vintage mccall's cooking school ad of the day

Vintage Ad #989: Turn plain hamburger from OK to Ole!

While the seasonings and chemicals in the mix may give this meal a south-of-the-border flair, the photographer has not done this tamale pie any favours in the visual appeal department. The slick, shimmery hamburger mixed with bits of corn resembles the after-effects of a night of hard drinking and/or indigestion.

As one commentator pointed out when I posted this ad on Flickr, it's possible that high-end cookware was used to lend an air of dignity to the slop on the spoon. Could this ad provoke well-off hipsters to prepare a batch of private label Hamburger Helper knockoff in a Le Creuset pan?

There was a time when I was happy to eat ersatz Mexican/Tex-Mex prepackaged food, or any kind of Hamburger Helper apart from stroganoff. The most exotic flavour I liked was Pizza Bake, where the seasoned hamburger was layered onto a crust and topped with cheese. Powdered tomato sauces don't turn me on anymore, but occasionally I crave a cheesy bowl of Tuna Helper. Even then, a box of No Name spirals mixed with chunks of tuna and a dash of hot pepper sauce satisfies the need.

Source: McCall's Cooking School #8, 1981 - JB


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