Ken Jennings has a history of being correct. In fact, he made a name for himself by giving correct answers. He won 74 consecutive games of Jeopardy! and became the show’s biggest winner. Then, he translated that winning streak into a slew of other quiz show appearances. Currently, he is one of the stars on the hit ABC quiz show The Chase. So, when he speaks up, he’s usually spot-on.
Last night, Ken Jennings posted a pair of tweets about the eating habits of the upper class in the 1950s. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing a cookbook from that era you know what he’s talking about. If you’re culinarily adventurous, you know first hand how, let’s say, different food was back then.
In the tweets, Ken Jennings points out that the fifties weren’t an “Enlightened time.” However, he says, we made up for it by tricking the rich into eating some seriously strange dishes.
More specifically, Ken Jennings points out that the upper crust had a taste for cold boiled chicken suspended in aspic. Cold boiled chicken isn’t that bad. If you’ve ever made chicken salad, there’s a good chance that you snagged a couple of bites out of the bowl before adding the rest of the ingredients. After all, that’s half the joy of cooking. However, aspic is a whole different story.
Ken Jennings Hits the Tip of the Weird Fifties Food Iceberg
Now, I’m going to be honest. I’ve never had aspic. I don’t know anyone who has ever had it. However, I can get behind Ken Jennings’ assertion that one would have to be tricked into eating it. Furthermore, it seems like peer pressure is the only way you convince someone to eat it more than once.
For those who don’t know, aspic is like Jell-O with a horrible twist. While Jell-O is a wiggly, wobbly, fruity treat, aspic is savory. It’s made with meat stock. In the fifties, people would take this meat-flavored Jell-O substance and suspended meat, vegetables, and seafood in it. Keeping up with the Joneses never sounded so terrible.
So, the next time you’re standing in your kitchen lamenting that there’s nothing much to eat, look back at these tweets from Ken Jennings. Then, think about having to eat cold meat suspended in a weird savory Jell-O like substance.