Sunday, November 10, 2013

Those crazy epicures....

Today's recipe itself showcases a lot of things that were common in recipes from the '50s to the '70s: questionable use of gelatin, loads of cream (both light and heavy!), blatant disregard for the possibility of salmonella contamination. The recipe itself is not a surprise:

I was surprised, however, by where I found the recipe. It's from Anna Thomas's 1972 The Vegetarian Epicure.

I guess she used the word "epicure" to suggest that this would not be one of those health-obsessed guides that were popular in the 1970s. The recipes would not taste the way a health food store smells or be laden with carob and soy curls, even if it meant negating the potential health benefits of vegetarianism in the process.

Even the disregard of healthfulness isn't really what surprises me, though. It's the gelatin. The real vegetarians I know (as opposed to my mostly vegetarian, but not terribly strict about it approach) will not eat anything with gelatin. It's not meat per se, but it is made from skin, bones, and connective tissue. Calling this a vegetarian recipe seems a bit of a stretch, especially since this isn't a cookbook of the Catholic "no meat on Fridays (and fish doesn't count as meat)" variety.

Now just because I'm amused by it, here is the back cover.

Who can resist a man who lies in a meadow casually nibbling what I assume is misshapen celery while holding a bouquet of carrots?

Ah, the '70s. They will always amuse me.

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