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The Five Worst Recipes From The Worst Cookbooks Ever

The 60s and 70s were a tumultuous time for food. The post-war boom brought unparalleled prosperity and incredible innovation. Fruits and vegetables were more accessible than ever. As with any time there’s excess, we get some experimentation. We’ve all seen one of those crazy “cookbooks” that combined processed foods with tablescapes to create these terrible monstrosities of culinary evil. 

I have combed through the dark reaches of Instagram to find some of the most frightening examples of FrakenFood. 

Did you make any of these? If you did, ask yourself why. 

Molded Shrimp Salad

Sometimes recipes are designed to look pretty but not taste great, or vice versa. This crest of crustaceans doesn’t pass either test. How would you keep this together? If the room got above 70 degrees, you would have a collapsing Tower of Shrimp Babel on your hands, table, and carpet. 


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Cucumber Souffle Salad

American cuisine likes to be rather liberal with its word descriptions. We love to call things salad when we mean ” A bunch of random food thrown together” This Souffle Salad is neither. It is jello, which had a big run in the 60s and 70s when we realized we could turn anything liquid into a blobby monstrosity.


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Banana Whales Emerging From a Black Void.

This one doesn’t have a name, so I had to make one up. What was the food artist going for here? Perhaps these are the worms of time beckoning you to fall forever into the black expanse. The parsley is a sick joke, mocking our insignificant place in the universe – life surrounded by bleak nothingness.


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Smoked Sausage Sandwich Pizza.

Is it a pizza? A sandwich? Are those tomatoes or oversized lit’l smokies? The answer is yes. All of the above.

But the real question is why? How would you keep a slice together, there’s no way that crust is holding those monstrous tomatoes and sausages together, and what is that scattered in the center? Best not to ask.


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“The Satisfer”

If you are serving a “Vegetable Sausage Snack” from a can, the only thing you are satisfying is your desire to inflict pain and confusion upon your guests. Much like the jello trend, the culinary powers that be thought they could put anything in a can, and people would eat it up. 

As mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm of ‘Jurassic Park’ fame might have put it: “Your chefs were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.


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All of these are awful, but which one is the worst? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.