4
| Lists |

Top Five '90s Food Trends

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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.

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."

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?

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.