Underwood Or Underworld?

LIFE 1949

While a tiger might seem a reach to sell Frosted Flakes, Satan selling pork products make even less sense, especially in 1949, when prayer still existed in public schools. I get it; it’s “deviled” ham, ground and spiced. But I don’t like my ham ground. I like it in thin peppery deli slices, like the ones I purchased this morning.

Deviled eggs, yes. Deviled ham, no.

Canned kipper, tuna, oysters–these I’m fine with. I can see their bony spines. I know it was one sardine I’m eating, not a grind of the worst parts of the pig, processed from 1000 swine into one little can.

Cracked.com reviewed several potted meats, referring to the “coating of newborn-esque vernix” that covered the moist meat (shudders). I hope the reviewer was compensated generously.

I know some of you eat Spam (ground pork shoulder–mostly) but I fear it’s full of hooves and tails. Maybe that’s why Satan makes sense for deviled ham; he has cloven feet. Jesus certainly couldn’t be the pitch man; he never even tasted pork because he was Jewish. And you can’t fashion a newborn manger Jesus out of deviled ham. These could use a little more paprika.


Seconds On Pork Sausages, Please


LIFE 11-11-46
LIFE 11-11-46: American Meat Institute

As I read that aloud, I can hear the man’s voice saying it. I wonder if you hear it, too? That typical 50s voice. “Why, Dick and Jane even give their dog, Spot, sausage and eggs every day, and he’s never felt better!”

“I Hate Reality, But It’s Still The Best Place To Get A Good Steak.”– Woody Allen

Vegans and vegetarians, this post is not for you. Get on your bike and pedal self-righteously to a co-op and buy yourself more hummus and tofu, kale and quinoa.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But this is for carnivores.

Ahem.  I learned early on from The Smiths that meat was murder, but, then again,


And war is murder, and abortion is murder, and so on and so on.  Now please make my steak medium rare.

Those of us of a certain age will remember this Saturday morning PSA, pleading with America’s then-non-obese children to not “drown our food.”

If you remember that, then you were probably wearing tapered jeans and shoulder pads when Sally (“Hot Lips” Houlihan) Kellerman exhorted us to come to Hidden Valley Ranch and slather copious amounts of the buttermilky goodness all over our baby carrots and celery sticks.  It may be useful in getting your kids to EAT vegetables, but it’s a lousy strategy in TASTING them.

When it comes to steak, I can understand how some folks prefer grilled mushrooms on top, maybe some caramelized onions, even chimichurri on a flank steak.  But for my money, a steak like this needs nothing more than the salt and pepper on the crust.


It is insulting to a chef to dine at his steakhouse and pour A1 and Worcestershire all over a fine cut of meat.  Just say no to all of this!


Consider this ad for Hunt’s (Hunt’s, people! Not even Heinz, the real ketchup–pardon me, CATSUP) in 1952.

057Either Dad doesn’t know how to grill a tasty T-bone, or that’s a perfectly good waste of beef.  Ketchup on a steak is an irreverent, impious act against the inviolable laws of steak consumption.  It just is.  Frankly, ketchup serves its purpose best on potatoes.  While we’re at it, can someone explain this to me?  Is this corn beef hash and cole slaw?


And what on earth is this next one?  Baked BEANS with ketchup?  Is that meatloaf wedges as the accompaniment?  Or are those pumpernickel slices?  So confused.  And where is the hand holding the bottles in all these images?  Hunt’s is so magically buoyant.

huntsbeansEnough already!  I need something that makes sense.


Ah, yes.  There we are.