Hot day? Kids love a frosty Bacon Milkshake!) There's not a single edible dish in the entire collection. The pictures in the books are ghastly - the Italian dishes look like a surgeon got a sneezing fit during an operation, and the queasy casseroles look like something on which the janitor dumps sawdust.

This was actually a printed book. I bought a copy, because, after all, Web sites can go away.

Now, though, one of my coworkers has found a companion to The Gallery: a collection of Weight Watcher's Recipe Cards from the 1970s.

These cards mystify me. None of them have calorie or nutrition information of any kind, and in some instances it's hard to tell what's dietetic about the recipes at all, except that they're unspeakably grim. And yet also, completely insane. They appear to be from a much kookier era of Weight Watchers. There's a certain serve-it-at- your-next-key-party freakiness to a lot of these dishes.

Dehydrated onion flakes are in almost everything here. Apparently Weight Watchers dieticians depended heavily on dried onion flakes, and pimientos, too.

Enjoy. But not before lunch.


Funny stuff - the tragedy is that I remember some of the ads & cookbooks - my Mom probably still has some of them. Got hooked on your blogs thru an Ed Brill blog - thanks.

skip, 2003-12-12

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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