The Gallery of Regrettable Food (Hardcover)
Lileks pokes fun at food advertising and promotional ideas from the '50s nascent food industry. Making sport of the assumptions that underlay American cookery at mid-century is an easy target. The reigning belief that anything technological or manufactured was by definition superior to nature's bounty today appears naive at best. Add to that the mindless nutritional opinions of the era, and there's plenty of laughter to be found in these ads. A vibrantly rendered shot of a thick, untrimmed porterhouse steak slathered with ketchup and then topped with sliced hard-boiled eggs looks ready to clot every coronary artery, not to mention its complete void of fresh flavors. Most hilarious are advertisements showing pretentious "French" chefs promoting their favorite ways to use marshmallows. How a dish of scrambled eggs topped with cheese, ketchup, and cream of mushroom soup earned the moniker "Eggs Oriental" goes beyond the inscrutable. Mark Knoblauch.
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