What Makes a Cookbook Kitschy?

If you’re unfamiliar with kitschy cuisine, I invite you to read my thoughts on why I think kitsch is king. As far as cookbooks though, there are some hard and fast rules (that I created) on why a cookbook is kitschy (as opposed to just old).

Kitschy Cuisine depends on:

  • When it was published. Kitschiness was best in the 50s and 60s.
  • Unappetizing photos and cool illustrations designed to make up for the lack of good pictures.
  • Kitschy copy that makes food sound like a magnificent and wonderous thing.
  • Ingredients from the Kitschy Cupboard.
  • Recipe names that are completely over the top.  A regular recipe name might be pork chops, for example. A kitschy cuisine name is something like pork chops elegante, pork chops supreme, pork chop triumph. In other words, it’s more than just a dish, it’s a kitschy dish!

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