The 9 Worst Retro Foods The Holidays Have Ever Endured

Way too many meats were shaped into Christmas trees.

Retro is often exciting, especially in fashion. But when it comes to food, retro is usually meet with horror ― and for good reason. Retro foods are beloved by only the culinary brave; to all others, they’re an atrocity. They’ve been known to ruin a great many appetites.

We’ve seen some scary retro recipes out there, but the worst of the worst are definitely particular to the holidays. There’s something about the Christmas tree shape that really made recipe creators of the past feel far too bold. We’re grateful this trend has passed, along with all things aspic.

Behold, the nine worst retro recipes to have ever disgraced the holidays.

Tuna Christmas Tree
Originally published in Better Homes and Gardens® publications.
All we want for Christmas is to not eat tuna shaped like a Christmas tree. From "Treasury of Holiday Ideas" (Better Homes and Gardens, 1968).
Tomato Aspic
McCall's Great American Recipe Card Collection via
Aspic, a moldable jelly made from gelatin and stock, was an extremely popular dish in the '50s and '60s. It was responsible for some truly frightening meals. We should all consider ourselves lucky that we aren't faced with this at the holiday table.
Christmas Candle Salad
Tested Recipe Institute Inc. via
Mmm, leave it to banana candles to make the holidays feel bright. Find the recipe on
Shrimp Christmas Tree
At least today everyone can agree that a Christmas tree compiled of shrimp is not a good idea. “I don’t even know where to begin. The whole thing is atrocious, but in an amazing way," said Bon Appetit senior food editor Dawn Perry. Find the recipe on Bon Appetit.
Santa's Whiskers
Originally published in Better Homes and Gardens® publications.
Hands down the worst name for a cookie ever. Ever. Find the recipe on
Cranberry Candles
Nothing says holiday cheer like a candle that you can eat because it's made out of mayonnaise.
Christmas Confections
The Betty Crocker Recipe Card Library via
Why so many foods had to be shaped like a Christmas tree is a mystery that will never be solved. These trees were built with Cheerios dyed with green food coloring, marshmallows and gumdrops. Find the recipe on
Frozen Fruit Cake Salad
Originally published in Better homes and Gardens® publications.
Crushed pineapple, bananas, candied cherries, sour cream and frozen whipped dessert topping: Don't be fooled, this is no salad. Find the recipe on
Cocktail Weenie Tree
Happy holidays!
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