Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Can You Do the Can-Can?

Yes, cans are good. They are hygienic. They are easy to stack in the pantry and easy to grab when the dinner hour is looming like Vincent Price in a horror movie, threatening you with unspeakable things if you don't concoct (or upend out of a can or two) something, right now.

However...this ad is a little bit hysterical. Are they absolutely sure, for example, that those Saltines came out of a can? The text right under the picture says that they did, along with the wax beans, the beets, the chicken à la king and the tomato soup. And, of course, the peaches.

Everyone loved their cling peaches back in the 50s. I keep coming across these ads making cling peaches sound like a magic substance that worked its alchemy on any given social occasion - no picnic, no party, no grand dinner was complete without a series of unfortunate culinary events involving limp canned peaches.

Yes, I will actually show you some of them and maybe make a few remarks, too. Of course I will make remarks! But for today, let us ponder the soggy peaches as one element in a whole Canned occasion. The theme of which seems to be that all the dishes are round. You know, so that they echo the shape of the can lids. Except for those pesky, anarchic Saltines. I'm sure they didn't come out of a can, unless it was the Krispy Kan. That must be it.

The ad, by the way, is from 1945. And if you want to read all the riveting text therein (although it is easily summed up in the phrase "yay for cans") the big version is right here.


Orchid64 said...

Seeing ads that extol the virtue of canned vegetables and fruit is a good reminder of the fact that the year-round availability of fresh fruit and vegetables was not always a fact of life. I'm guessing the love of cling peaches in a can came from the fact that most Americans could not get peaches out of season and this was a way to have them any time. The times, they have changed. :-)

Tracy Marie said...

I have a collection of vintage women's magazines and you're right! They did love those canned, cling peaches! They loved canned everything.

It's interesting to look through those magazines because you can actually see the evolution of food production in America in those ads.

I actually made a stuffed zucchini recipe from one of my mags the other night. I'm going to post the results on my blog, but haven't gotten to it yet. Luckily, the only canned ingredient was evaporated milk!