'retro' on Serious Eats

How to Make a Killer Fully Loaded Iceberg Wedge Salad

Come summertime, I crave dishes that somehow manage to satisfy while still seeming light and refreshing. No dish better delivers on both counts than the classic iceberg wedge salad, a retro creation that is all about simplicity. And yet, to be the celebration of flavor and texture that it should, we need to observe a few guiding principles. More

Video: Coffee Jerks

Why you should buy Folgers coffee: because if you're a wife you're completely inept at making coffee and want to please your husband, and if you're a husband you're tired of drinking your wife's crummy coffee, which turns you into a mega jerk. That seems to be the way it went in the '50s and '60s, according to this video. More

Video: Fluffernutter Commercial

If you're going to eat a marshmallow creme and peanut butter sandwich at least once a year, today's the day: It's National Fluffernutter Day! Break out those jars of Fluff and peanut butter and go to town. Get in the mood by watching this Fluffernutter commercial. More

Video: Weird IHOP Commercial (1969)

This IHOP commercial from 1969 features everything you love about America's favorite house of pancakes: happy family members running in slow motion while carrying giant clusters of balloons, a voiceover that sounds like a chipmunk, unappetizing-looking food...wait, what? More

Video: Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head Commercial (1960s)

Mr. Potato Head wasn't always the fat, hollow plastic lump with various accessories that we know him as today. When he was first created by Brooklyn-born toy inventor George Lerner in 1949, Mr. Potato Head was made of a real potato, leading to decades of kids jabbing tubers with plastic body parts. Those were the good old days. Watch this vintage toy commercial after the jump.... More

The 10 Worst Lunch Boxes Ever

Photograph: Justin Goeres from LAVA Cafe Society lists their picks for the 10 worst lunch boxes ever, but to my eyes they're 10 of the best lunch boxes ever! Then again, I say that never having to tote one with me to school. I don't recall growing up with lunch boxes proclaiming "DISCO" or "CAMPUS QUEENS" during my '90s childhood. And as much as I love "The Exciting World of Metrics," I can see why wielding it might make the owner a target of a swift beating. (On that note, check out Justin Goeres' photos of the lunch box, which show how supremely awesome it is. If you're not prepubescent.) Did you own any of these lunch boxes (or... More

Video: Hamm's Beer Commercial (1950s)

There's something about these Hamm's beer commercials from the 1950s that make me really want a glass of beer from the Land of Sky Blue Waters. It's probably a combination of the hypnotic jingle, the animated beer-peddling bear accompanied by a singing goose, and the deep, soothing voiceover that goes, "Hamm's...mmmm...Hamm's!" And I don't even like beer. (There's even a Hamm's Club for fans of this former brewery based in Minnesota.) Watch the video after the jump.... More

Vintage Ads for Kitchen Appliances

Sunbeam's automatic waffle maker makes four waffles at the same time. ...Wait, don't a lot of them do that? During the 1950's, not so much. WomansDay.com rounds up 15 great vintage household ads including kitchen appliances like a gas range that makes "cooking a real joy" and a "keen" KitchenAid Food Preparer. [via The Presurfer] Related Vintage Advertising from Mom's Basement Vintage Cereal Box Gallery... More

Vintage Advertising from Mom's Basement

Found in Mom's Basement is a site that archives vintage ads, some of which are food-related like those above, retrieved from flea markets, various corners of the Internet, and the actual basement of the blogger Paula Zargaj-Reynolds's mom. [via Coudal Partners] Related An Evolution of Pabst Advertising Risqué Orangina Ads Stir Controversy Luxe Ads for Everyday Food... More

In Videos: Classic Kentucky Fried Chicken Commercial (1980)

"You know, I used to serve fast food as a treat, but now fast food is more than a once-in-a-while thing." The mother in this Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial is so not like my mom; otherwise I would've been a happier kid. Or less healthy. But this commercial just makes me feel so good and wholesome that I dream of bestowing Kentucky Fried Chicken "made with the highest quality chicken" onto my future cowboys and Indians-playing children. Watch the video after the jump.... More

In Videos: Estonian Mineral Water Commercial (1980s)

The formula for selling mineral water to Estonians in the 1980s was so simple. Go to the desert, throw in a parched guy who crawls toward a case of mineral water as a bunch of people dance to Michael Jackson's "Thriller," insert a random dog, and at the end let the guy take a victorious swig of water. Every part of this commercial is inexplicable. And that's why it's so good. Watch the video after the jump.... More

In Videos: Cadbury's Smash Mashed Potatoes Commercial with Martians (1970s)

Any commercial with creepily laughing Martians automatically gets an A+ in my book, especially when they're laughing at the way humans take potatoes and "smash them all to bits." How silly us humans must look. They may think we're primitive, but at least we have opposable thumbs; they just flail around with pincers. Watch this commercial for Cadbury's Smash mashed potatoes after the jump.... More

In Videos: Original Chiquita Banana Commercial (1940s)

The original Chiquita Banana commercial produced by Disney in the 1940s pretty much sums up everything I know about bananas: they taste best when the skin has brown flecks, they go well in pie, and you shouldn't put them in the refrigerator. New things that I learned are that male bananas are normal sized and naked while female bananas are human sized, wear slinky skirts, and sing catchy educational songs about how to eat their kin. Watch the video after the jump.... More

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