Knudsen Recipes for Greater Food Value

Welcome to the first installment of From the Vault! The Forced Perspective Vault contains volume upon volume of cool old stuff, primarily stuff related to food. In this recurring (I hope) feature, we drag some gems out into the light of day.


Knudsen Recipes for Greater Food Value

Knudsen Dairy Products, The Very Best
produced by Knudsen Creamery Co of California in 1957

A booklet in the grand tradition of books of recipes containing large quantities of the manufacturer’s ingredients which are, in this case, pictured on the back cover.


Note the statement, in all-caps, “SOLD AT FOOD STORES.” This would be in contrast to delivery to your door, and the booklet emphasizes that the products are still fresh even if you don’t get them off your doorstep. And not only fresh, but not at all infectious! They have scientists, you see! OK, they don’t say that outright, but the first page touts their quality control and their staff of both scientists and technicians. But rather than emphasize that they’re preventing little Bobby from getting typhoid from his morning cereal, they focus on their effort to improve dairy products, and even make new ones! Unfortunately, I can’t think of any novel dairy products invented since the fifties.


I stand corrected! Hoop cheese! I was pleased to see this description of what exactly this product is. I had seen references to it in other vintage cookbooks but had not known what it was. Apparently a low sodium fat free cheese. And for being around since the fifties (and possibly before) it doesn’t seem to have taken the world by storm. Not even the sodium restricted diet world. The introduction of the Knudsen products in this booklet points out that they serve Southern California from nine plants which makes me wonder if they got the endorsement of the Los Angeles Heart Association because they were local or because the national association wouldn’t bite?


And while the caloric content of the hoop cheese is listed in the charts encouraging you to count your calories in order to lose weight, the suggested menus don’t include it. But they do suggest substituting sour cream for salad dressing and mayo. And using half-and-half in your coffee. And while Knudsen did distribute nonfat milk (79 calories per glass), they do not list it among their recommendations for reducing. Instead, they plug buttermilk (110 calories) and Gold Star homogenized milk (166 calories) over even homogenized milk ( 151 calories). I wonder why.

Even your everyday menus should contain vast quantities of dairy products.

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And while I enjoy the web sites that poke fun at the strange and hideous dishes of yesteryear (though I’m not totally convinced anyone actually made these dishes) I don’t like when they don’t include the recipe!


Banana-Orange Float
2 bananas, peeled
1/2 cup Knudsen Cottage Cheese
2 oranges, peeled and sliced
8 maraschino cherries, halved
1 (3-oz.) package Knudsen Cream Cheese
1/2 cup Knudsen Hampshire Sour Cream
6 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Cut bananas in half lengthwise. Place each half on salad greens. Cover banana tops with cottage cheese. Arrange orange slices on cottage cheese. Decorate with cherry halves. Blend cream cheese, Hampshire Sour Cream, orange juice, rind and sugar. Pour around banana slices and over salad greens. Serves four.

Lima Bean Salad Mix
2 cups cooked baby lima beans
1/2 cup sliced stuffed olives
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup minced pickles
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Knudsen Hampshire Sour Cream
1/4 cup chopped pimiento
Combine beans with remaining ingredients except pimientos and chill 15 to 20 minutes. Serve topped with pimiento bits. Serves 6 to 8.

Both of these recipes seem to not totally match the pictures, so who knows how the pictured dishes were really made.

Do you feel the urge to buy more dairy products yet?