Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Canned Pea Carnival

You may not want to attend this particular carnival. I know I don't. But it seems to be going on right now and you ought to know. Just in case you happen to see a lot of festive canned peas around, playing games and  running food stalls downtown that feature exciting dishes like the ones in the pictures above.

There really was a Canned Pea Carnival from October 20 to November 15 in the early 1940s, sponsored by the Canned Pea Marketing Institute. According to a trade magazine called The Progressive Grocer* in 1940, the Institute wanted "to move 23,000,000 cases of canned peas." Just use a few trucks, folks. And make sure you move them far away from the rest of us. Because I don't know about you, but I hate canned peas.

If you did buy some of those 23,000,000 cans, you could recreate the canned carnival (can-ival) at home. Look at all the helpful suggestions! Just make round foods like tomato gelatin ring molds or tart shells. Get out some bowls, too. Then fill every empty circular space you see with you-know-what. Won't that be festive?

No, not really.

You can see the original ad here; it's from Life, October 28, 1940.

*It's at Google Books, but only in that pesky Snippet View, unfortunately.

EXTRA STUFF TO READ? Why, yes...I'm posting some odds and ends over at the Kitchen Retro Facebook page - it would be great to have you join the retro kitschiness over there. And sometimes I write HubPages about weird and wonderful history and trivia and ads. The widget is one the right hand sidebar, too.


BrSpiritus said...

Ugh, thanks. Now I'm going to have nightmares involving canned peas. I think Lilek had some comments about peas being used in every dish in the late 40's into the 50's.

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Lidian said...

BrSpiritus - I'll have to go see what Lileks says about canned peas. Or maybe not - because I don't really want to think about them anymore today, really ;)

Gregorian said...

Now if it was like some of the festivals in Spain... they bring in trucks filled with peas, which the drunken young Pea Enthusiasts then proceed to throw at each other.

Well, I'd all for that.

The modern frozen baby peas are pretty popular in our house. Our kids will pour them cold into a bowl and snack on them.

And a "Pie Floater" is popular here. A meat pie swimming in mushy canned peas. All your meat and vegetables in a convenient pre-chewed form.

monogirl said...

That is hysterical. I wonder if after the "carnival" if everyone was sick of peas?