20 Unholy Recipes: Dishes So Awful We Had to Make Them

After about a year of perusing old-school cookbooks looking for weird recipes and spotting bizarre trends (hot dogs + eggs, inside a Jell-O mold) from the '50s, food blogger Robin Wheeler compiled her twenty most stomach-turning concoctions. (Do not view this list before lunch. Jeez, or maybe after lunch either. Either way, consider yourself warned.)

We've presented those twenty worst below as a warning to enthusiastic cooks out there: Creativity isn't always a good thing, and in relation to high-quality food porn photos, please consider these pictures the equivalent of a snuff film.

Now, on with the countdown!

20. Aspic Entrées: Jellied Bouillon with Frankfurters
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From 1953's 500 Tasty Snacks: Ideas of Entertaining. Read about this dish here.

19. Apricot Salad Ruins Teeth, Christmas

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Here's a snippet of the recipe: "Boil apricot Jell-O with eight pounds of sugar (approximately) and water. Whip with cream cheese. Consider a welding mask for this job, lest molten Jell-O-cheese fly into your face. Add a giant can of crushed pineapple with syrup, Gerber's and chopped pecans." Read more here, if you dare.

18. "New-Look Cocktail Spreads"
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This recipe is from 1967's Perfect Parties by Good Housekeeping magazine. From our original story on these red and green cheese balls: "The recipe instructs that the cheese balls should be rolled in foil, chilled and then coated in dried beef (red) and chopped curly parsley (green). Joke's on you! It'll look nothing like the photos in the cookbook! Good Housekeeping molded the cheese balls in fluted molds and topped them with hairdos of garnish that look like 1970s porn pubes." Read more here.

17. Fruitcake Slices: All the Fun of Fruitcake with None of the Booze
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This recipe was pulled from Pillsbury's 1976 Festive Baking for All Seasons: Dunk them Oreo-style in Jack Daniel's -- not just because you need to take the edge off, but because the lack of liquid in the recipe makes the cookies dry as coal. The cherries distract from the dryness with a rubber crunch and a mouthfeel that can come only from a marinade in high-fructose corn syrup. Read more here.

16. Scandinavian Sandwich
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The Scandinavian Sandwich in 1972's Better Homes and Gardens' Jiffy Cooking has ingredients from England, America, France and Italy. And it has exactly one thing in common with Scandinavian cuisine. It tastes like flavorless crap. It's char and mush. Read more about this recipe.

15. The "Triple Play Warmer"
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The master of all advertising cookbooks, A Campbell's Cookbook: Cooking with Soup, spawned this recipe. The "Triple Play Warmer," like 98 percent of the recipes in the book, wasn't created because it tasted good. It was created to sell as many cans of soup as possible. Read more about this heinous recipe.

14. The Good: Hot Dog Nutty Fritters. The Bad: Hot Dog Salad Dressing
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These recipes were pulled from 1968's Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Cookbook and came out not-so-bad and vomit-inducing, respectively. Read more about these recipes here.

13. Reuben Chowder
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"I knew I'd hate the Reuben Chowder recipe from 1983's Better Homes and Gardens Soups and Stews Cook Book. Canned corned beef pisses me off almost as much as hunger itself. But as a little experiment, I opted to fast in preparation." Read more about this recipe here.

12. Salmon Rice Casserole
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"Thanks to Pyrex Prize Recipes, I'm over it. With its Salmon Rice Casserole recipe, Pyrex hasn't just turned me against my beloved pimiento cheese, but I don't think I'll be able to eat rice, salmon or olives in any form ever again." Read more about this recipe here.

11. Jellied Chicken
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This recipe was taken from The Blender Way to Better Cooking -- 200 pages of recipes, all requiring a blender. Enough said. Read more about this recipe here.

10. Vienna Sausage Shortcake
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"Leave it to those jackasses at Good Housekeeping to bring Vienna sausages back into my world with their 1967 Keep Cool Cookbook," writes Robin Wheeler about this dish. "The Vienna-Sausage Shortcake involves baking a batch of cornbread, and simmering cream of chicken soup, cheese, green beans, and Vienna sausages. That'll sit just fine in your belly during the dog days." Read more about this recipe here.


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3 comments
likalaruku
likalaruku

Aspic recipes are actually pretty good in flavor, it's just that there is an issue of texture. The same could be said about liver, really. Though rather than franks, I'd recommend shredded slow-cooked beef, chicken, or pork.


For example, you swap out those bits of celery for green onion, use finely chopped Yangtze pork, keep the hard boiled eggs in it, add ginger, garlic, & soy to the aspic, & toss in some boiled noodles.

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On 19, if you use Tropical Fusion jello, ditch the sugar entirely, use cottage cheese instead of cream cheese, keep the pineapple, add nuts. It's Ambrosia Salad / Heavenly Hash.

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14 on the left is how we eat kosher franks. Cut em almost in half, add cheddar & sweet gherkins, then wrap em in bacon. 

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13 Eek, cream of celery, kraut, & processed cheese? I think if you used steamed cabbage, cheddar, & cream, & roux it would taste better.

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9 The only way pickle jello could work is if they still made celery flavored jello, as dill & vinegar have no place being near anything fruity.

Smaisle
Smaisle

The foods you posted could potentially look more appetizing if you used a professional photographer, who could use proper lighting and Photoshop enhancements to make them look "cook book ready".

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