The ’50s were the decades when casseroles really took off. They went from being a food of leftovers or poverty to a middle class symbol of the modern times. A host of new products available in the market during the post war boom meant that the casseroles could be as exotic or as bland as Mother wanted.
The ’50s was also the decade in which spam, savory jello salads, and pineapple upside down cake became common items on dinner tables across the U.S. Canned pineapple, now readily available, changed the culinary landscape and inspired many recipes.
The decade was full of changes and the cocktail party was staple of neighborhood life for many people. This meant a variety of new recipes were coming into play for average folks. Never before had such varied tastes all adorned one table at the same time. Upscale dishes like chicken cordon bleu and creme de menthe parfait graced menus and offered a taste of new flavors.
Another staple that became popular during this time was spaghetti. Before brands like Chef Boyardee many Americans had only a passing acquaintance with Italian food, if any at all.
Cold dishes like savory jello molds and chicken salad continued to hold pride of place on many a summertime menu, especially with the low price and mass availability of a huge variety of canned vegetables.