Top 5 Famous 1950s Foods

1950s foods were surprisingly different than food today. Some of the meals from back then have completely vanished while others still persist even today. The 50s was a time of innovation and change that occurred after World War II and it gave people the chance to experiment with new foods since rationing was no longer an issue.

But what were some of the most popular dishes from the 1950s?

1. 1950s Foods: Gelatin Molds

Gelatin was unusually popular throughout the 1950s and 60s. In old 50s cookbooks, you will find all sorts of strange meals, often party food, made with gelatin. This includes gelatin that has swallowed up pieces of ham, olives, fish, and other strange foods. Gelatin as a food was invented in the early 20th century, so it was still quite new in the 1950s.

Besides that, it could be made into any shape you could imagine. For that reason, many wives and hostesses took it upon themselves to use gelatin to see how creative and experimental they could get with their food. This is not to mention that they could certainly impress their guests with whatever strange and otherworldly gelatin meals they could invent. Back then, gelatin was more of a savory dish and was oven flavored with onions, cucumber, seafood, and so on.

Today, this is a foreign and, indeed, disgusting way of using gelatin and that ingredient is instead only reserved for Jell-O.

2. Fondue

Fondue isn’t so much a meal as a snack. It is not much more than a bowl of cheese that you can dip things into. Fondue is actually a very old dish straight from the 17th century. However, it only gained traction in the late 1950s and early 60s when it started to become popular in Europe, especially Switzerland.

The news of fondue eventually spread to America where it became quite a hit. People all over the country started buying fancy bowls that were made specifically for fondue. Fondue became the perfect thing to eat when you had guests over. Not only was it deliciously cheesy, but there was plenty to share and, honestly, who doesn’t want to have some fun dipping their food into a giant bowl of melted cheese?

3. Pineapple Upside Down Cake

You will often find this famous cake on the cover of many vintage cookbooks because, after all, it is quite striking in appearance. With its golden rings of pineapple and orbs of cherries on top, this cake is very colorful and also quite old. It was originally invented in 1926, although it may actually be older than that. This cake continued to be popular for many decades.

The cake was often used with cake mix that one could buy at the store (a new invention at the time). This made making cakes far easier than ever before and the cake would still look and taste great despite the decreased effort.

4. Ambrosia

Ambrosia is a delicious little “salad” that certainly does not belong in anyone’s healthy diet, but it is indeed delicious. It is essentially a bunch of fruit, mostly coconut, cherries, and oranges mixed with various sweet things such as whipped cream, marshmallows, and sometimes a bit of gelatin. This would create an incredibly sweet desert fruit salad.

Not only was this dish visually appealing but it was also quite addicting due to its sweetness. Of course, this dish isn’t so popular today, likely because it’s more or less a diabetes bomb, but nevertheless, it was a staple of its time.

1950s foods

5. 1950s Foods: Meatloaf

Meatloaf was certainly an American classic in the 1950s and most European countries didn’t dare to dabble in this strange dish. Meatloaf originally became popular in the 1930s during the Great Depression since it was an affordable way to consume meat. However, it became popular again during the 1950s and 60s because, after all, it was a very cheap meal and easy to make.

Plus, if there were any leftovers, it would be easy to use the meat in a sandwich or something similar. There was also the big question of whether you should put ketchup on it or not. Whatever the case, this is actually one of the 1950s foods that still remain popular today.

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One Comment

  1. I love Pineapple Upside Down cake. And I actually did make a version of Ambrosia (with vegan marshmallows) and it was much better than I expected…and better than I remember it as kids, when we had to eat everything on our plate. LOL!

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