20 Odd and Unsavory Retro Cookbooks

HERE is a smorgasbord of vintage cookbooks featuring some of the most unappetizing gastro-abominations ever put to print, and some that are just downright peculiar. Whether they leave you scratching your head or holding your stomach, they’re all interesting to behold.  Bon Appétit!


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This looks like somebody vomited on more vomit.  Even the sprig of foliage at the top can’t make this appear edible – but at least there’s a gigantic glass of milk to wash it all down.



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Even when I zoom-in, that green tubule emerging from the meat looks like a larva of some kind.   It’s probably just an olive slice, and quite frankly the least of your worries with this mess.




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In your hour of need, turn to sandwiches.  When friends and lovers have gone away, the sandwich will always be there for you.



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They’re not fooling anyone with that cornucopia of fresh produce.  These are “recipes starring potato chips” – vegetables from the garden are there merely as backdrop.



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This cookbook is full of great recipes for any occasion: easy sandwiches for picnics on the slave plantation,  finger-foods for seceding from The Union, and hearty dinners after a long day of racism.



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A man grills slabs of fatty meat while his adoring wife watches on:  The American Dream perfectly encapsulated.



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I’m not entirely sure why, but this giant winking banana is giving me the creeps.  Perhaps it’s the fact that he’s carrying a pot of fellow banana.



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Does Hollandaise sauce really go with Maraschino cherries? Do you hold it by the florets to nibble on the ham?…. So many questions, so little time.



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Um, yeah.  The winking cannibal banana was less troubling than this.



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Deighton is famous for his Swinging Sixties spy novels, particularly The IPCRESS File.  Deighton also was a big time culinary enthusiast and wrote what is probably the manliest cookbook in history.




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There are no words.  Just waves of nausea



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“…recipes for a livelier love life” which apparently involve blood sacrifices and pledging your eternal soul to Satan.  That seems a lot of effort – maybe just order pizza instead.



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Sweet Lord! Get a load of that massive slab of meat! It looks like something Fred Flintstone would eat.  This is what a nightmare looks like for vegetarians.  I can only assume the knife is resting on the plate as a counter-weight to offset the mass of that tremendous shank of gristle and bone.



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Myra Breckinridge, a book dealing with transsexuality and deviant sexual practices, seems an odd choice to have an accompanying cookbook.  Although, I understand the “Cumin Covered Cock” is quite good (not a joke – it’s in the book).  File this under “only in the 70s”.



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Actually, on second thought, be timid and apprehensive with bananas.



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Got a hankering for some “Whores d’Oeuvres”? Craving a “Hot Bitch in a Blanket”?  I recommend Fanny Hill’s Cook Book (1970) which contains these recipes and more.   (Although, having a naked whore in the kitchen is probably a bit unsanitary.)



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Using olive slices for eyes is a nice tough.  And by “nice” I mean “frightening”.



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Yes, I know Price was an art connoisseur and culinary master.  However, nearly every film I’ve seen him in, he’s a maniacal fiend liable to have something very ghoulish in that crock pot.  His cooking is not to be trusted.



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Of the five hundred sandwiches, they chose these gastro-anomalies to place on the cover.  This does not bode well for the remaining 499.



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I’ve saved the best for last.  Here is the only cookbook you’ll ever need.  “More than 150 recipes designed to please any man…. The single girl’s guide to hooking her man – through cooking”.

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