I noticed I got a lot of traffic yesterday from jezebel.com, so being curious I went to the site to find out why. Turns out they had a blog post about one of my favorite subjects: revolting recipes! And, someone was nice enough to link to my mother of all revolting recipes: The Liver Sausage Pineapple.
The best part about the post, besides the recipes involved (Corned Beef Jello Salad! Tic-Tac Pie! Tuna Twinkie Soufflé!) was one of the commenters explained why molded salads were so popular in the 50s and 60s, something I have pondered for a long, long time.
Before the postwar era, jelled molded foods were rare and special, as they required a long process involving grinding and boiling for hours of hartshorn(antlers) or isinglass(from the swim bladders of sturgeon and cod. Mass production and and a newly prosperous middle class led to the invention of prepared gelatin powder and home refrigeration, which is why molded salads and icebox cakes exploded in popularity in the 50s. Clearly, tastes have changed since then.
Hooray! The mystery is solved! (Except for the fact that they are still completely disgusting.)