Shelf Life. Your Ultimate Food Court Is Now In Session. Your Ultimate Food Court Is Now In Session.

Incredibly Strange Recipes

Kraft. Campbell’s. Coke. Since the dawn of media time, these titans have been major advertisers. Pioneering magazines such as Collier’s and National Geographic, and later Look, Life, Saturday Evening Post, and Maclean’s (from the Great White North), plus domestic publications such as Ladies Home Journal, and Canada’s own Chatelaine – featured ads for soup and cheese and pop that were bright and bold and modern as tomorrow.

But it wasn’t just the big kids on the block – many minor, now-defunct food items passed though the pages of these periodicals. Who remembers Izzy’s Sauerkraut, and why were Lowney’s Chocolate Cherries such a big deal?

And throughout every decade, through every style and fad, has marched The Recipe In The Ad. The Recipe In The Ad showcased the product, so we consumers – ie we ladies at home – could discover for ourselves the creaminess, the smoothness, the crunchiness, the tanginess, and the zest of Gold Brand Flour Chiffon Cake or Tahiti Treat Schooner Cocktails or McIntosh’s Toffee Cookies or Maple Leaf Ham Bake. Also, of course, the value, savings, convenience, oven-readiness and the miles of smiles in every bite.

Today, many of the Recipes are a hoot. Not just because of the ingredients, or the preparation techniques, or the graphic design or the prices – although these are endlessly fascinating – but because of the whole weird, vanished world they represent. Conformity. Neighbourliness. Breeziness. Irony-free humour. Suburbia. Being a woman, mother, and hostess – the reality and the fantasy. And really big pictures of roast meats.

Menu-wise, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Shelf Life invites you to experience  homemade, product-endorsed delights from the last hundred or so years ….

(for more detailed views of the ads below visit our flicker page

title<br />Yikes! Could there be any more oil in this picture? These encrusted items must have seemed like a good idea at the time; today they would frighten the horses. Note the slogan at top: ‘Let Mazola Do The Crisping’. Sure – of your vital organs.