Summer Foods 1970-1990

Goals

To find popular summer vacation foods in the U.S. from 1970 to 1990, in order to provide information for conceptual thinking for a project.

Early Findings

1970's

  • In the 1970s finger foods became very popular in the U.S., and deviled eggs were among those that can be considered "the perfect finger food."
  • Fondue's popularity in the U.S. started in the 1960s, but continued right through the 1970s as the "perfect party food," as it is simply melted cheese in a large communal pot.
  • This article lists 60 general dishes that were widely popular in the 1970s many of which are typical summer vacation and party cuisine, such as bacon wrapped spam bites, 7- layer gelatin salad, kabobs, sweet macaroni salad, pina colada grilled pineapple, pineapple upside-down cake, stuffed peppers, and fresh strawberry pie.
  • According to "Sylvia Lovgren's Fashionable Food: Seven Decades of Food Fads," these recipes were in the 1970s chapter: pumpkin bread, crepes, zucchini bread, quiche Lorraine, cioppino, spaghetti carbonara, fettucine alfredo, pasta primavera, moussaka, strawberry-banana smoothee, a spinach salad with cheddar cheese dressing, carrot cake, granola fondue, broccoli casserole, apple cake, wacky cake, impossible pie, strawberry squares, lemon bars, and tomato coulis. These foods represent popular choices based on magazines, menus, and cookbooks.
  • Foodtimeline.org also offers lists of popular dishes by each year of the 1970s decade, and also lists popular party dishes during the summer, such as"Two Informal Summer Buffets" that includes: 1) "Chicken or Turkey loaf, Tomatoes Stuffed with Easty Tuna Salad, Jiffy Deviled Eggs, Jellied Garden Vegetable Salad, Herbed Potato Salad, Danish Meat Balls, Buttered Noodles, Fresh Peach Crisp, Coffee," and 2) "Glazed and Decorated Cold Ham, Macaroni and Shellfish Salad, Bean and Beet Salad, Tomato Aspic, Parker House Rolls, Ambrosia, Florentines, Coffee."
  • For "Two Formal Summer Buffets" the website lists 1) "Smoked Salmon, Pate-Filled Ham in Aspic, Chaud-Froid of Chicken Breasts, Avocado Mousse, Shellfish and Saffron Rice Salad, Lemon Fluff, Gingered Honeydew Melon, Coffee," and 2) "Fresh Fruit Cocktail, Whole Salmon in Aspic, Country Captain, Boiled Rice, Wilted Cucumbers, Russian, Strawberries Romanoff, Meringues Chantilly."
  • Foodtimeline also lists a popular "Back-Yard Barbecues" menu, a "Summer Cocktail Party" menu, and a "Summer Party" menu that consists of "classic cheese fondue, french bread, apple wedges, and spiced tea."
  • This article states that "fondue, Jell-O, and really anything from a mold" was widely popular during the 70s decade, with people also putting "more emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruit."
  • The same article from Kitchn.com states that in general, anything with pineapple such as pineapple chicken became popular in the 70s due to an increase in awareness of Hawaiian culture. It also lists quiche, cheese balls and logs, salad bars that gave people options, crepes, and "Watergate salad."
  • A Foodnetwork article on popular 1970s foods agrees with all the prior foods listed, and also includes fajitas, and black forest torte, both of which are perfect for summer vacations.

Proposed next steps:

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Initial research found a list of foods that were generally popular in the 1970's that would very well have been consumed during summer vacations, as well as menus that were popular for summer parties specifically during this decade. We recommend further research into the most popular summer vacation foods and dishes in the U.S. from the 1980's and 1990's.
We also recommend further research into any examples of marketing from companies of these foods that were popular for summer vacation, describing what food was advertised, how it was marketed, and any images we can find in a separate attached document.