I’m in this Facebook group about weird food from the 50s, 60s and 70s. Post-Modern food if you will. Lots of salads with Jello or gelatin depending on the decade. Recipes with ingredients that should never be in the same dish, let alone meal. Questionable recipes at best, but for many in my generation – comfort food.
I grew up on Tang and Poptarts. My brother and I prepared TV dinners in the aluminum trays one night each week for dinner while my parents went out to a fancy restaurant – they didn’t get much of a break from us, we usually called them 2 or 3 times to tell on each other. My dad attempted to have us eat healthy at breakfast with a big old steaming bowl of Ralston, but that quickly gave way to Cap’n Crunch and Frosted Flakes.
We were a processed food family much more than we were a hot dish family. We had meat and vegetables with a salad most nights. Thursday nights we had torsk for dinner. For those who are not of Scandinavian descent, torsk is a broiled cod. It comes frozen in a brick that doubles as an effective weapon should you need one. You place the frozen brick of fish in a dish, add a cup of water and broil the hell out of it until it is dry, tasteless, and nothing but disappointment. You’re supposed to serve it with butter, but we had margarine which only made it worse. Torsk is slightly better than lutefisk, but only slightly.
So, having grown up on very questionable foods, and being Swedish, when the Flying Jacob recipe appeared in the Facebook group of vintage foods I figured I had to try it. Being a swede, I’m surprised we never had this meal that was popular in the 70s and can still be found on most menus in restaurants in Sweden.
What is the Flying Jacob? It’s actually called the Flygande Jacob, created in the 70s by a man named Ove Jacobsson who worked in the air freight industry. The recipe first appeared in 1976. The Flying Jacob is pure comfort food. It should actually be called the Flying Elvis because it has all of his favorite foods in it – hat tip to J Arboghast – though I don’t believe Elvis was Scandinavian. It’s made of roasted chicken, a chili cream sauce, bacon bits (who doesn’t love bacon bits?), Virginia peanuts and bananas.
It’s weird, and yet it is actually quite delicious. No, really it is. The recipe takes about 10 minutes to put together and another 25-30 to back in the oven. When you’re sick of the same old meal, give this one a try, you’ll be delightfully surprised.
Also, there is no way my father would have prepared a Flygande Jacob, but he would have love saying the name.