Din­ing By Decade

As Cana­di­ans, we’ll al­ways have pou­tine (cre­ated in the ’50s) but look­ing back on retro repasts, we dis­cover that in­ter­na­tional cui­sine also had a seat at the ta­ble

ZOOMER Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Cyn­thia Ross Cravit

Culi­nary crav­ings from the ’60s to now

Vive la dif­férence! Out with canopener casseroles, in with French cui­sine, in­spired by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s im­pec­ca­ble style and fond­ness for all things French, along with the ar­rival of celebrity chef Ju­lia Child. Sim­i­lar to the French filet de boeuf en croute, Beef Wellington, an ex­trav­a­gant dish of beef smoth­ered in foie gras or dux­elles and baked in puff pas­try, was stan­dard up­scale fare. Drinks were Mad Men cock­tail bashes fea­tur­ing Alexan­ders, Old Fash­ioneds and Stingers. And last but not least: Tim Hor­ton dough­nuts hit the scene. Need we say more?

DISH OF THE DECADE Coq au Vin, the clas­sic Bur­gun­dian dish of chicken braised in red wine, was one of the defin­ing din­ner party foods of the era and is still pop­u­lar (as any one who watched the 2009 film star­ring Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, Julie and Ju­lia, on re­peat can at­test).

The 1970s

Culi­nary crav­ings leaned to­ward coun­try bistro fare, quiches, es­car­got, spe­cialty pas­tas and Swedish meat­balls. And sure, the in­ven­tion of the crock­pot made beef stew a week­day din­ner sta­ple. But it was the flam­bés and fon­dues that de­fined the era. As the flambé trend took hold at up­scale restau­rants, home cooks flung open their liquor cab­i­nets and be­gan ig­nit­ing their own meats, omelettes, side dishes and even cock­tails with rum, cognac, brandy and whisky. Need­less to say, af­ter peo­ple be­gan set­ting fire to their hair, clothes and table­cloths, the trend fiz­zled. Not so the fon­due.

DISH OF THE DECADE

Mainly be­cause the clas­sic fon­due com­bines three in­dis­putably great things: Em­men­thal and Gruyère cheeses melted with wine and served with crusty bread from a flame-lit com­mu­nal pot. Meat, seafood, poul­try and veg­gies were also cooked up in hot oil or broth ta­ble­side and served with a va­ri­ety of sauces. For dessert, fresh straw­ber­ries were dipped in rich bub­bling choco­late.

The 1980s Food­ies shifted their gas­tro­nomic gaze to­ward Italy and be­gan cook­ing up hearty dishes like risotto Mi­lanese, vodka penne and pasta pri­mav­era sal­ads, while spoon­ing pesto on just about ev­ery­thing – all washed down with the drink of the mo­ment: a wine spritzer, a breezy con­coc­tion of white wine, club soda and a twist of lemon. Spinach dip in a pumper­nickel bread bowl was the ap­pe­tizer of choice and, for dessert, the de­li­cious deca­dence of choco­late truf­fles and crème brûlée. But in terms of a true gas­tro­nomic in­va­sion, we look to the East.

DISH OF THE DECADE

Sushi, a street food sold in Ja­pan since the eighth century, came into its own thanks, in part due to the cre­ation of the Cal­i­for­nia roll af­ter chefs re­al­ized the tamer crab and av­o­cado combo was more palat­able than raw fish to unini­ti­ated North Amer­i­can palates.

The 1990s

The decade that ush­ered in Star­bucks and gourmet flavoured vine­gars saw more health­con­scious gourmets turn to­ward or­ganic pro­duce and lo­cally sourced foods. The Mediter­ranean diet was on the menu. Dur­ing an era of el­e­vated cock­tail cul­ture, Sex and the City’s Car­rie Brad­shaw made the Cos­mopoli­tan (a blend of citrus-flavoured vodka, cran­berry juice, triple sec or Coin­treau and lime juice) the quin­tes­sen­tial drink to wash down your pizza or panini filled with ...

DISH OF THE DECADE

Sun-dried to­ma­toes, which were vir­tu­ally ev­ery­where and on ev­ery­thing in­clud­ing fan and fam­ily favourite, bowtie pasta.

2000s

Ja­pan con­tin­ued to tempt our taste­buds with ra­men, thanks to New York su­per chef David Chang. No longer that hum­ble, highly pro­cessed sta­ple of univer­sity dorms, in­stead, Chang’s Mo­mo­fuku Noo­dle Bar (named for the in­ven­tor of ra­men) served a gourmet ver­sion, with steam­ing bowls of fresh ar­ti­san noo­dles in a flavour­ful in­gre­di­ent-rich broth. Iron­i­cally, low-carb weight-loss di­ets like Atkins also took off, and peo­ple be­gan ditch­ing carbs and pil­ing their plates with high­pro­tein full-fat fare like ba­con, red meat, but­ter, eggs and cheese.

DISH OF THE DECADE

Hello, break­fast smooth­ies, and bye-bye, toast! Peo­ple bought blenders in droves and started to drink their way to health - mi­nus the al­co­hol con­tent - with liq­uid mash ups of spinach, kale, raw egg, ba­nana, yo­gurt, straw­ber­ries, wheat­grass and any­thing else on trend or in their fridge. Warn­ing: that’s not a recipe, so don’t try it at home.

2010s

With grow­ing in­ter­est in ve­g­an­ism and plant-based eat­ing, food­ies stir up su­per­foods like kale, co­conuts, broc­coli, blue­ber­ries and quinoa but with a seem­ingly all-em­brac­ing in­fat­u­a­tion with the nu­tri­ent-dense av­o­cado – with av­o­cado toast jump­ing the shark to be­come a mil­len­nial menu and In­sta­gram cliché. Spicy foods, hum­mus, tapas, tacos, poke bowls, fer­mented and pick­led veg­gies, meat­less burg­ers, chicken waf­fle cones and all man­ner of food truck eats of­fer near end­less va­ri­ety to ad­ven­tur­ous palates.

DISH OF THE DECADE

The once hum­ble cup­cake was trans­formed from school bake sale sta­ple to chic treat, thanks to Car­rie Brad­shaw’s (yet again) ob­ses­sion with Mag­no­lia Bak­ery. Nearly 15 years later, cup­cakes have been el­e­vated to ed­i­ble de­signs wor­thy of even wed­dings, all art­fully pre­sented, of course, for In­sta­gram.

Choco­late Fon­due

Sushi

Sun-Dried Tomato es

Green Smoothie

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