May 18, 2011

1950s Peach Blossom Salad is just the ticket for warm weather meals

Day 138 of Vintage 365


Perhaps no other category of vintage food is more mocked, scrutinized and talked about than salads. From gelatinous concoctions filled with everything from shrimp to horseradish, bananas to peanuts, to ingredient combinations that would likely make today's most daring foodie quickly dart an eyebrow upwards, it's fair to say that while the rap vintage salads has gotten isn't entirely warranted, it does make a fair bit of sense.

However, just because a dish veers from our current nom, doesn't mean it doesn't have the potential to be delicious. While there are certain vintage salad recipes I've stayed away from like the plague (sorry, but anything involving jellied meat or seafood is just does not float my culinary boat!), I've very much enjoyed experimenting with salad recipes culled from cookbooks of the 30s, 40s and 50s over the last several years.

Some have been hair-raising experiences, others became instant favourites, and a good many simply got folded into my mealtime reportraire , to be brought out particularly when the weather starts to heat up and a stuffy, air conditioning (stove vent-less) kitchen suddenly becomes akin a Amazon rain forest.

Recently while bopping about Flickr, I spied a vintage salad recipe that practically screams "1950s" (and indeed, that's the fabulous decade it hails from). Comprised of considerably fewer ingredients than many old school salads, this fruit-featuring dish, with its ginger infused dressing, sounds rather lovely.

{Cheerfully hued 1950s Del Monte ad with Peach Blossom Salad recipe via vintage.kitten on Flickr. Click here for a larger version of this neat vintage recipe.}

Calling for several commonplace foods that many of us have on hand most of the time (canned peaches, marshmallows, celery, walnuts, etc), this sugar salad looks like a snap to toss together, while having the added pleasure of being one of those dishes that doesn't stand to break the bank.

I might swap the heavy cream in the dressing for light or even buttermilk (to shave off a few calories and grams of fat), but other than that, I think this recipe for Peach Blossom salad (how cute is that name?!) sounds rather tasty, filling and fun precisely as it is.

While marshmallows, maraschino cherries and canned peaches might not appear in the same dish on many menus today, I think that a homey, inviting salad like this deserves to resurrected and enjoyed again come those mind-bendingly warm days of summer, when one really doesn't want to do anything more labour intensive in the kitchen than turn the handle on a can opener and quickly whip up a pleasing meal for the whole family.


  1. It's the PHOTOGRAPHY that makes me gasp at this photo! I realize that they were trying to sell the canned cling peach halves, but they appear in this photograph to have garishly gaping mouths. The color of the celery is most definitely NOT appetizing! It looks more like green onions or cabbage. And the leaf lettuce looks rusty, rather than the red leaf lettuce that it is.

    That said, I think this is a salad recipe my Mother may have cut out of the newspaper and made. I have to admit that I am a die-hard fan of Waldorf salad, in all of its glory. I think if the peaches were cut into pieces and mixed in with the salad, and the marshmallows were eliminated, this might be a very tasty salad indeed.

  2. I love all these old salad recipes. This one actually sounds pretty decent. No way would I use anything other than heavy cream! ;-)