Babyboomers Remember - Food in the 1950s


Babyboomers remember it well !  It's amusing to look back at what we had, what we did, and how we were when we were young.

My memory of food in the 1950's was very basic compared to the selection we have now.

Babyboomers remember when....

The kind of food that we  did and didn't have but we were truly thankful for!

1950's housewife cooking
  • Pasta had not been invented.
  • Curry was an unknown entity.
  • Olive oil was kept in the medicine cabinet.
  • Spices came from the Middle East where we believed they were used for embalming.
  • Herbs were used to make rather dodgy medicine.
  • A takeaway was a mathematical problem.
  • A pizza was something to do with a leaning tower.
  • Bananas and oranges only appeared at Christmas time.
  • All crisps were plain; the only choice we had was whether to put the salt on or not.
  • Coke was something that we mixed with coal to make it last longer.


Babyboomers remember when....

picture of peas and corn
  • The only vegetables known to us were spuds, peas, corn, carrots and cabbage, anything else was regarded as being a bit suspicious.
  • A Chinese chippy was a foreign carpenter.
  • Rice was a milk pudding and never, ever, part of our dinner.
  • A big Mac was what we wore when it was raining.
  • A Pizza Hut was an Italian shed.
  • Oil was for lubricating your bike, not for cooking.  Fat was for cooking.
  • Tea was made in a teapot using tea leaves, not bags. The tea cosy was the forerunner of all the energy saving devices that we hear so much about today.
  • Tea had only one, colour, black.  Green tea was not British.



Babyboomers remember when....

bottle of Camp coffee
  • Coffee was only drunk when we had no tea....and then it was Camp, and came in a bottle.
  • Figs and dates appeared every Christmas, but no one ever ate them.
  • Coconuts only appeared when the fair came to town.
  • Salad cream was a dressing for salads, mayonnaise  did not exist.
  • The starter was our main meal.
  • Soup was a main meal.
  • The menu consisted of what we were given, and set in stone.
  • Only Heinz made beans, any others were impostors.
  • Leftovers went in the dog.
  • Sauce was either brown or red.

advertisement for Jello

Babyboomers remember when ....

  • Jelly and blancmange was only eaten at parties.
  • Fish was only eaten on Fridays.
  • Eating raw fish was called poverty, not sushi.
  • Ready meals only came from the fish and chip shop.
  • For the best taste, fish and chips had to be eaten out of old newspapers.
  • Frozen food was called ice cream.
  • None of us had ever heard of yoghurt.
  • Healthy food consisted of anything edible.
  • The only criteria concerning the food that we ate were - did we like it and could we afford it.
  • People who didn't peel potatoes were regarded as lazy so and so's.
  • A seven course meal had to last a week.
  • Cheese only came in a hard lump.
  • If we had eaten bacon, lettuce and tomatoe in the same sandwich we would have been certified.
  • A bun was a small cake back then.
  • Eating outside was called camping.
  • Seaweed was not a recognised food.


boy pouring cornflakes
  • Cornflakes had arrived from America but it was obvious that they would never catch on.
  • Offal was only eaten when we could afford it.
  • Eggs only came fried or boiled.
  • Hot cross buns were only eaten at Easter time.
  • Pancakes were only eaten on Pancake Tuesday - in fact in those days it was compulsory.
  • The phrase "boil in the bag" would have been beyond our realms of comprehension.
  • The idea of "oven chips" would not have made any sense at all to us.
  • The world had not yet benefited from weird and wonderful things like Pot Noodles, Instant Mash and Pop Tarts.


Babyboomers remember when....

milkman delivering milk
  • Milk and cream came at the same time in the same bottle delivered by the "Milkman".
  • Lettuce and tomatoes in winter were just a rumour.
  • Most soft fruits were seasonal except perhaps at Christmas. 
  • Prunes were medicinal.
  • Surprisingly muesli was readily available in those days - it was called cattle feed.
  • Turkeys were definitely seasonal.
  • Pineapples came in chunks in a tin: we had only ever seen a picture of a real one.
  • We didn't eat Croissants in those days because we couldn't pronounce them, we couldn't spell them and we didn't know what they were.
  • We thought that Baguettes were a serious problem the French needed to deal with.
  • Garlic was used to ward off vampires, but never used to flavour bread.
  • Water came out of the tap.  If someone had suggested bottling it and charging treble for it they would have become a laughing stock.
  • Food hygiene was all about washing your hands before meals.
  • Campylobacter, Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria, and Botulism were all called "food poisoning"


The one thing that we never ever had on our table in the fifties ........elbows!


There's more memories and humour on the links below.

Retirement Humour - jokes on technology and gowing old

Retirement Humour II - Humour on our aging bodies

Old Age Jokes and Quotes by famous people

Aging Babyboomers Take a Trip down Memory Lane

Babyboomers-Remember Part II

A Babyboomer's Memories of The Good Old Days

Aging-Baby-Boomers reflect on life

Church Humour

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