Sunday, April 12, 2015

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day

Happy National Grilled Cheese Day, a day that's practically the definition of a festival of cheese! This 1955 ad for the American Dairy Association from Life Magazine presents the post-war wasp with the staples of banal mid-century American life: processed loaf cheddar, cheddar slices, and cottage cheese. The photos are pure fifties food-tastrophe, over-ripe looking plastic with ominous side dishes and awkward staging.  In the "Slice It" frame, what exactly is the moldy-looking log in bondage? In the "Melt It" frame, notice the eye-of-Sauron on liver pate appetizers and the Frodo's missing finger fondue? And in the "Glamorize It" frame, check out the phlegm and Pepto-Bismol aspic with toast points. Okay, so maybe this wasn't the ad for grilled cheese day.

Unlike many ads of the era, the copy actually explains what the mystery dishes in the photos are supposed to be. Interesting difference between '55 and now, cream cheese apparently was a dish until itself. Hardly anyone would just eat cream cheese now, but then they'd cube it and put it on a tray. Still, I'm not sure how they got chili sauce and mayo to turn cheese dip pink...  

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