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Feb 23, 2012 12:03 AM

Does the phrase "yuppie food" mean anything to you?

There's a joke that "yuppie food stamps" are defined as $20 bills dispensed by an ATM.

If I were a food writer, one of my ideas for a book would be one bashing yuppie food and using it as a lens for a much wider criticism of culture. Which is probably self-defeating because people who eat yuppie food are the most likely to buy books in that genre.

So, what does the phrase "yuppie food" mean to you? I might use it refer to food that I believe is over-priced because of an excessive demand for superficial trendiness. Is this a good definition? A bad one? Should we be using the term more often to label the kind of food I criticize?

Does anyone want to stand up for yuppies and their food?

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  1. Anything to do with Yuppies seems so late 20th century to me. For some reason, I don't think it is contemporary term any more.

    35 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      Yuppie food is served at fern bars. Do fern bars still exist?

      1. re: small h

        Fern bars are a decade older than yuppies, IIRC.

        1. re: Karl S

          I thought the terms were used during the same era, but I could be misremembering. It's high time for someone to open a retro fern bar. I'd go. I like ferns.

          1. re: small h

            Yeah, I'd probably go too. I have a madras plaid blazer I bought in '86 that I haven't had an excuse to wear in twenty-odd years.

              1. re: wyogal

                And sing along to "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me."

                1. re: huiray

                  Yep (though there were a couple years where it probably wouldn't have). That's the only reason I'd be willing to wear it out in public.

        2. re: Tripeler

          Because Yuppies, once Hippies, are now Boomers! And Boomers with $$$ for great eats don't care one bit about what others write, think or do about them. 21st Century I earned it-dom. God help me, I know first hand :)

          1. re: HillJ

            read upthread or maybe downthread.... Boomers have nothing to do with lifestyle, it's about the baby boom that happened after WWII and Korea, when the soldiers came home.

            1. re: wyogal

              Oh I so respectfully disagree. Have you read AARP and lifestyle mags directed at baby boomers? They come to my house (ha!). It's a much about lifestyle as any yuppie/hippie LABEL is.

              1. re: HillJ

                and I respectfully disagree. It's simply about the baby boom. If folks in that age want to aspire to be pretentious, then they can have the other labels, too.
                And no, I don't read AARP, it is a political, money making organization, and I disagree with some of their views.
                (kinda like rectangles and squares, not all rectangles are squares)

                1. re: wyogal

                  wyogal, you seem to be very young. Why are you so dismissive of folks older than you?

                  1. re: huiray

                    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! I am a grandmother. And I'm not dismissive of folks older than me at all. I just disagree with the use of the term boomer to equate with a lifestyle. I AM a boomer.

                    1. re: wyogal

                      wyogal, I knew that already. But I'm delighted we can disagree and still laugh!

                      Considering the amount of mail and sales pitches I receive the boomer lifestyle is not my imagination :

                      1. re: wyogal

                        I see!! Then maybe there is something about "wanting to be young", which appears to be a fault (IMO) of the Murcan Experience. Maybe not you specifically. ;-)

                        1. re: huiray

                          No, thank-you. I am very happy with my age and wouldn't go back for anything. I am not striving to be young.

                  2. re: HillJ

                    "Boomer" is much more of a generational term. It defines for example young people who protested and well those who fought in Vietnam. Politically they were diametrically opposed to one another but are all boomers.
                    It's a very broad term that defines no particular lifestyle, other than retirement;]

                    1. re: Chinon00

                      Oh this is funny. Well my dears I am a boomer so I'll keep my version to myself. But I'll say this much, from hippie to yuppie to bommer describes just about all of the people in my world and we love it.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        How are your boomer friends different from your yuppie friends?


                        What makes you a boomer today but not a boomer say 30 years ago?

                        1. re: HillJ

                          HillJ: <<from hippie to yuppie to bommer describes just about all of the people in my world>>

                          I was a boomer even when I was a hippie, and also when I was a yuppie. I'm still a boomer, though I am no longer either of the other things.

                          As for "yuppie food," if I were planning a yuppie/80s party, I'd use Martha Stewart's ENTERTAINING (1982) as my menu planning guide, decorating my trays with flowers (making sure none is toxic).

                  3. re: HillJ

                    The Baby Boomers existed long before hippies. Boomers are a generation, as are Gen X or Gen Y. Birth dates 1946 - 1960, although some dispute the last date.

                    Protesters were not all as young as boomers. I am sure that all hippies were not as young as boomers, either. However as I understand it, Yuppies would most likely have been boomers; but most boomers were not yuppies. In other words, yuppies do not equate to boomers.

                    1. re: sueatmo

                      ROFL you would be what the fifth person to take the time to educate me. Am I suppose to pick a generation? What I'm trying to say is I've been a "term" hippie in the 60's, a yuppie thru the 80's and 90's and came out a happy baby boomer today. Ha!

                      1. re: HillJ

                        back on topic tho, yuppie food meant coffee was enjoyed at a cafe; not in the kitchen. The word gourmet was seen everywhere. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's opened for the first time in my area and specialty shops became the new grocery market. Being spotted at any of these places frequently placed you in yup food dom.

                        1. re: HillJ

                          I'll try one last time. Everyone of your generation is a boomer. Not all boomers however were hippies. Not all boomers were yuppies either. My uncle born in '47 was a black militant during the 60s (not a hippie) and an inner city school teacher during the 70s and 80s (so he couldn't afford to be a yuppie).
                          Hippies, Yuppies, Black Panthers, Vietnam Vets are subgroups of the boomer generation. So you could have been a hippie then a yuppie but all the time you were a boomer.

                          1. re: Chinon00

                            So you could have been a hippie then a yuppie but all the time you were a boomer.


                            Ding, ding, ding! The only difference in my (clearly hard head with all the corrections from my dear CH friends here) preference is to think of it as (finally) arriving at the baby boomer age. I know what you are all saying and referring to and it's HillJ giving you a very hard time...but thank you Chinon00.

                            Yes, what you have taken the time to write out is how I understand it but not how I prefer to refer to my age group. That is what I meant.

                            1. re: HillJ

                              (psst.... boomers were boomers the moment they were born)

                                1. re: HillJ

                                  let it be, let it be, let it be..... oh wait, got caught up in my boomer music.... haha!

                                  1. re: wyogal

                                    touche! now that's more like it!

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      I think I need some coffee..................... or should I make capuccinno? Now, would that be the yuppie in me? ha! I think I'll go for coffee, with foam.

                                      1. re: wyogal

                                        but wait, I'm not young, and certainly not upwardly mobile (I quit a job several years ago, destroyed my retirement$, and am lucky to bring home half of what I was making before, but am happy..... is that the hippie in me?)
                                        I decided on the cappuccino. (and looked up how to spell it on google, is that the nerd in me?)

                                        1. re: wyogal

                                          Sounds like all of you! Hence the multi generational mind speak.

                  4. I agree with Tripeler that "yuppie" is a pretty stale term. Is that the point? Use an archaic phase to employ a bit of irony? Or are you seriously going to make fun of the trendy, urban foods of the 1980s? Back then sushi would have been the clear synonym for "yuppie food."

                    Personally, I say leave the food alone. If you'd like to satirize, criticize, or otherwise comment on or bitch about certain members of, or trends in, society then just do so. If you intend to use a particular food item or two in metaphorical ways, that's fine too. Hell, I'm even ok with you questioning whether the fiction of "supply and demand" truly exists. But, for the sake of a few of us old 'hounds, don't pick on the food.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MGZ


                      "Yuppie" now is as antiquated a term as "Flapper" was when I was in high school in the late 1970s.

                    2. Yuppie food is what they are serving at "the home" these days.... hahaha! Yuppies are aging. Yes, an outdated term.
                      and kind of a mean and negative premise for a book. As a food writer, I would dwell on other aspects than just "bashing."
                      I would rather see artwork, or some other expression of one's attitude towards the subject matter rather than just a bi*#@ session about the culture.

                      1. Not only does the phrase "yuppie food" not mean anything to me, the term "yuppie" doesn't mean anything to me.

                        1. IIRC the term YUP-pie (young urban professional) started during the 80s and was meant to describe a person who embraced or pursued the excesses which defined much of that time. So sure cocaine and Armani suits and $500 lunches were mainstream themes and images during that time (SEE Bret Easton Ellis). There is no mainstream equivalent of that today.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: Chinon00

                            Hipster, perhaps? Or my favorite neologism, "yupster". Of course, yupster food culture is pretty much indistinguishable from a lot of restaurant culture, and is probably distinguished by the buzzwords "local, sustainable, farm-to-table."

                            1. re: Savour

                              A hipster I think values knowing more than you whereas a yuppie valued having more than you.

                              1. re: Chinon00

                                And a yupster is someone who values (and feels they are/have) both!

                              2. re: Savour

                                Personally, I like the term, hippie-yuppie-cowboy. We have them here in the west.