Throughout the country's history, you can find all kinds of food, whether it's Robin Pie, Terrapin Stew, Calf's Foot Jelly, Boiled Eels, but it wasn't until the Great Depression that food recipes really took a strange turn. So let's take a look at some of the most unbelievably disgusting food from U.S history.
American food can either be the best thing , or the worst thing you've ever tasted and there's usually no in-between. However, one thing is clear and that is Americans have never always believed in using every last part of an animal in their food.
People standing outside butcher selling broxy | Source: Youtube
Broxy was a term used for any meat that had a disease. Butchers would regularly sell these at a discount, and for most people, it was all they could afford. This diseased meat could've caused severe illness, but since there were no affordable alternatives in the mid-1800s, many families survived on Broxy.
Cup full of bread sauce | Source: Youtube
In the early 1800s, one of the most popular sauces was 'Bread Sauce.' Since most families couldn't afford to waste any food, they would use stale/leftover bread to make their Bread Sauce. First, they took crumbs of bread, boiled with onion and peppercorns. Then they removed the onion and peppercorns to mash up the cooked bread crumbs.
Table with ingredients for vinegar pie | Source: Instagram
Yes, there's a vinegar flavored pie. Back in the early 19th century, people couldn't afford fruit or lemon juice, so they came up with the idea of substituting them with apple cider vinegar. During the Great Depression, there was a rise in what people called "Desperation Pies," and the Vinegar Pie was one of them. They used it as a flavoring, and after some time, it gained the nickname 'The Poor Man's Lemon Pie.'
Picture of a Robin | Source: Unsplash
Back in the 1800s, people would hunt robins and use them to prepare their pie. They would take about ten birds and roll them in flour. Then they would place bacon and beef on top of them, season them with spices, add some broth, and then cover all of it with puff pastry. Robin Pie was so popular that it almost drove the birds into extinction.
Two fresh water turtles by the lake | Source: Unsplash
Terrapin Stew is also known as Turtle Soup. This delicacy was a sign of wealth, and only people higher up on the social ladder enjoyed it, including Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The soup was made by boiling turtle meat and enjoying it with a thick stew made from its froth. While it isn't as popular as it once was, there are still some palaces in the U.S that serve Turtle Soup.
Slab of Calf's foot jelly | Source: Instagram
Calf's Foot Jelly was once a staple in the homes of many American's both rich and poor. Back in the late 1800s, people believed that Calf's foot jelly was good for you. This delicacy is prepared by boiling calf's feet, extracting the natural gelatin from them, and turning it into jello.
Creamed chipped beef on a plate | Source: Instagram
In the 1930s, the U.S Military started serving its service members Creamed Chipped Beef. Unfortunately, the food became so unpopular that it gained the nickname S.O.S which is short for Save Our Stomachs, Stew on a Shingle, and Same Old Stuff. This meal is made from dried beef, rehydrated in a sauce made with flour and butter, then served on toast.
Pot of egg drop soup | Source: Instagram
Egg Drop Soup dates back to the 14th century, but it only became popular in America during the Great Depression. This meal was popular because it was easy to make and most of the ingredients were affordable. All you needed was potatoes and eggs. This recipe was taken from Chinese restaurants that would fry their potatoes, add water, add eggs, and then scramble them while the water was boiling.
Pot of hoover stew on a counter | Source: Instagram
Hoover Stew is named after President Herbert Hoover, who was elected into office just before the Great Depression. The stew is made from cheap food and was popular in poverty-ridden towns. It usually consisted of hot dogs, canned veggies, and pasta.
Ketchup and mayonnaise sandwich on a napkin | Source: Youtube
Nowadays, the thought of making a sandwich with only ketchup or mayonnaise on it may seem strange. But back in the early 1900s, meat and cheese were only eaten by well-off families. The rest of the people couldn't afford them. So it didn't take long before sandwiches made from just ketchup/mayonnaise became common, and sometimes people would even add onions to the recipe.
Meatless meatloaf | Source: Instagram
This is about as strange as it gets. Can you imagine having meatloaf without the meat? During that era, people would put anything they could afford into the loaf and eat it. Affordable food like liver, peanuts, and raisins would all go into making this meatless meatloaf.
People standing over large pot | Source: Instagram
Homeless people first invented Mulligan Stew as a way to keep themselves from starving during the Great Depression. They would come together, place a big pot over the fire, and everyone would just pour whatever they had into the pot. People added meat, potatoes, and even sawdust just to make it more filling.
Apple pie resting on kitchen counter | Source: Instagram
Americans have loved apple pie throughout history, but during the early 1900s, not everyone had apples in their homes. So people then came up with a unique way to make apple pie without the apples. They called it Mock Apple Pie, and it used to be very popular.
Peanut butter stuffed onion mixture on kitchen counter | Source: Youtube
This sounds disgusting rather than strange, and people hated it. However, somehow, Peanut Sutter Stuffed Onions were still consumed regularly in the United States during the Great Depression. It was both cheap and filling, and it stopped Americans from going hungry in a time when food was scarce.
Poor man's meal in a bowl | Source: Instagram
This is one of the most popular meals from the early 1900s, and according to some people, it doesn't taste as bad as it sounds. Housewives would take potatoes, mix them with fried onion and then add chopped hot dogs. The Poor Man's Meal was cheap, easy to make, and apparently quite delicious.
Potato Pancakes on a plate | Source: Instagram
While most food may have been scarce during the Great Depression, potatoes weren't. Almost every meal had potatoes as an ingredient, even pancakes. People would fry mashed potatoes or mix grated potatoes with flour and eggs.
Now, you must be wondering why people ate any of these strange meals. Well, the answer is simple. Back then, transportation was non-existent, there were few grocery stores, and eating out was rare, so people would only eat food they farmed or that was easily accessible.
By the time the Great Depression came along, things became even worse, and people had to come up with new ways to survive. So they found new ways of eating the food they had without wasting it, and that's how many of these strange dishes were born.
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