Lurid Easter food

Passed on from several sources (e.g. here), this 1957 ad “for the gayest Easter Eggs”:


When this was posted on Facebook, I wrote there:

Wish the text were easier to read. the photos are vividly fabulous. or fabulously vivid.

Only the largest type is easily legible.

The McCormick people presumably intended gay in the sense ‘brightly colored; showy; brilliant’ (NOAD2), but many Facebook readers were inclined to read the word in a much more modern ‘campy’ sense. Intensely colored eggs, seriously pink cake. (The eggs are just hard-boiled eggs, but the cake looks tooth-achingly sweet.)

In response to my legibility complaint, Chris Ambidge rejconstructed the whole text, preserving (he says) the spelling in the original: (I’ve bold-faced two especially entertaining rhetorical flourishes):

For the gayest Easter Eggs … for Tastier Cakes

[graphic of food color bottles and packages]

… use the finest food colors and vanilla!

[graphic of pink iced cake and eggs being colored]

McCormick-Schilling Food Colors and Vanilla give perfect results every time! *More* Color, *Richer* Flavor!

To dye Easter Eggs perfectly all you do is use your regular McCormick or Schilling Pure Food Colors. You’ll be amazed at how perfectly they color Easter Eggs: you’l be delighted with the glowing colors. All you do is add 1 teaspoon vinegar to 1/2 – 3/4 cup boiling water. Then add about 20 drops (1/8 teaspoon) of color desired. To blend shades follow chart on package. Four bright colors blend to twelve different shades. And use these popular food colors also to add eye and appetite appeal to your Easter desserts. A little color gives your cakes, cookies, puddings, icings a really festive Easter note!

[logo: McCormick and Schilling / one famous emblem – two great brands]

The *Magic* Spoonful (R)

Made from teh finest Vanilla Beans teh world provides, McCormick and Schilling Vanilla is porcessed by experts so that teh richer, finer flavor is wholly preserved. So, when you buy vanilla do what’most everybody’s doing — ask for McCormick or Schilling Vanilla, the Magic Spoonful!

(c)1957 McCormick & Co, Inc      McCORMICK … THE HOUSE OF FLAVOR

Have a gay Easter!

One Response to “Lurid Easter food”

  1. markonsea Says:

    McCormick and Schilling have a copy editor; Chris Ambidge doesn’t. Can’t think why – the media have been shedding them at such a rate you can surely get one for peanuts now?

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