De gustibus non est disputandum (or: You’re eating what?!)

Music – “I Like What I Eat” from Songs To Strike A Chord by Jon Barker


De gustibus non est disputandum comes from the Latin and means “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes”.  Personal preferences in foods are subjective opinions, not right or wrong, so as the maxim goes, “…they should never be argued about as if they were”.  The English rendition has come to be known as “There is no accounting for taste“.

Thus said, however, I am always amazed at finding “unusual” recipes in my cookbooks.  By “unusual”, I mean only that they are composed of food combinations I would never have thought of, or food combinations that are either unlikely or downright odious.  As an example, consider recipes I located in a new cookbook purchase, “Fashionable Food” by Sylvia Lovegren, published in 1995.  Her book traces “seven decades of food fads” and sports some truly unusual recipes.

Consider “Banana and Popcorn Salad“, from the 1920’s:  “Place the banana (peeled and cut in half lengthwise) on the lettuce leaf.  Scatter popcorn over the banana and put dabs of mayonnaise here and there“.

Part 1 (Photo Credit: http://www.dreams

Part 2 (just add lettuce and mayo with Part 1 and you’ve got an unusual salad) (Photo Credit: http://www.newhealth

⇐           PLUS         ⇒



(author’s opinion!)

If that’s not to your taste, you might like “Fruit and Flower Frozen Cheese Salad“, which combines cream cheese, mayonnaise, whipped cream, pimientoes, bell pepper, chopped pecans, salt, pepper and paprika.

Always a favourite, there was “Chipped Beef and Pineapple“, from the 1930’s. Combine bits of fried pineapple (in butter), chipped beef (hydrated with boiling water) and cook.  Yum!

Mix with rehydrated chipped beef and you’ve got yourself a downright unusual meal! (Photo Credit: www.

Good ole’ chipped beef! (Photo Credit:






Care for “Roast Possum with Sweet Potatoes” ? A “soul food” out of the 1960’s.

“First of all, find a possum” (Photo Credit: http://www.hillbilly

From the 1950’s we have “Barbecued Bologna for Men a la Crisco“. Essentially, 3/4 cup of Crisco shortening, a couple of tablespoons of “Kitchen Bouquet” (bring on the sodium!), and 3 pounds of bologna sliced. Fry it all up and gorge yourself! If you don’t care for that, you can always make “Bologna Cake“.

Try a nice, filling Bologna Cake (or pie)! Nothing understated about this one! (Photo Credit: http://www.lasvegasfood adventures.

 (author’s opinion)



In “Fashionable Foods”, the author has a similar recipe: “Wedgies A.K.A. Bologna Pie“, a nice combination of cream cheese, cream, mustard, and a pound of bologna, sliced into 12 rounds.

There are more recipes that astound: 1924 Italian Spaghetti (spaghetti, butter, lots of flour, canned tomato sauce, garlic and onions, salt, pepper and several cups of sliced American Cheese…sorry, you native Italians!)

You might want to serve “Baked Beans au Glow-Glow“, which definitely resembles the food of the 1960’s: combine canned baked beans, molasses, ketchup, mustard, and place sliced bacon on top. Bake for a couple of hours, warm 1/2 cup rum, ignite it and pour it over the hot beans. Hot diggity dog! How about “Impossible Pie“? The “impossible” part is the role of Bisquick in the recipe: mix eggs, milk, melted butter, vanilla extract, sugar and Bisquick in a blender. Stir in coconut and pour into a pie pan. The neat part is that somehow, the Bisquick settles out of this sludge to the bottom of the pan, forming its’ own crust! How cool is that?

“Impossible Coconut Pie”. Leave it to the manufacturers of Bisquick to work their magic! (Photo Credit:

Lastly, though, was one that I was most fascinated by: “Rosin Baked Potatoes“. Now, I used to dabble at playing the violin for a time, and I thought the only use for rosin was to keep the bow hairs smooth. It never occurred to me that in between maintaining the bow, I could nibble on the block of rosin in my violin case. If you want to sample this (kids, don’t try this at home), you need a large bucket, 15 pounds of lump rosin, 6 large baking potatoes, butter, salt and pepper. Melt the rosin in the bucket until bubbling hot and drop in the potatoes. Cook about 40 minutes, remove and wrap in foil. Serve. I’m not sure why you would go to all of this trouble and expense to cook 6 potatoes, but what the heck. Perhaps necessity was the mother of invention here. Or, maybe the conductor ordered a wee bit more rosin for the string section of his symphony orchestra and didn’t know what to do with it?

Next cookout, forget tossing the potatoes on the grill: just cook em’ up in 15 pounds of boiling rosin! (Photo Credit:

So, go out and indulge yourself: cobble together something from the array of leftovers in your fridge. Who knows, you might patent your creation and create a whole new taste sensation.  Below are some other suggestions you might like to try!

My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 6,500. What next? More shelves?
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4 Responses to De gustibus non est disputandum (or: You’re eating what?!)

  1. Wende says:

    It is an Old Spice but not the way you are thinking. Haha. When I asked him, he said he was looking for the cinnamon but got to the Old Bay and thought he would give it a try. (It was plain oatmeal but still I wouldn’t think to put it on.) I guess that’s how we get some of these recipes. Somebody has to be crazy oops daring enough to try.

  2. Sue Jimenez says:

    Thanks, Wende, we’re doing well. When I read your comment, my brain read “Old Spice” on oatmeal, which I thought was a pretty toxic combination! Funny how you “read” what isn’t there sometimes! Glad to hear it was only “Old Bay”! But, still, it sounds like an unusual combination. How did he ever get the idea to use Old Bay and oatmeal?

  3. Wende says:

    Hi Sue, hope you and your hubby are well. I thought the 70’s Weight Watchers recipes were bad. I don’t think I could stomach these either. But then my father puts Old Bay on oatmeal (yes the seasoning you put on crabs, you can take us out of Baltimore but you can’t take Baltimore out of us) so I guess anything is possible.

  4. I don’t care what the maxim is, there is a lot in here that should be disputed.

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