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Top Five '90s Food Trends

Top Five '90s Food Trends

We're not really nostalgic for any of these food items--perhaps it hasn't been long enough yet? What 1990s foods do you remember consuming in great quantities (that you're willing to admit)?

5. Fat-Free/Diet Snack Foods

All of that playing around in the laboratory led to some pretty sketchy products on the market. Remember Snackwells, which were somehow "good" for you? And those Olestra-laced chips and warnings of "anal leakage?" Shudder. The '90s did bring some less questionable health food trends, like the ubiquitous Gardenburger, making it easier for vegetarians to eat out at restaurants and shop in the frozen food section.

Top Five '90s Food Trends

4. Beverage Boom

Distributed by Coors, Zima (the "non-beer") marked the advent of clear malt beverages, paving the way for Smirnoff Ice and other stereotypically "girly" drinks. Zima was also the subject of an urban legend that drinkers could pass breathalyzer tests, leading to many a busted teenager.

Remember Orbitz? Those weird, fruit-flavored beverages with colored beads suspended inside? Yeah, we don't miss 'em either.

Crystal Pepsi! Tastes just like Pepsi but clear! No wonder that didn't stick around.

Snapple, the "all-natural" juice & tea blends with just as much sugar as soda. Unlike the rest, these can still be found in vending machines.

And of course there's chai, the bastardized version and fancy-pants coffeehouse drink. Thanks to the proliferation of Starbucks and the trend-setting "Friends," people everywhere suddenly settled upon their signature drinks, half-caf, decaf, blah blah blah. As a coffee alternative, purportedly authentic chai cropped up all over, making us feel like we were cool by virtue of ordering something so "exotic." 

Top Five '90s Food Trends
Photo by avlxyz

3. Tapas & Thai Food

Prosciutto-wrapped figs? Check. Pad Thai? Check.

2. Fusion Cuisine

Related to the above was the propensity of restaurants, from the biggest chains to small neighborhood joints, to include "fusion" items on the menu: mango/jicama slaw, Asian-inspired salads, etc. It was as if all ethnic cuisines had been discovered simultaneously at once.

1. Buzz Ingredients/Haute Food

Squirt-bottle garnishes, Pollack-esque dessert plates, truffled everything, flavor-infused butters and oils, sundried-tomato everything, chile-laced chocolate--instant '90s chic.

What did we miss?


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