Actor/comedian Dick Van Dyke claimed Bosco syrup made him “strong, handsome and thirsty” in a 1960s commercial for the famous chocolate syrup.
Advertised as natural, thicker and richer in B vitamins than its competitors, Bosco mixed with milk was a genuine treat for children in mid-century America.
Now you can try the original Bosco and a few modern variations: strawberry, sugar-free and Dulce De Caramel. Whether you’re nostalgic for the “oh so thick and rich” chocolate syrup, or just have fond memories of the “I love Bosco” commercials, you can enter to win a Bosco gift pack. (Did you know Bosco was used as a substitute for blood in a number of black and white movies, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Night of the Living Dead)?
For chocolate candy fans, you can have Bosco’s chocolate taste conveniently wrapped up in a delicious all-natural milk chocolate bar. And for 60s fans, the Praim Group also offers chocolate bars with wrappers featuring quotes from 60s pop culture icon Andy Warhol and the logo from the popular airline, Pan Am. A great gift for a retro foodie fan!
Enter to win a gift pack of Bosco, and an assortment of vintage candy bars!.
In Mad Men Season 1, Episode 9, (“Shoot”) Don Draper is wooed by Jim Hobart, an executive with a Sterling Cooper rival firm, McCann Erickson. Hobart sends Don a membership to the New York Athletic Club and a set of golf clubs, and promises that Don will enjoy working in a bigger shop with more glamorous, big name clients such as Esso (now Exxon) and the world’s high-flying airline, Pan Am (now defunct). By contrast, Sterling Cooper’s major aviation client is tiny Mohawk Airlines, a regional carrier.
Pan Am is also the name of a new television drama set in the 1960s that debuted a week ago on ABC, along with The Playboy Club, which premiered a week earlier on NBC, also set in the 1960s. Both shows have drawn inevitable comparison to Mad Men since they seek to tap into nostalgia for the same time period.
When Betty Draper sought to bring an international flair for dinner guests, she hosted her Around the World Dinner in Season 2, Episode 8 (“A Night to Remember”). The meal she prepared reflected a surge of interest in international cuisine inspired by Julia Child and other factors, including the growing number of people traveling by air to international destinations. Pan American World Airlines had its own cookbook, published in 1954, The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook: Recipes Gathered by Pan American World Airways from the 84 Countries They Serve, by Myra Waldo (Doubleday & Company, Inc.) Waldo called this new-found culinary curiosity, “the gradual maturity of our country, gastronomically speaking.”
In the only episode of Mad Men to date set outside of the United States, Don and Betty Draper fly to Rome (Season 3, Episode 8, “Souvenir”). So, we turned to Myra Waldo’s book to see what Italian delicacies the pilots and stewardesses of Pan Am sampled when they flew there. From stuffed peppers and anchovy and rice soup to shrimp in wine sauce, fillet of beef with Marsala, and almond spongecake, Italy then, as now, was a gourmand’s slice of heaven.
But one recipe in Waldo’s book especially caught our eye because we remembered Betty trying to dress up a humble celery stalk while preparing hors d’oeuvres for the adult guests at daughter Sally’s sixth birthday party. (Season 1, Episode 3, “The Marriage of Figaro.”) She settled for filling the celery with cream cheese and capers (we include this recipe in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook). But a more ambitious celery recipe can be found in The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook. If Betty had had Waldo’s book on her kitchen counter she might have made Celery Parmigiana Style (sedani alla parmigiana). How?
Celery Parmigiana Style (sedani alla parmigiana)
Celery is delicious in this easy to make side dish (or main course) and you can easily prepare a vegetarian version by omitting the ham. Adapted from The Complete Round-the-World Cookbook: Recipes Gathered by Pan American World Airways from the 84 Countries They Serve by Myra Waldo.
- Note: This recipe calls for Gruyère or American cheese, but we prefer good quality Cheddar cheese.
- 3 bunches celery
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup stock or ½ bouillon cube dissolved in ½ cup hot water
- ¼ cup chopped ham
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup grated Gruyère or American cheese (see note)
- Wash the celery thoroughly and remove the leaves.
- Cut into ½ inch thick slices .
- Melt butter in a skillet.
- Add the celery and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring gently so as not to break up the slices.
- Add the stock, ham, salt and pepper.
- Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Drain carefully. Preheat oven to 425˚ F.
- Place the celery in a buttered baking dish and sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is delicately browned.
One of Mohawk Airlines' glamour destinations
Perhaps Don should have made the leap to McCann Erickson after all, because unlike Pan Am which flew to such glamour destinations as Paris, Honolulu and Tokyo. Mohawk Airlines flew to Utica, Albany and Poughkeepsie where the most exotic native fare may have been corn on the cob and kielbasa.
The Playboy Club, a new series debuting on NBC tonight, and Pan Am, which begins airing on ABC this Sunday, both seek to tap into the 1960s nostalgia ignited by the success of Mad Men. Set in Chicago, The Playboy Club is already drawing the ire of feminists on the left and moralists on the right. Since we haven’t seen the show yet, we’ll withhold judgment. We just hope they get the Whiskey Sours right.
In Season 4, Episode 10 of Mad Men (“Hands and Knees”), the New York Playboy Club features prominently. When Lane Pryce’s cruel, domineering father, Raymond, comes to town, Lane practically begs Don Draper to join them for dinner. It’s clear Lane isn’t itching for alone time with Dad. They go to the Playboy Club, where Lane’s African American girlfriend, Toni Charles, works as a Bunny. Judy, one of the Bunnies, comes to take their order and Lane asks for three Whiskey Sours, but the disagreeable Raymond wants iced bourbon instead. So, make it two Whiskey Sours.
In the 1960s, the Playboy brand embodied a cool, modern sophistication. In addition to his “lifestyle” magazine and syndicated television shows—Playboy’s Penthouse (1959-60) and Playboy After Dark (1969-70), which were set as parties featuring Playboy Playmates and celebrities at Hugh Hefner’s penthouse—Hefner owned the famous Playboy Clubs. The very first Playboy Club, the one featured in the new television show, opened in Chicago in 1960, and others soon followed in the United States and elsewhere. The New York club opened in December 1963 on East 59th Street in Manhattan. Membership for men like Lane Pryce was a status symbol. Members were called “keyholders,” supposedly because being a member was the key that opened the door to the pleasures of the Playboy lifestyle.
Former Playboy Bunny Joy Percival (known at the Detroit Playboy Club where she worked in the 1960s as “Bunny Jill”) kindly gave us permission to use a photo (see above) taken of her and actor Hugh O’Brien back in the day in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook.
We don’t know if Hugh O’Brien was a Whiskey Sour man; we suspect he might have opted for something more masculine like an Old Fashioned. We’re not being sexist here; when you read The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook you’ll discover that cocktails in the 1960s were gendered: women preferred the Mai Tais and Brandy Alexanders while the men gravitated towards whiskey straight up or rye based cocktails such as the Old Fashioned.
Bunny Jill worked at the Detroit Playboy Club from 1963-1971. (Both photos of “Bunny Jill” courtesy of Joy Percival.)
If you want to know how a Whiskey Sour was made at a Playboy Club, you can find the recipe, borrowed from Playboy’s Host & Bar Book by Thomas Mario (Playboy, 1971), in The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook. In his book, Mario gave this advice: “every prearranged drinking session calls for two kinds of alchemy: The first is mixing potables; the second is mixing people.” We doubt Raymond Pryce mixed well with anyone; he’s about as sour as they come.