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Mar 15, 2013 01:55 PM

90s food!

I grew up in the early-mid 90s and would like to throw a potluck around the theme (there will be some awesome music). I'm trying to think of signature 90s food that isn't soda or candy, but the best I can think of is Boboli, pizza bagels, maybe burritos (that's when they became popular in my neck of the woods) and hot pockets. I wasn't cooking back then so I'm not sure what the trends were. What would you suggest?

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  1. When I think of 90's food I think of college and the crimes of fellow students dipping anything and everything in ranch dressing.

    1. Just put sun dried tomatoes in everything.
      Can't get more 90's than that.

      5 Replies
          1. re: masha

            You're right.
            Forgot about pesto.
            The OP could go for the 90's mother lode and make sundrised tomato pesto.


          2. re: Paprikaboy

            Sun dried tomatoes were so '80s. I literally remember going into "gourmet" stores in 1982-83 and proprietors and cheesemongers showing and explaining them to me.

            I must be older than most of you.

            1. re: Jay F

              I'm guessing you are younger than most of us because you are young enough to remember the difference between the 70's, 80's and 90's.

          3. Second the sun dried tomatoes. Pine nuts. Anything blackened or Cajun. Squid ink pasta. California pizza kitchen style pizzas. Rotisserie chicken. Bistro food galore.

            5 Replies
            1. re: charlesbois


              Here's a link to a scan of a menu from Menagerie in LA. I got it from the LA County Library menu database. It really hits a lot of the high points of 90s food.

              1. re: charlesbois

                Dear gawd. That menu is a time capsule unto itself.

              2. re: charlesbois

                I thought CPK the moment I opened this thread. I actually have the cookbooks that I picked up at a block party sale for $1, haha!! BBQ chicken pizza, Thai chicken pizza, etc...

                  1. re: gingershelley

                    The California Pizza Kitchen chain.

              3. White chili. You make it with white beans and either chicken or turkey. It isn't meant to be real hot.

                Also, whatever the menu was at "fern bars."

                1 Reply
                1. re: sueatmo

                  Nah, fern bars were 70s, at least around here.

                  A store-bought rotisserie chicken! Those were getting popular around here (at least I remember buying them on my way home from work). Anything with goat cheese. Artisenal breads. Everything stacked up in the middle of the plate. Takeout sushi.

                  A lot of newspapers have on-line archives including the 90s: this would be a great place to look for "new" recipes.

                2. Pizza with sun dried tomatoes with goat cheese

                  Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream

                  Gourmet pizza

                  Tuna tartare


                  Rice cakes


                  McDonald's McRib

                  Bagel Bites


                  Fat-free snacks (e.g. Snackwells)

                  Tall food (as in food plated vertically)

                  12 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Do they still sell Zima? I thought it was great with a shot ro two of gin added.

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      I thought I was the only one that added gin to Zima. The memory of the taste makes me shudder.

                      I was in college in the early 90s and remember wings and nachos being huge. We would drive 30 minutes to get wings, it was such a treat.

                      1. re: cleobeach

                        Hopefully that 30 minute drive was not after drinking the gin and Zimas! :-)

                        I remember when Zima came out and the silly rumor on campus was that it would not show up on a breathalizer. I suspect that was one of the original "urban myths".

                        1. re: Fowler

                          I think the original myth was you wouldn't get pregnant if you did it standing up. ;-)

                          1. re: Fowler

                            Heck no! Beer was $4 a pitcher at the wing place. Zima was for special occasions like formals..

                            1. re: cleobeach

                              As I remember it, Zima was the drink of the sophisticated high schooler - those who would never be seen drinking Bartles & Jaymes, but could not yet stomach beer. A triumph of marketing.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  In my day (albeit not too long ago) it was Smirnoff ice.

                                  1. re: ohmyyum

                                    I just drank one of those over the weekend. *disclaimer* I didn't buy it, it was offered to me. And it was tasty.

                          2. re: EWSflash

                            zima with a shot of chambord, like raspberry soda
                            it was delightful

                          3. re: ipsedixit

                            I am so glad tall/vertical food plating mostly passed on. I just hated that. One knife or fork in and it was a mess.