Of Chef Boyardee pizza and Andy Griffith
What impressed me most about this Bucky's World is that our guest poster would undertake such a dangerous culinary experiment for our benefit. EL
Last week, noted blogging psychologist Dr. O.M. Gravy shared with us his ground-breaking studies of Recovered Childhood Lunch Trauma (RCLT). Commenting on Dr. Gravy’s work, Old Phil prompted my own personal recovery of a non-traumatic culinary memory from the 1950s: Chef Boyardee Pizza Kits.
You might recall that my early years were spent primarily in a place so small that there was no café or restaurant of any sort. Regular Bucky-readers have also certainly deduced by now that I spring from a decidedly meat-and-potatoes background. ...
All of this is to say that Old Phil’s comment brought back warm memories of the one exotic food that I ate when I was a kid, Chef Boyardee pizza, made from a box kit. This was the only pizza I knew until our family moved away from Wyoming to a town that had a Shakey’s Pizza parlor.
Feeling nostalgic after Old Phil’s comment, last Sunday I baked up a Chef Boyardee pizza for Mrs. Bucky and myself, and we ate it while sitting at some old TV trays that originally belonged to my folks and have been in our basement storage room for decades. (In our first apartment, the TV trays served as lamp tables in our living room, which is why we had them.) While we ate our pizza, we watched Andy Griffith in black and white on the TV Land network.
The pizza, of course, was nowhere near as good I remembered it. Neither was the old Andy Griffith show. This is a lesson I have to re-learn from time to time. The gossamer memories of youth are best left undisturbed, their beauty admired only through the distance of time.
By the way, research reveals that Chef Boyardee was, in fact, Ettore Boiardi, an Italian-born chef who immigrated to the United States in 1915. He Americanized his first name to Hector and eventually ended up in Cleveland, where he operated his own restaurant, Il Giardino d‘Italia.
His canned food empire started when restaurant customers kept asking to buy his marinara sauce, which he originally sold them packaged in spare milk bottles.
That is, indeed, his picture on his food products. Chef Boiardi died in 1985.