TASTE

Retro Holiday Foods We're Glad Are History (PHOTOS)

12/18/2013 09:17 am ET | Updated Dec 19, 2013

Old fashioned, vintage, retro: These words often signal something that's cool and back in style today. But not everything that's old should be new again. Certain foods Americans used to eat over the holidays, for example, don't really translate well today.

Yes, the holidays are a great time for tradition, and the perfect time to serve those family recipes passed down over the generations, but we'd rather not resurrect frozen fruit cake salad, thanks very much. For all the great, festive foods we've seen over the years, there have been some equally terrible ones.

Here are a few holiday foods of yore we're glad haven't made a comeback.

  • Tomato Aspic
    McCall's Great American Recipe Card Collection via Dougsploitation.blogspot.co.uk
  • Aspic: "A clear jelly typically made of stock and gelatin and used as a glaze or garnish or to make a mold of meat, fish, or vegetables." Or: "Please god no!" Aspic was very popular in the '50s and '60s, but its popularity thankfully waned. It gives us nightmares. Especially this olive- and cucumber-garnished tomato mold.
  • Tuna Christmas Tree
    Originally published in Better homes and Gardens® publications. http://www.bhg.com/recipes
  • Tuna fish molded into a cone and decorated like a Christmas tree. Wow. Is that the Elf on the Shelf in the background? We can't look long enough to decide. (He's everywhere!) From "Treasury of Holiday Ideas" (Better Home and Garden, 1968)
  • Christmas Candle Salad
    Tested Recipe Institute Inc. via VintageRecipeCards.com
  • I'm sorry, what? Yep, those are bananas, sticking straight up, wedged into molds of star-shaped canned cranberry juice cocktail. And then there's white "wax" dripping from the "candle" tips... Someone had a sick, sick mind. You're not supposed to eat this, right? Find the recipe on VintageRecipeCards.com.
  • Santa's Whiskers
    Originally published in Better homes and Gardens® publications. http://www.bhg.com/recipes
  • These may not taste so bad, but "Santa's Whiskers?" Really? That makes us want a cookie? Find the recipe on VintageRecipes.com.
  • Plum Pudding
    Getty
  • Plum pudding is also known as Christmas pudding or just "pud." Fun fact: It has no plum in it at all. Plum pudding is actually made with raisins. Apparently it will keep for years if it has enough alcohol in it, but we're not sure we'd want it around that long. This "pud" just looks like a flaming pile of... Well, anyway. We're sure it tastes great. For a recipe that hopefully tastes better than this looks, see: Superb English Plum Pudding by James A. Beard from Epicurious December, 1963.
  • Three Cheese Ball
    © MCMLXXXIV My Great Recipes. via VintageRecipeCards.com
  • We love cheese as much as the next guy (Really, we do. We'd even name our children "cheese" and apparently so would a lot of people!) but... this could ruin cheese forever. This ball of cheese consists of cream cheese, Roquefort or blue cheese, and processed hickory-smoked flavor or sharp American cheese spread. Mmmmm. Serve it over greens for a healthy appetizer. Find the recipe on VintageRecipeCards.com.
  • Christmas Roast Pork
    McCall's Great American Recipe Card Collection via VintageRecipeCards.com
  • Roast pork sounds good, but what are those things on the pork? Oh, never mind. It doesn't even matter. Find the recipe on VintageRecipeCards.com.
  • Frozen Fruit Cake Salad
    Originally published in Better homes and Gardens® publications. http://www.bhg.com/recipes
  • Crushed pineapple, bananas, candied cherries, sour cream and frozen whipped dessert topping? Please don't call this a salad. Find the recipe on VintageRecipes.com.
  • Shrimp Christmas Tree
  • This just looks like a ton of work. While it's quite impressive, the thought alone of a shrimp trees is enough to kill our appetites. “I don’t even know where to begin. The whole thing is atrocious, but in an amazing way," says Bon Appetit senior food editor Dawn Perry. Find the recipe on Bon Appetit.
  • Christmas Confections
    The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library via VintageRecipeCards.com
  • Why did everyone feel the need to shape food into Christmas trees? One christmas tree -- the one sitting in your living room -- is enough! These "Christmas confections" are built with cheerios dyed with green food coloring, marshmallows and gumdrops. Hope Cissy and Bobby enjoyed them more than we would! Find the recipe on VintageRecipeCards.com.
  • Glazed Potato Ring
  • Mashed potatoes make a great side on this holiday table, but we're not sure about mashed potatoes in "ring" form, especially as a container for slimy carrots.
  • Cocktail Weenie Tree
  • Happy holidays!

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