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Tongue, Glorious Tongue! Food As It Used To Be

Tongue, glorious tongue!

Fish paste! Tinned peach slices!! Ox tongue!!! They had it all in 1976. And if you didn’t live near a “Big Choice” Liptons, there was always a fabulous array of groceries available at the Little Shop on the corner.

Not that you’ll find any of this in the nouvelle vague of Seventies-themed restaurants. Prawn Cocktail, Steak Diane and Black Forest Gateaux might be a fair representation of what passed for exoticism in that benighted decade, but it was hardly representative of the diet of the average pasty-faced Brit.

Even the Eighties – now amazingly viewed as a time of glamour and sophistication – were little better.

Old Mr Anorak recalls meeting an Italian on a train to London from Essex, where he was billeted with an English family. They had given him a packed lunch in a small Tupperware box, which he opened to show me the contents: a cheese-spread sandwich in long-life sliced bread, a Blue Riband biscuit, and an apple. “Tell me,” he asked, in a genuinely puzzled tone. “Is this normal?”

Reader, it was.

– Ed Barrett

For more old shopping:

Image: here and here

  • magnetite

    Smedley’s sausage rolls in a tin.

  • June

    saw some Marie Rose sauce in Sainsbury’s today…

  • Martin Chambers

    Surprise Peas, and the ever-present chapped legs joke. Chillo, ice-cream mix which came as a powder you mixed with milk and stuck in the freezer. Things that came in a ‘duo tin’ with curry or chicken supreme in one end and rice in the other, seperated by a dividing layer of metal in the middle. Cresta, the soft drink with weirdest texture ever. I also remember some company beiefly marketing apple flavoured crisps in the late 70s, which were bloody awful!

  • Martin Chambers

    And those tins of frozen orange juice concentrate you had to dilute yourself.