Forgotten Foods: reviving weird old food and figuring out what should be brought back

but if that’s how you pronounce it, then why isn’t his name Bertie Worcestershire?

Don’t knock it if you haven’t tried it. Of course I don’t think canned beans are “nasty.” Gourmet? no. Nasty? also no.

My personal variation is beans on a toasted Eggo waffle (it just fits perfectly in my shallow bowls). The crannies hold the beans.


Sharp cheddar, melted with and mixed with an egg yolk, some beer, mustard, a dash of cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce (pronounced woostersher - Worcester is the city pronounced wooster, Worcestershire is the county of which Worcester is the county seat, and if you don’t pronounce the “shire” part, you’re referring to the city not the county).


It was poverty food in my house. You knew things were bad when mom made SoS. I don’t think I could ever count it “comfort food”.


I’m a fan of Marmite as a warm beverage, if that counts.

Is that a good version of cheese+beans, like Mexican cuisine, or too-too much?

Only cheese I think I’ve ever had with beans has been chunks of cheddar in barbecue baked beans, and that I’ve only seen once or twice. This looks much more melty and cheesy, so I have no idea. I probably wouldn’t be a very good judge of the recipe. :smile:

Some of the descriptions of rarebit in there sound like nothing more than an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cheese sauce poured on a slice of bread and called a meal.

As much as I love Marmite (on buttered toast, with cream cheese or peanut butter, or a nice sharp cheddar - or how about a poached egg on top of Marmite toast?), I never liked it mixed into hot water. Bovril is OK as a drink, but Marmite just tastes wrong.

Those that clicked-through to Favreau’s article at The Smart Set about Lydia Pinkham may get a kick out of knowing that we used to sing a song around the Boy Scout campfire, based on Pinkham’s special tonic:

I was JUST talking about this!!! My dad used to make that all the freakin’ time - he grew up in the Ozarks and he used to do the best frugal cooking. I loved it. As an adult, I thought about making it for my family, since I hadn’t had it in ages, and then I had a little Google about what chipped beef is and decided nah.

My dad used to make Shit on a Shingle for us when I was a kid in the '70s. He was also in the Navy - it must’ve been something they served in the mess halls back then, I guess. Thinking about it gives me a nice nostalgic feeling, but I don’t think I’ll be making it for myself any time soon.

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I think it’s a military thing. My grandfather was an Army cook in WWII and a short order cook off and on for years later. It led to my mom making SOS fairly often when I was growing up. At least when we could afford chipped beef anyway.

Otherwise, she made it with hamburger, which is tastier than you’d think, but not the same.


If we are voting for old food that should be seen more, I vote for random-shit-in-aspic.


Seen more, OK. They are interesting looking.

Eaten? Not by me, thanks… blergh.

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Is that you, James Lileks?


I had a very old cookbook I used to try things from now and again. I was surprised by how often I liked them. Things like nut loaf or strange cakes made to deal with various supply shortages were actually pretty innovative, and for some one on a restricted diet kind of useful.


I like mushy peas! Beans on toast not so much (corn tortillas please).


I wonder if he had a recipe for Lutefisk in Aspic…

Edit: Just came across this gem when searching for Lutefisk in Aspic:
Who brought the Jell-O, and why? - Chicago Tribune

"You ever have aspic?" asked a grizzled investigative reporter. Pardon me? "It's like Jell-O, but it's meat Jell-O, and there are tomatoes floating around in it," he said. "Heh, heh." This fellow has investigated just about every crime known to man, from murders to all types of corruption, so he's not surprised one whit by human nature. But he's terrified of aspic. Is it worse than lutefisk? "Lutefisk is OK compared to aspic," he said. We silently considered lutefisk, the traditional Scandinavian dish of dried cod rehydrated in lye, then boiled until it becomes fish Jell-O. The Norwegians and Swedes each claim it as their own scrumptious delicacy. Norwegians are cool, and everybody knows I'm crazy about Sweden's Lisbeth Salander, "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Though it is thought to have originated with the Vikings, it doesn't mean we have to love it. So after a profound lutefisk silence, we turned once again to the terrors of aspic. "I can't describe it," he said. "I just can't. I won't. It's horrible. It was 23 years ago this Thanksgiving. An in-law put it on my plate. I can't tell you any more." He disappeared. But a few minutes later, validating his aspicophobia, he presented me with an aspic recipe that he found online. Then he ran out of my office.

I don’t know about Ozarks cooking…
My dad grew up in West Texas and Western Kentucky/Tennessee, and was a Navy cook during the Korean war. Our frugal cooking during the Nixon to Carter era of my childhood was usually Chicken Fried Steak or Scrambled Eggs and Waffles. I tell you, he could make the best white gravy ever.

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I heard the sauce got named when a drunk fellow tried a bit of the new sauce on his food, then picked up the bottle and said “whash dish 'ere sauce”. The inventor, never one to trifle with the forces of serendipity, dressed the name up in a respectable sounding format and the rest, as they say, is history.

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