Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Anthropomorphic Food and Kitchen Gallery

From the New York Times article about chefs and tatoos. The chef who sports this tatoo, Rick Tramonto, partner and executive chef at Tru in Chicago, said "The spoon is running, the fork is stressed out, the knife is excited and they're all going after the plate. The plate is in the weeds; he's got the lobster but he dropped the lemon"

The hotdog image was posted on LTHForum

Strange but true, even chicken mc nuggets have a face. Thanks Amanda for the photograph.

The Kream Krunch box came from flickr and was posted by Grickly.

Find the burned toast and other plush goodies at My Paper Crane.

While in San Francisco we were fortunate to have a bite at the famed Tartine Bakery. This coffe bean guy was found on the bakery's "to go" coffee cup.

This recipe booklet was published in 1946 by the “National Peanut Council, Inc.”

“Chester” was sighted at the Shady Dell in Bisbi Arizona, a great vacation spot where you can sleep in a vintage Airstream trailer.

In the Fisherman's Warf area of San Francisco you will run into this ice cream cone man.

These came from a local Richard's Whole Foods store in Bradenton, Florida. More on ginger people.

This was donated by Carolien from Holland. It is a pickled plum candy. She said she didn't care much for the taste.

These recipe pages are from the “Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls”. We think it is the late 50's or early 60's. These were donated by Carolien from Holland. Thank you for your contribution.

This jem came from a copyright free illustrator's hand book, probably a turn of the century (19th century) work. I love this period and would love to find more like this. Feel free to submit.

From “U Lucky Dog” hot dog stand in Chicago see more pictures of great chicago hot dog stands at this blog: off the broiler.

This shirt is one of the submissions at threadless. If you go there and vote on this shirt, it could get printed and distributed. I like this one!

These images came from a discount bread store in St.Petersburg, Florida.

We think this guy is a formal slice of bread.

Also from the bread store, captain cupcake and twinkie the kid are our favorites.

You can find these wonderful images at your local Hollywood Video chain store. Kudos to the artist.

Perhaps the most famous of all anthropomorphic individuals, we paid twelve dollars for this guy at an antique store, get yours quickly.

Not wanting the cheese, we flashed these right in the rack. Sorry about the quality. We feel the whole idea is pretty lame.

We found these mixes at the local Williams Sonoma Store. Lets hope these images become classics and stay on the shelf.

This is a thermometer I bought five years ago from Smith & Hawken. I'd like to know the source of the original art.

This came from a small grocer who carries latin imports. We actually ended up using the sugar. Its taste is different than brown sugar, but not like molasses either.

This candy came from Mi Pequeña Dulceria in Tucson, Arizona.

A magazine cover from 1992 I found at the laundry matt before I had a washer and dryer.

Dieter's mom, Elsie illustrated this dish and spoon just for the blog. It looks curiously like her and Dieter's dad, Paul.

This image was contributed by Alan who makes great

If you have never read the “Stinky Cheese Man” you need to do it now. Written and illustrated by John Scieszka and Lane Smith.

Both images are from a cooking pamphlet circa 1950 “Banana Salad Bazaar.” Distributed by the Home Ecomonics Department at Fruit Dispatch Company.

Distributed by the Home Economics Department at United Fruit Company, 1951. These recipe pamphlets tell you more than you need to know about making things with bananas.

Publix market is giving it's store brand food a packaging overhaul, the look is minimal and simple, a no clutter label. Take a long look at these pasta characters, I question their longevity as salesmen.

Davidson's Safest Choice Pasteurized Shell Eggs can be found at Publix Market and on the internet at

We spotted these characters while shopping at our local grocery store. It seems that the power of the anthropomorphic food representation is alive and hard at work updating the look of a classic cookie.

The four citrus characters above are located on highway 19 in Terrecia, Florida, south of the Skyway Bridge.

This is the logo for the “Classie Tomato” packing house in Ellenton, Florida.

Our thanks to EP from one of our favorite blogs, Easily Pleased for alerting us to Mr. Peanut. I belive this to be a cast iron reproduction piggy bank.

This was brought many years ago in the small town of Sesser, Illinois. This looks to be a summer camp project, made of plaster of paris.

The top apple and pear couple are “chalkwear” kitchen hangers for towels and potholders.

The bags were saved from an early hot dog and pickle.

Think “California Raisins,” yes the ones shuffling about in the spot light with the Fred Astaire cane, sunglasses and viola! you have a premiere example of anthropomorphic food. Of course none of us would ever eat another human, but the idea that a raisin tastes so good that it literally dances about our mouth some how makes it fun to eat. You can't deny the mass appeal and huge success of humanized foods. The “Pillsbury Dough Boy” and colorful “M & M's” beg us to eat them. An advertising strategy not so different than a parent cajoling a small child to eat an “airplaine fork” full of vegetables that fly though the air right in to the laughing little ones gaping hanger; varoom, zoom, another shipment coming in for landing!

The idea of animated food and kitchen objects has a wild appeal to me. Anthropormorphic forms add a bit of levity in the kitchen and even lend a helping hand. After all food and its preparation has an element of magic to it. Who wouldn't like a magic spoon watching over the sauce––perfection every time. When “The Cat and the Fiddle,” a children's classic nursery rhyme, was read to me as a child my imagination raced away with the dish and the spoon. Usually this story is accompanied with wonderful illustrations depicting this scene. Unfortunatly I don't have a good one to show.

Hey, diddle, diddle!
The cat and the fiddle,
The cow jumped over the moon;
The little dog laughed
To see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon.

My idea is to create, with your help, a visual library of anthropomorphic objects that share a space in the anatomy of gastronomy. You may contribute to, as well as borrow from, this collection. It is a public domain where no entry will be refused as long as it pertains to the topic. With each submitted entry a line of information would help as a historical note, or as a personal note; such as “I grew up with this hanging in our kitchen now it is in my kitchen in Bradenton, Florida,” or “this is from an old cook book ... 1955.” I want to thank you now for your interest and possible participation. Please send pdf files to me, Dieter. Keep checking back because we will be adding images to the collection.
This image is from recipe book titled “Let's Bake” published by the Robin Hood Flour Company in 1964.

This is from a booklet published by the “Waring Blendor” company in 1947. The Booklet is called “340 Recipes for the new Waring Blendor”, the booklet is chock full of funny blendor characters.
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YouGuysKnow said...

i think of that Planter's Peanut dude. he's a freak. And back in the 1970's McDonalds anthropomorphized their entire Happy Meal. Each little fry was a cute little fella. (munch!)

Joe said...

This page of the Gyros Project includes a few good anthrop. gyros cones!

Anonymous said...

amazing! an funny, this kind oof art is very simple but effective, cheers!!!

polly + dieter said...

thank you for the comments. we are always looking for more images. keep your eyes peeled and if you find something fun send it to us and we will post it!

Anonymous said...

ok! this i found in flickr

many images!! just look

Karen Romano Young said...

People! If you come to Connecticut you must visit Stew Leonard's! It is food anthropomorphism central!

Francesca Haley said...

OH MY WORD this is the most disturbing thing I've seen in a long time!!!!! Am I the only person in the world who finds anthromophorbic foods terrifying and barbaric?!!

Francesca in Fife, Scotland (I'm anthromophobic)

polly + dieter said...

After much discussion, we have a solution to the problem. Purchase a pack of googly eyes to put on all your foods before eating them. Look into the googly eyes, look into the googly eyes. Not for too long though, slow exposure is much more effective.

Gene Ha said...

The Merita "formal slice of bread" is really Hostess' Fruit Pie the Magician.

I'm old enough to barely remember him from commercials:

polly + dieter said...

unbelievable. we cracked up watching the commercial. who would think of these guys? what a great job to have! thank you so much for correcting us. the fruit pie magician is much more than just a slice of bread!

polly + dieter said...

thank you for the encouraging comment!