I write historical fiction. Since I am old enough to be historical, I keep finding that Fizzies, meatloaf and Neccos show up in my work (I’m on my third book set in the 30s/40s).
Clearly I need some new foods! Generally meatloaf shows up because I never liked it as a kid. Other foods I disliked growing up: creamed tuna on toast, those canned tamales and lasagne (the noodles were too thick).
Foods I loved did indeed include Fizzies and Neccos (especially the brown ones), but I also adored red hots (sometimes called Cinnamon Imperials) and fried chicken and my grandma’s cucumbers and onions in vinegar (I drank the vinegar). Even though I thought I hated spinach, I ate the stuff that came fresh out of Grandpa M’s garden because he called it Swiss Chard. (Some of it was chard; some spinach).
Help me out here — what are some “good” Depression-era yucky foods? How about tasty treats?
I drank the vinegar, too!
It was a Southern thing, I think.
My Granny pickled lots of stuff….beets, eggs. (blech)
Chipped beef gravy over biscuits is something my Dad would talk about like it was made of heaven…wehn I finally got to try it as a kid, I gagged.
Kirby, what region are you writing about? Socioeconomic status? My mom spent her early years in an orphanage of sorts–mother died, father lost his fortune in the stock market crash. She would know about the yucky foods.
generally, my stories are set in the Pacific Northwest but I’m open to all yucky foods, no matter the region!
Here’s a great food resource by decade: http://www.foodtimeline.org/fooddecades.html#1930s
I tend to think of homemade doughnuts, canned peaches, and things like onion sandwiches as yum. What about chipped beef, liverwurst, or veal soup (ew!) as grody foods?
Erin — veal soup? Really? Even typing the words makes me queasy.
No idea about the foodtimeline site — that’s fabulous information! Thanks ever so.
Oh, another good resource for Pacific Northwest 1930s might be Beverly Cleary’s two awesome memoirs, A Girl From Yamhill and My Own Two Feet.
Depending on the character’s heritage, she could find German foods really nasty. Lots of pickled and moussed things to turn a kid’s stomach!
I grew up in the midwest, along with my family. I remember Spam. Not sure that really constitutes “good food,” but it was prevalent.
I do also remember red dots. Those were a favorite. Peanut butter and butter sandwiches. I remember having those for the first time at my grandma’s. Of course it was made on white bread. I figure it was an inexpensive food that gave some protein. I have to admit that I still have it from time to time and it brings back memories.
Good luck on this adventure.
Debbie — did you ever have a sugar sandwich? Butter/margarine on white bread, sprinkled with white sugar. Oh so good!
OK, Kirby, I’ll bet the cucumbers & onions in vinegar were fresh not pickled right? And your grandmother was Swedish? I loved those things and gran said it was a Swedish thing. And the sugar sandwiches were just like lefse and butter and sugar…sounds like a real Scandinavian background.
I hated lutefisk, hash, liver and onions, and anything leftover over and unrecognizable. I also had major trauma when I found out we were eating Milly for Sunday dinner. Milly was my grandmother’s very old chicken who quit laying eggs and the rooster would have nothing to do with her. I finally realized the the ‘chicken’ we ate was NOT just some mystery meat with the same name but actually a ‘chicken’ I knew – with a name!
My favorite food was my mother’s lemon pie…not too sweet. (my mouth is watering..yumm)