What was on the menu at home in the 1950’s?
Most of us know what kind of food was being served in classic diners in the 1950’s. Simple comfort food was the name of the game and people were enjoying hamburgers, malts, sandwiches, hot dogs, pancakes, and blue plate specials featuring dishes like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. These delicious standards are still being enjoyed around the world today and right here for lunch and dinner in Denver. But what food was popular at home in the 1950’s?
Much of 1950’s food was driven by the rise of convenience products. Homemakers started taking advantage of new items such as canned soups and used them to make a variety of other dishes, including casseroles. Popular cookbooks of the time, such as The Good Housekeeping Cook Book, featured many recipes for time-saving, affordable casseroles. These were all-in-one meals that a busy mom could easily make for her family. Tuna noodle casserole was a popular dish that utilized canned Campbell’s soup, as was the classic green bean casserole, which Campbell’s created in 1955.
The practice of cooking on the barbeque became a popular suburban trend during this time. Post-war servicemen returned home, started families and moved away from the cities in the 1950’s. They had homes with plenty of backyard space to enjoy outdoor activities, including cooking. The first Weber kettle grill was released in 1952 and men immediately took to grilling, a major role reversal for the time.
Ethnic food started to become more mainstream in the 1950’s, also due to men returning home from war with new tastes. Americanized versions of sukiyaki, chow mein, pizza, lasagna and enchiladas were popular and featured in many cookbooks of the time.
Some other popular 1950’s food include deviled eggs, Chex mix, three bean salad, Swedish meatballs, glazed ham, chicken pot pie, kabobs and grilled meat with sweet and sour sauce or other Polynesian style sauces, spaghetti with meat sauce, soufflé, and chicken a la king.