More Vintage Gourmet: August 1951

August 29, 2015


I love these old Rheingold ads.  With their perennially blond women doing their best to make a working class quaff classy, they say so much about the culture of the time,

But you don’t need to stick to the ads to for that information. The recipes also tell us a lot about the times.  Here, for instance, are a couple of dishes from Gastronomie sans Argent, the column the editors created for people with more taste than money.



Because we’re at the height of the peach season, here’s a recipe you might actually be inclined to make. A friend just dropped a load of windfall peaches on my porch, and some of them are destined to become peach leather.  What I love best about this recipe?  You do the drying in the sun.


And given our newly coffee-conscious culture, this ad leapt out at me.  I couldn’t find out anything about Senor Pinto, but I did discover that in the fifties coffee was San Francisco’s second most important industry. 


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  • Josh says:

    Rheingold was good beer, although the brand was sold a few times, and it was eventually rendered water. The best American brew, from back in the days, was Ballantine India Pale Ale. I would drink that today if it were still made. I was told Oregon IPA was the closest thing to it, but no one in my neck of the woods carries Oregon IPA.

  • Ruth Reichl says:

    Josh, that’s so amazing. Reading that I had a sudden memory of setting the table when I was a kid. I always put a large, triangular glass on the table. My father drank a bottle of Ballentine Pale India Ale every night at dinner, and I remember pouring the ale out of the green bottle into the glass. Now I wish I’d tasted it. Never did.

  • Josh says:

    Did you notice that the labels were always on crooked? I do not think beer showed alcohol content then, in fact I heard it was illegal to display, but I was convinced that B IPA was way stronger than other brews, and the crooked label was evidence that the brewers were tippling. Somewhere I read a blog that quoted on of the former plant workers, who confirmed that.

  • MomtoMany5 says:

    Reminds me of the Rainer Beer in Washington State…Mickey Rooney even starred in a few of their ads such as this: