Vintage Gristle: More Glistening Mounds of Mid-Century Meat

"My soul knows my meat is doing bad things, and is embarrassed. But my meat just keeps right on doing bad, dumb things" - Kurt Vonnegut

A “Tropical Hamburger” from a 1973 cookbook

It’s always fun to take a look back at what was on the table at dinnertime from years ago.  Today, everyone is so conscious of diet/nutrition, as well as the “foodie” trend where every plate has to be worthy of sharing across social media.  Back then, it was as simple as a slab of meat with some veggie sides.

So, let’s have a look at some meat dishes from yesteryear which are definitely not fit for social media bragging.  The images are scanned from old cookbooks, magazines and advertisements from mid-century through the 1970s.  For more vintage meats check out: Vintage Gristle: Glistening Mounds of Mid-Century Meat Part 1 from 2014, and Ugly Vintage Meats: Before There Were Food Stylists from 2015. Bon Appétit!



I love how the steak is garnished with peas inside an orange peal.  You won’t find that on The Food Network.



Scanned from Woman’s Day magazine – October 23, 1978, featuring the Matambre – “a South American stuffed flank steak roll”.



These droopy striped wieners actually would go nice with that beer.



This ham (from a 1937 magazine) looks tasty and “It’s Ovenized!”… so says the nightmarish clown from the eighth circle of hell.



From 1965 comes the “celebrated roast beef of Britain” with a generous coat of glistening fat.



Sloppy Joes – “Get it by the cartful for instant entertaining and handy-dandy family fare”.  Also see: Meat in a Can: SPAM and Other Potted Meat Ads from the 1960s



Yes, I mock, but let me just say that, although these meats may not be ready for prime-time at your hipster-friendly eatery… I’d much rather dig into these glistening piles of vintage meats.


Family Circle magazine, 1963

The following meat spectacular comes from a 1964 issue of Family Circle magazine:



Better Homes and Gardens Oct 1964

Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Cook Book, 1959

Australian Women’s Weekly – 1968

I’m sure they’re great knives, but my attention is distracted by that massive hunk of meat.  Wow.  How can we possibly top that?  This ad from 1967 just might…



Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.