Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ooh la la!

Is it weird that I'm fascinated by the evolution of French Dressing?

I think it might be. Especially after seeing this vintage Holt Howard salad dressing cruet:

But I think I'm going to write an article about it.

After reading all these old cookbooks, I'm seeing some interesting trends. It used to refer to a simple vinagrette, but evolved throughout the 20th century.

Here are a few pages from the 1942 New American Cookbook which includes recipes for a number of varieties.

Wikipedia says that the phrase means different things in different countries. Apparently so, for example, when looking for vintage images, one of the top hits was this picture:

Turns out French Dressing is sexy! Kraft couldn't even deny it. Look what they did in the 1960s:

For me, the sexiness is just a bonus. The story of how the vinaigrette became such a mid-century staple is what I find interesting. It stars in all sorts of dishes, in all sorts of ways.

So stay tuned. You may be hearing more about French Dressing. Might want to get yourself a lettuce hat and some silk stockings.