September 27, 2010

'Dat Silly Ol' Cannibal

One of my favorite features in vintage cookbooks is the illustration.  Much of it is rather witty, putting a comedic spin on the recipe's origins, its name or when/where/how it is typically eaten.    Here's a cute example from The Cheese Cookbook (Culinary Arts Institute, 1956):

The illustration is with a recipe for Welsh Rabbit (also called 'Rarebit'), which was ostensibly the poor man's substitute for the real thing - thus the rabbits' willingness to serve it. I particularly like the lady rabbit in her pearls and mascara, bringing up the rear. 

But it's not all wit and whimsy.  The illustrations sometimes reflect the thoughtless racial and ethnic stereotyping of the era. Today's frightening food recipe recipe is a case in point - although the bedazzled expression on the face of this sandwich-eating cannibal makes it just plain silly!

Two thoughts come to mind after re-reading this recipe:
1) Can you say "E. coli?"
2) Nice with....chowchow? Methinks Mennonite missionaries have been to this cannibal's abode!

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