11 May2008


Apicio’s comment on the previous post regarding Gourmet magazine seemed so appropriate considering that I was just then writing about old, and I mean OLD issues of Gourmet. I started collecting various food magazines in the late 1980’s, however, with several moves across oceans, I had to throw out several years worth of magazines to lighten my luggage. In 1995, with a more permanent base in Manila, I started to save our food magazines once again. As such, there are some 500+ issues of various food magazines on our shelves, today. I was talking to a Canadian friend at dinner about this habit of saving food magazines and she jumped up, disappeared into a room and emerged with an incredible treasure trove… In one box folder, she had saved some very early Gourmet Magazines and she lent me three of them so I could browse through, photograph and do a post on them for Marketmanila’s readers…


The first issue dates back nearly 50 years to the August 1958 issue, with a summer lunch table set up in the garden of a New York East Side apartment. Note the classic script of the title of the magazine, which has changed just a little over the next 50 years. And their motto “The Magazine of Good Living,” still applies today. At 50 cents for a thin issue with very few color photographs, this was probably quite a luxury at the time… The magazine was rather New York City centric and some of the recipes included in this issue included a feature with some 10 different recipes for bananas, lots of different cocktails and beverages like punch, several recipes for pate, a feature on eggs served cold, and on the cover, something in aspic (gosh that is SO fifties), served with a brioche and butter. There were also a surprisingly large number of vegetable recipes, as well as a special feature on Viennese pastries. Fascinating stuff. Dated, but cool nonetheless.


The second issue that I borrowed dates back to October 1959, and I picked this particular one because of the cover photograph, featuring a silver basket filled with three types of fresh grapes, and on the tablecloth, a pretty nice looking pair of silver grape scissors. Long-time sukis of this blog know I have a pair of grape scissors that are a personal favorite. This issue was thicker than the previous one, and more color was apparent in the advertisements and special features. Oddly, they also had several features on Viennese pastries, in addition to at least 10 kinds of classic sauces, 5 kinds of preserves, 12 recipes for veal and beef, and of course several desserts featuring the grapes on the cover…


Finally, I borrowed the August 1964 issue because that was the month and year when I was born! Is that outrageous or what? Being able to read what was current on the food scene the day I was thrust into the world (actually, I had to be extracted with massive forceps that left permanent scars behind my ears) was just too good an opportunity to pass up. The featured dishes were on the centerfold with colored photographs and the dishes looked very 1960’s and were laid out on pieces of ceramics that looked like cabbage and other leaves… Recipes in this issue included Tripe with Pig’s Feet (Menudo con Patas de Puerco), which must have been quite unusual for the times, more aspic, lots of desserts and a Balkan soup. And on the cover? A chicken Galatine (Galantina) served on a sterling silver platter. Ah, now I know why I had such difficulty making one of those suckers… they were already doing them when I was just a day old. :)



  1. rianne says:

    Hi MM..Glad to be the first to leave a comment here! Just like you, I also had to be extracted by a forcep before I came out and said hello to the world..but the scar is on my forehead…so sad!

    May 11, 2008 | 9:31 pm


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  3. Teresa says:

    Yes, collecting these magazines are fun. A close look at the 1964 issue shows an anahaw fan in the cover. Is that right MM? Was it vogue at that time? I like Gourmet magazine as much as I like Cooks Illustrated. :)

    May 11, 2008 | 9:47 pm

  4. Fabian M says:

    The august 1964 cover: a great example of how un-appetizing food looked in the past. all we need now are some covers with jello molds.

    I had to Google “apsic”. Now I know what it is.

    May 11, 2008 | 11:32 pm

  5. Fabian M says:

    Typo. I meant “aspic”, of course. :)

    May 11, 2008 | 11:34 pm

  6. Chris says:

    Reading old magazines, it’s interesting to note that culinary aesthetics seem to follow those from fashion and architecture. Or is it the other way around? You can pretty much tell which house, dress or dish comes from the same era based on their aesthetic sensibilities. I guess a design philosophy can be universal in application be it food, cars, houses, clothing or even domestic appliances…

    May 11, 2008 | 11:41 pm

  7. Apicio says:

    Is it possible that you’re just thinking of “jello or anything suspended in it” as being so fifties instead of aspic? Jello was so ubiquitous then that it naturally found use as weapon in food-fights which landed quite a few in jail (for having used congealed weapon ha ha). But aspic, aspic to me at least, is for all celebratory time. Btw, making galantina properly would yield astounding base for aspic and if you ask the kid to serve it ceremoniously in the cool of an evening bejeweled in its own aspic why the bookish among your guests just might break into “She walks in beauty like the night of cloudless climes and stary skies and all the best in dark and bright meet o’er her aspic and her eyes.”

    May 12, 2008 | 12:57 am

  8. cwid says:

    I have been thinking of trying to do fish in aspic, to replicate a dish that my aunt used to order for christmas meals. That was some forty years ago and it must really be passe as I don’t come across aspic being mentioned in any blogs I have read.

    That chicken galantine on the cover looks interesting with the chopped eggs, and greens used as topping for the galantine. Reminds me of what we used to do in an old recipe of steamed whole fish covered in mayonnaise, which used to be a staple in our special dinners at home.

    May 12, 2008 | 1:05 am

  9. chinachix says:

    Old magazines are definitely a great way to get a snapshot of an era, and how far the food scene has evolved. Thanks for the pictures; I was able to score some back issues myself (mostly from the 80s) of Gourmet magazine recently at a library sale. They were practically giving them away…

    May 12, 2008 | 8:46 am

  10. natie says:

    the silver grape scissors made me do a double take–

    May 12, 2008 | 9:03 am

  11. nikka says:

    It is amazing how particular foods go in and out of style. I have a 90+ year old spinstress aunt, and whenever we go for a visit, it is like going back in time. The food she serves are either gelatinous, covered in mayo or cheese! Haha, her sandwich loaf is still a family favorite though.

    May 12, 2008 | 9:21 am

  12. lee says:

    for having used congealed weapon….

    is there anything I have to eat to have a gram of your wit?

    May 12, 2008 | 9:27 am

  13. Mila says:

    Interesting covers, it would make a lovely birthday gift to have collected all the major publications printed on the celebrants birthday, plus a bottle of vintage port or wine.
    I do think aspic is making a comeback. A good aspic, if not a great one, is not as simple as tossing in some gelatin sheets and coloring it like Jello. At its foundation is the best stock one can avail of or make.

    May 12, 2008 | 10:00 am

  14. millet says:

    lee, you need not eat anything. you just need to have been extracted by forceps :-)

    aside from aspic, another recipe i see rather frequently on food magazines of the 50s is “prune whip”. i do not know if that was a favorite, or if the prune farmers were simply pushing prunes, or if nutritionists were pushing the “cleansing” effects of prunes. nevertheless, i have never met anybody who ate prune whip, or made it, or makes it to this day.

    with aspic and prune whip there, could shrimp cocktail and chiffon cake be far behind?

    May 12, 2008 | 11:52 am

  15. MarketFan says:

    here’s another one who came out with the use of the forceps…poor us who were born in the early 60’s…that must have been a trend…does the forceps fall under the category of single-use implements like the grape scissors?

    back after a hiatus,

    May 12, 2008 | 12:24 pm

  16. grace says:

    Pigs ears in jelly are still quite popular here in Beijing. I see them all the time in groceries and restaurants, but I never knew what they were. Thanks to you MM I now know what to call them.

    May 12, 2008 | 1:05 pm

  17. Homebuddy says:

    MM, not outrageous at all! Age is not a date in time but its just a state of mind. Looking at those photos make me feel ancient but I have no qualms about my age. That was the year I got married! But its good to learn and know what the trend and style in food was in 1964. He…he….he!

    May 12, 2008 | 3:25 pm

  18. wil-b cariaga says:

    it is good to browse old recipe books and magazines as food trends just repeats itself and chefs just make new twists to traditional stuff. . . speaking of aspic, one of my chef instructors won an international competition for his cold appetizer, the judges were impressed with his adobo aspic and dinuguan aspic. . . very filipino but with a twist, making it a cold dish, interesting. . .

    May 12, 2008 | 9:51 pm

  19. Apicio says:

    Most food trends are direct results of industry lobbying Millet. The original recommended diet chart was essentially written by the Beef and Dairy industry so I would not have any hesitation at all to suspect that prune whip was an effort of the Prune Growers Ass. It must have been responsible too for that brutally therapeutic drink I heard about once based on screw driver where prune juice takes the place of orange juice. They called it pile driver.

    May 12, 2008 | 10:03 pm

  20. tnm says:

    I’m a proud owner of The Gourmet cookbook Volume No. 1 published in the 1950’s. Got it for 12 USD in a 2nd hand bookstore. It’s thick with 700+ pages. Interestingly, the recipe instructions do not go into details much that there are 3-5 in one page. Yeah, there are a lot of aspic recipes :)

    May 13, 2008 | 1:49 am

  21. millet says:

    pile driver? apicio, you are hilarious!

    May 13, 2008 | 6:25 pm

  22. lee says:

    add a drop of milk of magnesia to make it a phillip’s screw driver

    May 13, 2008 | 10:39 pm

  23. Lalaine says:

    Wow! And I’ve always thought I am the only one with an almost fanatic obsession with food magazines! I scour thrift shops here in the U.S. to find old magazines such as Gourmet and Bon Appetit. My greatest find was one I bought from an estate sale for .50cents. It was a collection of recipes that local chruch groups (had advertisements of local businesses as well)were selling~printed in 1910 and had a price of .10cent back then. The booklet has lots of almost forgotten recipes but I can not really browse through it with abandon as the pages are so thin and fragile from age!

    Love your site. Fantastic recipes and quite a wealth of information here!

    May 17, 2008 | 2:56 pm

  24. mareza says:

    Oh my …..i thought i have the only obsession of collecting magazines and cook books,
    I truly enjoy reading them not necessarily cook.I tried some with failures and my mom saying
    don’t bring this anymore this is not good,or she would say you probably did not put any barbecue sauce in yours.and just like your site, i enjoy browsing on food blogs .Got few
    Gourmet and Bon appetit mags and others….my books are almost a hundred and the are my prized possessions.

    Jun 3, 2008 | 10:46 am

  25. Jody L. Montealegre says:

    I am a contributing writer to various publications. I have contributed before to Cook Magazine and to Today Newspaper.

    I am interested now to write for your magazine as I am currently working on specific new product introductions of leading fastfoods.

    As standard practice, I get an honorarium fee for my writing.

    May I submit my articles to your mag for immediate publication?

    Thank you so much.

    Very truly yours,

    Ms. Jody L. Montealegre

    Aug 22, 2008 | 2:07 pm

  26. Marketman says:

    Hi Jody. I presume if you contribute to food and other magazines, you would at least do some homework before leaving such a comment. I am not a magazine, but a food blog. Gourmet is a U.S. based publication and I sincerely doubt they will respond to your comment above. The next time you wish to volunteer to write for a publication, at least read the post above intently and logically research your subject, so you can contact the publication directly. If you haven’t read a copy, (i.e. bought or seen one in a library, it’s kind hard to pitch an article to them) besides, the quickest way to find the contact address for a magazine is to check the inside page near the front…

    Aug 23, 2008 | 1:52 pm

  27. kahlil w says:

    Hey. I own an October 1959 Gourmet Magazine, I was wondering what it could be worth.

    Jul 15, 2009 | 1:42 am

  28. noel says:

    to the marketman…can you please send me the email add of ms.jody montealegre…i know that this is not a proper forum for this but i havent seen her for 15 years…it will be greatly appreciated if you could send it to me thru my email add…i know the privacy policy..but can you consider this as an exemption…Thanks

    Nov 16, 2009 | 7:14 am

  29. Marketman says:

    noel, I have forwarded your message to ms. montealegre. She can contact you directly if she wants to. I DO NOT give out reader email addresses.

    Nov 16, 2009 | 2:13 pm

  30. noel says:

    i understand…anyway..Thank You Very Much for taking some time and giving importance to my inquiry….your a true and dedicated Marketman

    Nov 20, 2009 | 9:43 pm

  31. Gerrit Dykstra Jr says:

    Hello, Just popping in to clear up a discrepancy about the 1st issue. The 1st issue of Gourmet was actually the January, 1941 “holiday Issue” :)

    Dec 18, 2009 | 10:10 pm


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