Signs of the times

herb pasta with sorrel

The 1980s are mostly remembered as a time of excess. After climbing out of a global recession, the latter half of the 80s seemed flush with financial tycoons, Ferraris, big shoulder pads, and a lot of gold and glass. Food, too, changed during this period. Australian Gourmet Traveller looks back on the 80s with seven dishes that defined the decade

A growing understanding of cultures led to culinary influences from across the globe, but especially from Asian countries. However, even as foods like Cheong Liew's Pork hock and wood fungus became popular, other prominent dishes retained a French flavor. Rich dishes like Lobster with artichoke hearts and chervil by Peter Doyle embodied the decadence of the times. 

During the 80s, Australian cookery superstar Maggie Beer was working at Pheasant Farm restaurant, where she developed the Herb pasta with sorrel butter and lemon thyme (pictured above) as a counterpoint to the game-heavy dishes on the rest of the menu. Turning to dessert, you can see the trend of guilt-free consumption continuing with Stephanie Alexander's Raspberry and rose-geranium sorbet with honey wafers, raspberries and cream.

In the US, some of the dishes most associated with the 1980s (outside of packaged foods) are blackened fish (allegedly created accidentally by Paul Prudhomme) and sushi. And let's not forget about the rise of the Cosmopolitan cocktail, which has been credited with reviving interest in cocktail culture, leading to its current renaissance. 

What foods do you most associate with the decade? 

1 Comment

  • ellabee  on  3/22/2017 at 6:10 PM

    Chicken Marbella (via Silver Palate), likewise salads incorporating raspberry vinaigrette and offspring (blueberry, strawberry). Risotto became fashionable, too.

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