15 Strange Recipes from the ’70s That Were Once All the Rage

Many recipes are timeless and satisfy every generation. On the other hand, some outdated recipes are so wild that we can’t believe humans ever enjoyed them.

Fashion and design trends come and go, and food trends are no different. The 1970s were a particularly weird time for culinary creations. Canned foods, processed ingredients, and chemical additions were popular during this decade.

These are some of the oddest and least appetizing recipes from the 1970s that we hope stay buried in history forever. You’ll notice gelatin, mayo, and lunch meat. Sadly, it wasn’t unusual for all these ingredients to appear in the same dish.

1. Fonduloha

Image Credit: Youtube.com/Unboxing Betty.

Fonduloha doesn’t sound or look too bad until you examine the recipe. It’s a hollowed-out pineapple filled with salad, which sounds tropical and delicious.

The problems start when the recipe adds nearly a cup of mayonnaise, bananas, peanuts, coconut, chicken, turkey, celery, and more. These ingredients just do not agree with us.

2. Ham and Banana Hollandaise

Image Credit: John Tries Stuff.

Hollandaise is a luscious sauce, offering a buttery, rich flavor and texture. Apparently, people in the ‘70s had no respect for this beloved sauce.

Rather than using hollandaise on eggs or asparagus — as is common — they smothered bananas wrapped in ham with this lovely sauce. Even if this tastes okay, we can’t overcome the hollandaise disrespect.

3. Seven-Up Milk

Image Credit: The Daily Times of Salisbury.

We’re not sure if we can even call Seven-Up milk a recipe, but it’s so atrocious that we had to include it here. It’s simply a Seven-Up soda mixed with a glass of cold milk.

We guess this would be lemon and lime-flavored milk. We don’t think carbonated milk is appealing to start with, but the idea of citrus and dairy being so haphazardly paired makes us queasy.

4. Spam Birds

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Spam, the pork-based canned meat, is the vessel for stuffing or salad in this recipe. Take a thin, wide piece of cooked Spam, add your favorite stuffing or salad inside, and secure it with toothpicks.

Why are these called Spam birds? We have no idea. They don’t look like birds, and Spam is made from pork. Canned foods were and are cheap, so we understand they’re conducive to a tight budget, but this is unacceptable. The recipe’s vagueness only makes it worse.

5. Salmon Aspic

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Frankly, any kind of aspic is a sin. From chicken to turkey to bacon to beef, we can’t imagine any savory jelly we want to try. However, a fish aspic feels like rock bottom.

Salmon aspic recipes are straightforward; it’s a traditional aspic made with fish and formed into a fishy shape. Most salmon aspic recipes we found use canned salmon, and we can’t decide if that’s better or worse than fresh.

6. Boiled Egg Swans

Image Credit: Bakes n Spices.

The name of this food alone should be enough to make you run. The actual food isn’t that offensive, but it’s just a weird recipe. It’s boiled eggs with slices that look like wings and a pipe cleaner for the swan’s head.

People would “glue” them using mashed potatoes or cream to keep the wing slices in place. These aren’t deviled eggs; they’re just plain boiled eggs made to look like swans. As a dinner guest, I’d be annoyed.

7. Tuna Loaf

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Another 1970s culinary crime against fish is the tuna loaf. This is the same as meatloaf but with a disgusting seafood twist. Canned tuna is already an iffy item for many people, and this recipe won't sway anyone to love it.

The recipe mixes several cans of tuna with eggs, breadcrumbs, and spices to form a solid, squishy loaf of tuna awfulness. Wouldn’t a tuna salad sandwich or a tuna melt be a better use of canned tuna?

8. Frosted Sandwich Loaf

Image Credit: Valerie Lugonja/A Canadian Foodie.

Another 1970s loaf recipe we want to condemn is the sandwich loaf. The recipe begins like a normal sandwich, but at the last minute, it veers into weird territory.

You make a triple or quadruple-decker sandwich with any filling or bread you want. You line up multiple sandwiches beside one another and sort of overlap them. You frost the entire whing in cream cheese like a cake for the final, strange touch.

9. Creamed Tuna

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Canned tuna can be very yummy when used properly, but here’s another horrific use of this ingredient. Creamed tuna was a “hard times” recipe, ideal for a tight budget.

It’s toasted bread topped with a loose, sloppy tuna mixture of mayo, peas, vinegar, and spices. The texture is the real issue here, as it looks like the depressing slop described in Oliver Twist.

10. Broccoli and Red Pepper Gelatin

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

We know kids in the ‘70s turned their noses up at broccoli, but this was not a great solution to make them eat it. It seemed like people just threw anything and everything into a gelatin mold.

This recipe features broccoli, red peppers, and other vegetables encased in bright green gelatin. We tried to imagine the flavor of an earthy vegetable gelatin, but then we got nauseated and stopped.

11. Glamorous Grapefruit Cups

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

This one doesn’t sound too bad, but the recipe takes it too far and ruins what could be a fresh, pleasant dessert or snack. The cups are hollowed-out grapefruit rinds filled with fresh fruit and yogurt.

It sounds pretty yummy, except the neon pink yogurt is off-putting, and people often use canned fruit. This turns the healthy snack into a goopy sugar bomb.

12. Bologna Biscuits

Image Credit: Man, That Stuff is Good.

We’re big fans of biscuits with extra ingredients, like cheese or cinnamon. However, we can’t get on board with bologna biscuits, which feature hunks of bologna baked into every bite.

Our question is, why bologna? Of all the meat options, they chose the most processed, salty one to ruin a perfectly good batch of biscuits. We’ll stick with our Red Lobster cheddar cheese biscuits.

13. Lettuce Mayo Salad

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Our idea of a salad and the 1970s’ idea of a salad are vastly different. A lettuce mayo salad is reaching by calling itself a salad. It’s a slice of lettuce head filled with mayo and some deviled egg ingredients and spices.

Don’t separate the lettuce leaves when you make this abomination. It’s supposed to be an intact slice of a lettuce head. You can also remove the center leaves to make more room for the mayo.

14. Lime Cheese Salad

Image Credit: Home Cooking Memories.

Again, the definition of salad in the ‘70s was much looser. This lime cheese “salad” is yet another molded gelatin monstrosity. The neon green color should be enough to scare you off.

If the nuclear hue doesn’t gross you out, the ingredients will. It features cottage cheese, lime Jell-O, and an assortment of canned fruit. Some recipes even include nuts like pistachios or almonds. The hard-core recipes included miniature marshmallows.

15. Frankfurter Crown Roast

Frankfurter Crown Roast
Image Credit: Vintage Recipe Cards.

Crown roasts are decadent and lavish, usually of lamb, beef, or other delicious meat. In the ‘70s, however, the rules about what could go in a crown roast were slightly more relaxed.

One recipe we were unfortunate enough to find is a crown roast circled with Frankfurter hot dogs. Inside the hot dog walls is sauteed cabbage. Sounds appetizing, right?

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Author: Veronica Booth

Veronica is a food, fashion, and entertainment writer from Boston, MA, with a passion for all things lifestyle and culture. She graduated from Boston University in 2019 with a bachelor's in English literature. From Anna Wintour to Angelina Jolie to Alton Brown, she has her finger on the pulse of all things Hollywood and celebrity.

If she's not in the kitchen crafting new recipes, then she's binging the latest HBO series and catching up on the hottest trends in Vogue.

She has written for and been syndicated by publications like The Weather Channel, The Daily Meal, The Borgen Project, The Good Men Project, The Express, MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and Not Deer Magazine. Her writing experience ranges from global news articles to celebrity gossip pieces to movie reviews to homemade recipes and more.

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