When you hear “food trend,” do you think kale and bacon, or fondue and Tang? Turns out, our love affair with fads is as old as America’s culinary history itself.


1910: Hellman's Mayonnaise

Skirt hems were rising, and new processed foods were all the rage--like this egg-and-oil emulsion that formerly had to be made from scratch every single time.


1920: Caesar Salad

America’s dislike of salad ended in the '20s, when a Tijuana restaurateur named Caesar Cardini created a late-night snack for Prohibition-flouting tourists. All that he had left in the kitchen was Romaine lettuce, Romano cheese, bread and olive oil, which he mixed tableside. And a salad trend was born.


1930: Meat loaf

The Depression inspired cooks to make their precious, expensive protein go farther with bread fillers.


1940: The Lemonade Diet

Yup, folks were cleansing as early as the '40s, thanks to a little book by Stanley Burroughs.


1950s: Lobster Newburg

After the privation of the war years, dinner parties became popular, with hostesses competing to make more and more complicated dishes. Take the popular lobster Newburg, in which an innocent lobster is boiled, fried in clarified butter, then simmered in cream before being boiled one last time in wine.


1960: Tang

This powdered, fruit-flavored mix was consumed by Mercury astronaut John Glenn, and came to be known as the '60s “Space Age” drink.


1970s: Fondue

Three kinds of cheeses, a bit of corn starch and a dash of cherry brandy. Fears about double-dipping would later kick this food trend back to Switzerland once and for all.


1980: Nouvelle Cuisine

In the '80s, shoulder pads were big, hair was big and portions were… small. Think: an ounce of protein balanced on a column made from a boiled red potato with a garnish of three parsley leaves. Post-meal, you were still hungry but didn’t have to loosen the top button of your Calvins.


1990: Gourmet Pizza

Smoked salmon and capers. Peking duck and hoisin sauce. Greek lamb with tzatziki. What were we thinking?


2000: Weird Science food

In the era of Myspace and Sex and the City, apparently nitrous oxide was a food.


2010: Kale

This dark, green leafy vegetable is the poster child for our decade’s healthy eating kick, showing up in everything from raw salads to fruit smoothies. A recent smear campaign is a signal that kale’s day in the sun might be over. But stay tuned for a new veggie called kalettes, a hybrid of kale and Brussels sprouts that’s poised to pick up the slack.

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