Vintage Foods from Nineteen ThirtyGore

Hello Dear Readers.  On this blog’s never-ending quest to uncover some of the most unappetizing foods ever trotted out in front of the human race, I am pleased to share my latest findings in the form of:

This cookbook from 1934:

Here’s Mary Hale Martin, herself, smiling enigmatically:

Hold onto your salt shakers! She looks so familiar!
the Mona Lisa
Oh I knew I’d seen her somewhere before!

Anyway, let’s take a little journey back in time to marvel at what people actually put in their mouths in 1934 or as it is sometimes referred to by Food Historians, 193gore:

Baked Spinach 193gore Style!

1934 baked spinach
Here’s a hearty main dish of warmed-over canned spinach but not just ordinary warmed-over canned spinach. This is the Leonardo da vinci version of warmed-over canned spinach because it calls for a “speck” of nutmeg. Which in 193gore made it totally gourmet.

In case you’re wondering how to measure a speck, I have it on good authority that you simply show the can of Nutmeg to the spinach and then put it back in the cupboard.

(And I don’t have any idea what Mary’s rich white sauce was but since it was concocted during the Great Depression, I have a feeling it wasn’t all that rich.)

In the mood for a little 193gore Salmon Pie?

1934 Salmon Pie
Here’s something Mary concocted especially for you! What’s that? You aren’t hungry because you feel like you might be coming down with the Black Plague? In fact, you hope and pray you are coming down with the Black Plague to get out of  tasting Mary’s canned salmon pie? Shame on you!

Recipe for 1934 Salmon Pie

See there’s nothing in it that will hurt you.  No need to be frightened.  But if you look closely you will see that Mary has finally come to fiscal terms with the white sauce and has downgraded it from rich white sauce to thick white sauce.  Which is why Mary comes across as someone we can trust — even if she does smile like The Mona Lisa.

And now for the Ultimate 193gore Treat:  Luncheon Tongue Sandwich!

Tongue for lunch
Oh you would have to choose today NOT to get the Black Plague wouldn’t you? The very day Mary has decided to serve you one of her famous Luncheon Tongue Sandwiches! Well, don’t worry there’s an ice-cold glass of syrup of ipecac to wash it down with (temporarily anyway).

Luncheon Tongue Sandwich

That Mary does it again! She has cleverly stuck one can of Libby’s lunch tongue in between an entire loaf of rye bread, 12 pieces of bacon and three tomatoes. Then peppered it with pickles and even went so far as to throw in a very exotic 193gore ingredient called Lettuce!   And all to keep that luncheon tongue from wagging!

Plus Mary has wisely chosen not to mention which animal’s mouth the tongue originally occupied.

Ah!  So that explains the enigmatic smile!

Until next time. . . I love you

30 thoughts on “Vintage Foods from Nineteen ThirtyGore

  1. A can of Libby Lunch Tongue?!?
    I feel a great depression coming on…

    though from the title, I thought this would be Al Gore solving our personal and planetary energy woes with fossilized funyons…

  2. Nothing says delicious like canned salmon and canned tongue. Yum!
    If those are Mary Hale Martin’s best recipes imagine what her worst ones are! Excuse me, I think I’m gonna be sick… let’s never visit 193gore again.

    • LOL! Yes you’re right Lisa! Ha! What recipes weren’t good enough to make the cut! The possibilities are endless (unfortunately!). And I promise never to visit 193gore again. I am keeping my eyes peeled for My Best Recipes by Mona Lisa though! 😀

  3. Holy White sauce Linda…Mary sure does like it. I wonder what she could do with Rabbid dog meat. Oh WIT, I know…Just add white sauce and serve over a nice plate of canned spinach…:)

    • Haha Sooz! I’ll have to look into the ingredients of that white sauce. It sounds like it might have called for a couple cups of Novocain — which was very helpful when it came to eating anything in the 1930’s! (Hey! I bet that’s why nobody was able to pronounce their r’s in old movies! 😀

    • No kidding Ronnie! Any food that tastes so horrible they have to devise a series of cartoons about it to get kids to eat it is just pathetic. And canned spinach probably had very little nutrients in it. I bet Popeye was only strong to the “half way there” instead of the “finish”. 😀

  4. What came first, the Great Depression or the food during the Great Depression era? Either way I feel depressed just looking at those pictures. Why was it called Libby’s tongue sandwhich? Who is Libby? And whose tongue is that?

  5. Remember this jingle?

    If it says Libby’s, Libby’s, Libby’s
    On the label, label, label
    You will like it, like it, like it
    On your table, table, table

    Libby’s is the brand name of some canned food products & many of them are still on the market. In addition to veggies and fruit,
    (See: has available some tasty canned roast beef – parbroiled and steam roasted with gravy. Yum! (See: Or you can get your corned beef on in the can! (See: Or how about some tasty Vienna sausages in regular or chicken flavor? Or some tasty sausage gravy? Hey the sausage gravy is white! Could that be the infamous white sauce Mary used?

    • LOL! Geri! I don’t know which is weirder that there is sausage “white” gravy (it actually could be Mary’s recipe – it’s bizarre enough!) still for sale to this day or the fact that you can buy it on Amazon!! What the? And I haven’t thought about the Libby’s jingle for years. But yes! I remember it fondly! Too bad they weren’t as good at creating edible food as they were at making up jingles! 😀 I think I’ll order a can of the roast beef and invite company over for dinner just to get a load of the looks on their faces when they see me opening it up! HA! 😀 Thanks for passing along this most wonderful Libby info, Geri!!

  6. I’m so glad I already had luch before I stumbled onto your blog, or I may have lost my appetite. And you’re right, Mona and Mary do look an awful lot alike. Maybe that’s where Mary got her recipess……

    • Haha Tricia! I love that idea, Mary’s recipes have been handed down through the ages! Well, if that’s the case, I’m just glad she left out the recipe for ox blood soup! 😀

  7. I’ve had that salmon pie stuff before and it’s no laughing matter. I was being served that stuff and as an adult, I couldn’t really run out of the dining room screaming. Brutal…just…brutal…

  8. Many of the foods we eat today would be considered “gross” if we knew the true origin of the ingredients. Many processed foods on the market list “natural flavorings” in the ingredient list…..which is code for castoreum, otherwise known as beaver anus.

    • Ewww! What we are eating today is probably much grosser. But they have managed to improve the appearance of the food, so I suppose if you’re eating a hot fudge Sunday with a speck of “Beaver” it’s easier to swallow?

  9. I think I know why Mary is smiling enigmatically: she knows Lunch Tongue is the secret ingredient in Funyuns!

    I’m thinking about Al Gore now– and grinning not-so-enigmatically!! : P

    • I knew it Mark! I could tell just by looking at her that she was keeping a secret for Al Gore! Who knew the secret ingredient was tongue. Hmmm. . . are you by any chance a spy, Mark, because if you’re not you should be! I’m sure I can get Al to give you a glowing recommendation scribbled on the back of an empty Funyuns bag if you ever want to join GWSN (Global Warming Spy Network). The main requirement is having the patience to watch ice melt.

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