Fiftees Food Nostalgia

May 11, 2013

Amusing Stuff

For those old enough to remember what eating was like in the UK in the 1950’s (and I do!)….

  • Pasta had not been invented.
  • Curry was an unknown entity.
  • Olive oil was kept in the medicine cabinet
  • Spices came from the Middle East where we believed that they were used for embalming
  • Herbs were used to make rather dodgy medicine.
  • A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
  • A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
  • Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
  • The only vegetables known to us were spuds, peas, carrots and cabbage, anything else was regarded as being a bit suspicious.
  • All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
  • Condiments consisted of salt, pepper, vinegar and brown sauce if we were lucky.
  • Soft drinks were called pop.
  • Coke was something that we mixed with coal to make it last longer.
  • A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.
  • Rice was a milk pudding, and never, ever part of our dinner.
  • A Big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.
  • A microwave was something out of a science fiction movie.
  • Brown bread was something only poor people ate.
  • Oil was for lubricating your bike not for cooking, fat was for cooking
  • Bread and jam was a treat.
  • Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves, not bags.
  • The tea cosy was the forerunner of all the energy saving devices that we hear so much about today.
  • Tea had only one colour, black. Green tea was not British.
  • Coffee was only drunk when we had no tea….. and then it was Camp, and came in a bottle.
  • Cubed sugar was regarded as posh.
  • Figs and dates appeared every Christmas, but no one ever ate them.
  • Coconuts only appeared when the fair came to town.
  • Salad cream was a dressing for salads, mayonnaise did not exist
  • Hors d’oeuvre was a spelling mistake.
  • Soup was a main meal.
  • The menu consisted of what we were given, and was set in stone.
  • Only Heinz made beans, there were no others.
  • Leftovers went in the dog, never in the bin.
  • Special food for dogs and cats was unheard of.
  • Sauce was either brown or red.
  • Fish was only eaten on Fridays.
  • Fish and chips was always wrapped in old newspapers, and definitely tasted better that way.
  • Frozen food was called ice cream.
  • Nothing ever went off in the fridge because we never had one.
  • Ice cream only came in one flavour, vanilla.
  • None of us had ever heard of yoghurt.
  • Jelly and blancmange was strictly party food.
  • Healthy food had to have the ability to stick to your ribs.
  • Indian restaurants were only found in India.
  • Cheese only came in a hard lump.
  • A bun was a small cake that your Mum made in the oven.
  • Eating out was called a picnic.
  • Cooking outside was called camping.
  • Eggs only came fried or boiled.
  • Hot cross buns were only eaten at Easter time.
  • Pancakes were only eaten on Shrove Tuesday – and on that day it was compulsory.
  • Cornflakes had just arrived from America but it was obvious that they would never catch on.
  • We bought milk and cream at the same time in the same bottle.
  • Sugar enjoyed a good press in those days, and was regarded as being white gold.
  • Prunes were purely medicinal.
  • Surprisingly muesli was readily available in those days, it was called cattle feed.
  • Turkeys were definitely seasonal.
  • Pineapples came in chunks in a tin; we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
  • We didn’t eat Croissants in those days because we couldn’t pronounce them, we couldn’t spell them and we didn’t know what they were.
  • Garlic was used to ward off vampires, but never used to flavour bread.
  • Water came out of the tap, if someone had suggested bottling it and charging treble for it they would have become a laughing stock.
  • Food hygiene was only about washing your hands before meals.
  • Campylobacter, Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, and Botulism were all called “food poisoning.”

However, the one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties …. ELBOWS!!!


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