Much like fashion and entertainment, food trends change as time goes by and people get obsessed with whatever is touted as the latest and greatest thing.
Some stick around, but others had their moment to shine and were then put away like that fondue pot that you used about once or twice.
Check out what Cosmopolitan thinks people would have been filling their Instagram with for the past 47 delicious years.
I guess people weren’t so trendy about food before then, but let’s dig in anyway…
1970 — Quiche
This savory egg pie was an easy way to throw a bunch of leftovers in a pan for a quick meal.
Plus, it was French, so it sounded très chic.
1971 — Eggs Benedict
Before Millennials were claiming they invented brunch, people were all over English muffins topped with Canadian bacon, a poached egg, and Hollandaise sauce.
1972 — Tequila Sunrise
It was the preferred drink of Mick Jagger, and he jokingly called The Rolling Stones’ tour that year “The Cocaine and Tequila Sunrise Tour.”
Drink up like a rock star.
1973 — Fondue
It’s foreign! It’s DIY dinner!
Many people jumped on this trending train, but it soon turned into fon-don’t.
1974 — Granola
Health food was for hippies in the ’60s, but it went mainstream in the ’70s, with granola leading the way.
1975 — Pasta Primavera
The ’70s were full of creamy pasta, and Sirio Maccioni, owner of Le Cirque in New York, claims to have first put this mix of long noodles, creamy white sauce, and vegetables.
But did it come with unlimited salad and breadsticks?
1976 — General Tso’s Chicken
Why or how this dish made it to America is unclear, but as it’s made here — deep-fried, sweet and sour, boneless — started making the rounds about this time.
1977 — Buffalo Wings
The snacking staple was first introduced in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, but the city declared July 29 Chicken Wing Day in 1977.
1978 — Croissants
In the ’70s, “Americans went wild for flaky, buttery croissants,” Lovegren wrote in Fashionable Food, and they would either buy them from croissant shops or make them at home using refrigerated Pillsbury Crescent dough.
Plus, again, they were foreign and sounded so fancy.
1979 — Goat Cheese Salad
Everyone who was anyone was eating fresh goat cheese around this time, especially those who ate at the restaurants of pioneering California chef Jeremiah Tower, who made it a mainstay served warm over a bed of salad greens.
1980 — Ranch Dressing
Quick story: A plumbing contractor created this salad dressing, made with buttermilk, mayonnaise, garlic, onion, and herbs like dill and chives, in the 1950s.
He later served the dressing at his Santa Barbara dude ranch, Hidden Valley Ranch, selling it in packets for customers to take home. Henson and his wife Gayle later created Hidden Valley Ranch Food Products, and the rest is history.
It quickly became the preferred way to infuse otherwise healthy dishes with a palatable amount of fat and was everywhere in the ’80s…and really hasn’t gone away.
1981 — Kiwi
Kiwis started taking over in 1962, when an L.A. grocer started importing them from New Zealand.
They were showing up in salads, meat dishes, and tarts everywhere by the early ’80s, when they became so pervasive that there was a kiwi backlash by the middle of the decade.
It’s a kiwi uprising!
1982 — Crème Brûlée
This wasn’t a new thing in the ’80s — it’s a dessert that was even served to Jefferson in the White House — but it showed up on Le Cirque’s menu around this time and soon started up the blow torching trend.
1983 — Penne alla Vodka
Italians first started making vodka sauce in the 1970s, and Americans embraced it in the ’80s after a New York City eatery called Joanna’s Restaurant started serving it.
The creamy tomato sauce actually does have vodka in it, so let’s bring this trend back, now shall we?
1984 — Blackened Fish
Nothing really complicated here.
Filets are dropped into a super hot skillet and cooked until, well, blackened.
But you can thank Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen cookbook for the popularity.
1985 — Fajitas
Fajitas are delicious and gained popularity as Tex Mex cuisine swept the nation about this time, but let’s be honest.
Who wants to do all of that work when you go out to eat? Then again, that sizzle…
1986 — Wine Coolers
Mixing wine with soda, carbonated water, or juice doesn’t sound that fancy, but alcohol brands sold bottled “wine coolers” to capitalize on the spritzer trend, and Bruce Willis even starred in a Seagrams ad with the tagline, “This is where the fun starts.”
1987 — Chocolate Truffles
The ’80s were about luxury chocolate, including truffles, in part because of Alice Medrich.
She opened up a specialty store, Cocolat, where she sold the decadent treats that are thankfully still making the rounds.
1988 — Sushi
Who needs to cook when you can eat raw fish?
It was about this time people decided that seafood was healthy, especially when it didn’t require you to cook it (see you later, blackened fish).
1989 — Veggie Burgers
A London-based natural food restaurant owner named Gregory Sams first marketed a meatless patty called the “VegeBurger” in 1982 as a dry mix that would get rehydrated before consumption.
By the mid-’80s, the VegeBurger had landed stateside, where other vegetarian patties like the Gardenburger were also being introduced and they’re still around today.
1990 — Tiramisu
The New York Times first published a recipe for it in 1985, but it gained popularity in the early ’90s when people were looking for a pick-me-up.
A dessert of Italian mascarpone, coffee, eggs, ladyfingers, and chocolate will do that for ya.
1991 — Chinese Chicken Salad
Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck led the charge on this one, and his version of the Chinese chicken salad, the Chinois chicken salad, became a symbol of this style of cooking.
And it has lettuce, so it was basically a health food, right?
To be continued…