Economic Crises Bring About 'Fear Cuisine'

Laura Shapiro, from Gourmet, writes about the culinary disasters that have appeared during previous economic crises:

Not that we’re reliving the 1930s yet, but we’re certainly experiencing the same weather: massed clouds of uncertainty, and a daily rain of bad news. No matter what homemakers were putting on the table 70 years ago, it was fear cuisine—and everyone was an expert.

Which may explain the marshmallows that parade through Depression-era salads. And the fresh raspberry glacé to be spread over the fresh raspberry frosting on a three-layer cake. And the icebox cakes, the ginger-ale pie, the layered cream-cheese-and-jelly sandwich loaf garnished with maraschino cherries, and the invention of the chocolate chip cookie. Sugar was cheap in the 1930s, and the economic crisis seems only to have deepened the nation’s longstanding allegiance to dessert. Sweetness became a staple ingredient in fear cuisine, the number-one source of comfort for comfort-food cooks...


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