What food trends have you noticed?

I’m fascinated with food history and trends. Some foods are commonplace today but weren’t 10 or 20 years ago. Some past foods are unheard of today.

For instance, in 1980 I had never heard of salsa or picante. Now they’re uber-common. Same with sushi.

There seems to be a trend in upscale restaurants to stack the food these days. Your filet mignon, mashed potatoes, and spinach are no long three separate dishes – they’re stacked up in one big pile.

In the early 70s, we went to a restaurant where the waitress would not bring us our salads. We had to go make them ourselves. We thought that was an interesting idea that would never catch on.

For a while, childrens’ breakfast cereal would not sell unless there was a toy in the box. Does anyone do that anymore?

What trends have you noticed?

Not noticed personally, but I remember my Grandmother telling about when tuna was introduce as a ‘new’ item. Lots of recipes passed out using it, special cooking contests for dishes using tuna, etc. That was astounding to me, having grown up with tuna casseroles as a common, homemade ‘comfort food’.

And my mother mentioned pineapple as something that was also a new product within her memory. Apparently when the Dole family started plantations of pineapples in Hawaii, it became a common item in supermarkets. Same kind of promotion through recipes, cooking contests, etc. She mentioned that one of my favorites, pineapple upside-down cake, was unknown during her childhood.

Angus beef. It might be superior in taste and texture sometimes and some cuts, but the way most places prepare it, it is just the same as most other breeds. But if you slap the “Angus” label on the dish, you can jack up the price.

I few years back there was pesto and sun dried tomatoes which were soo trendy. Olive oil was not common in the US when I was a girl. I could not fathom why anyone would want oil that tasted like green olives until I tried using it.

Also the availability of fresh spices and herbs and a greater availability of spices generally has increased over my lifetime.

The trend I am indulging in now is learning Indian cooking. I made a very tasty carrot dish the other night. It is amazing what some fenugreek, cumin, tumeric, Indian chili, mustard seed, and my own version of garam masala can do to a couple of pound of carrots. I don’t like cooked carrots and these were yummy.

Just from what I saw on the Food Channel, a chili or barbeque competition seemed to be on every night. In your “upper class” restaurants, I’ve seen deconstructed food - example, cooked apples, a disk of pastry, and a squiggle of caramel sauce = apple pie

Yeah food deconctruction is big right now. As is making a “foam” of some savory food.

I think dim sum is going to be making a bigger impact in America.

Too many to list, but some include:

Screamingly hot pepper sauce; when I was a kid Tabasco was as wild as you got.

Cilantro. Never heard of it until the 80s.

Many new ethnic restaurants. Japanese, Indian, Mediterranean, Greek, Thai, etc.

At the same time, the death of the true Kosher deli.

My mother (born in 1941) says that when she was growing up, every night there was some kind of roasted meat. Roast chicken, roast ham, roast beef. She said meat was almost never prepared any other way.

Wow, I thought that pineapples went back to at least the 19th century.

A group of people once went to a restaurant one late night and wanted something to snack on. The chef quickly threw together some fried chicken and hot sauce. These days, every “American food” restaurant serves buffalo wings.

There are several but the two main ones I’ve noticed are the wider variety of regional foods available, Indian, Thai et al and the increasing pretentiousness with which many foods are marketed. Lots of foods have become yuppified.

I wonder if Afghani food is going to take off. What with us having so many soldiers in Afghanistan, there might be some demand for it. There are two restaurants in this city, and the one I’ve been to has amazing food.

I’m seeing a lot of nice restaurants with cheese courses.

Also, there’s a minor trend with sausages and organ meats.

So many over my adult life, but right now (and in Kansas which is 2-3 years behind the rest of the country for trends it seems) the most noticeable are wraps- everything in a wrap instead of a sandwich. I am sure that started with the Adkin’s Diet renewal craze several years ago, but it is going strong and expanding (now we have a Big Mac wrap even). And chipolte in/on/around everything. Chipolte chicken, chipolte beef, chipolte salsa, chipolte barbecue sauce, chipolte flavored…everything.

I remember when nobody ate squid, and now it seems every restaurant has fried calamari as an appetizer. On the other hand, I remember when the rubbery fried seafood of choice was fried clams, and I hardly see those anymore.

It was called coriander for you east-coasters. Actually I thought it still was.
Pho (phở) soup has been available for awhile, but it seems to be suddenly popular among even non-Vietnamese Americans.

Does anybody remember a time when coffee came in 1 variety? And it was usually percolated?

It was just a few weeks ago that someone introduced me to the concept of bubble tea. How new is that?

Coriander usually is in reference to the seeds. Cilantro means the leaves. And it definitely took off in the 80s.

They do, but improvements in food transport technology have made getting a pineapple in the middle of February, in Iowa seem like a reasonable thing.

The last few years blueberries have been re-marketed as “heath food”, but I think that’s about to change to pomegranate. Indian food, esp north Indian food was wildly popular a few years ago in the San Francisco bay area, but it seems to be ebbing now, in favor of “slow food” and fancy charcuterie.

Ah, OK. I think I was getting a little confused about the history of the company. Castle & Cooke was founded in 1851, and they had little to do with food. James Dole (cousin of Sanford Dole, who was active in poilitics in the late 1800s) founded the Hawaiian Pineapple Company in 1901. C&C aquired THPC in the 30s and 60s, when it became the Dole Food Company.

This has very little to do with what you’re talking about.

I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. I was trying to make a point about how the improvements in food transport technology have changed the way America eats. And how the “slow food” and locavore movements are trying to change that trend back.

Another trend I’ve seen recently is candy gumdrops in “adult” flavors like bell pepper.