1980s themed food
August 11, 2006 7:53 AM   Subscribe

I need some 1980's themed food/drink ideas for a 1980s themed pot luck before a 1980s party.

The easier to make/buy the better. I'm in the UK so American specific products may not be so useful, but feel free to add them on the offchance that someone else will look this up in the future.
posted by biffa to Food & Drink (46 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
rice cakes
posted by leapingsheep at 7:59 AM on August 11, 2006

Wine coolers
posted by Atom12 at 8:00 AM on August 11, 2006

Go to the library and prowl through 1980s magazines on cooking and entertainment. You'll quickly find things that were hot stuff then, along with recipes, decoration ideas, etc.
posted by LeisureGuy at 8:02 AM on August 11, 2006

posted by hazelshade at 8:05 AM on August 11, 2006

A hedgehog made from an orange cut in half with cheese and pineapple cubes on cocktail sticks stuck in it.
posted by bifter at 8:19 AM on August 11, 2006

five alive
posted by fidgets at 8:22 AM on August 11, 2006

Cajun blackened anything and everything that used to live. And washed down with wine coolers.
posted by NoMich at 8:25 AM on August 11, 2006

Huh, my linked-to Google search is heavy on the fish recipes, but believe you me, we cajun blackened everything back in the '80s. Steaks, chicken, burgers, fish, your mom, everything.
posted by NoMich at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2006

Babycham? *shudder*
posted by Chunder at 8:28 AM on August 11, 2006

posted by Bookhouse at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2006

Jell-O pudding pops
Classic Coke
posted by caddis at 8:34 AM on August 11, 2006

Tab. Fruit roll-ups. Starbursts. Skittles. Anything with oreos. Mello-yello floats. Handi-snacks.
posted by Alison at 8:35 AM on August 11, 2006

Quiche is a good one.
posted by caddis at 8:35 AM on August 11, 2006

Coca-Cola still manufactures Tab.
If you're up for some work, you can sort through M&Ms to remove all the red and blue ones.
They even have a machine for that.

You'd still be missing the tan ones though.
posted by ktrey at 8:35 AM on August 11, 2006

Pudding Pops!
posted by Bookhouse at 8:36 AM on August 11, 2006

Potato skins?
posted by spilon at 8:37 AM on August 11, 2006

Also anything made with Hidden Valley Ranch Party Dip. I still make ranch chicken with that to this day.

Also, this page has a lot of food products from the 1980s.
posted by Alison at 8:37 AM on August 11, 2006

Pimento stuffed olives.

Vol au vents.

Scotch eggs.
posted by bifter at 8:39 AM on August 11, 2006

posted by caddis at 8:41 AM on August 11, 2006

posted by Opposite George at 8:42 AM on August 11, 2006

What kind of party?

Brunch: Oat bran muffins. Hazelnut coffee. Quiche.

A Yuppie dinner: for hors d'oeurves, skewered tortellini, snowpeas stuffed with smoked-salmon cream cheese, mini-quiches. Blackened chicken or fish. Arugala with raspberry vinaigrette. Anything with sun-dried tomatoes. Fior dessert, tiramisu.

On the plus side, these are all delicious, but I remember being heartily sick of seeing them every month in the cooking magazines of the 1980s.

In the 80s, I planned a thousand dinner parties. There must be many menus lurking in my brain; I'll check in later.
posted by Elsa at 8:43 AM on August 11, 2006

posted by dchunks at 8:45 AM on August 11, 2006

My mom used to serve salmon patties and tuna noodle casserole in the 80's. Also, BLTs with fake bacon.
posted by rglass at 8:58 AM on August 11, 2006

Try a search for "Nouvelle Cuisine" recipes...?
posted by Robert Angelo at 9:06 AM on August 11, 2006

Did you hear about the thing they call McDLT?
posted by Rash at 9:11 AM on August 11, 2006


Baby corn (picture Tom Hanks in "Big").

posted by padraigin at 9:13 AM on August 11, 2006

Was Jello poke cake in the 80's??
So cheesy and all the covers of mom magazines...
posted by beccaj at 9:40 AM on August 11, 2006

Sushi, of course.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:56 AM on August 11, 2006

I wonder if you could dig up or somehow scarily fabricate those cookies that were crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.
posted by furiousthought at 9:56 AM on August 11, 2006

Cocaine. Sushi.
posted by klangklangston at 9:56 AM on August 11, 2006

French bread pizza.
posted by Human Flesh at 10:02 AM on August 11, 2006

Bad Sushi. Ludes.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 10:07 AM on August 11, 2006

New Coke!
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:36 AM on August 11, 2006

Frozen yogurt.

Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake.
Commercially-packeged granola bars.

I think of sushi as '90s - am I wrong to think this way?
posted by amtho at 11:24 AM on August 11, 2006

The cocktail of choice (for everyone who wasn't drinking wine coolers) was a Long Island Iced Tea, or Jello shooters (at least in all the bars I was sneaking into). There was also a huge blue cocktail fad.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:57 AM on August 11, 2006

Too bad you can't get any Frusen Gladje, but perhaps you could serve Haagen daaz and say it it.
posted by Gucky at 11:58 AM on August 11, 2006

I grew up in England in the 80's and here's a partial list of what i remember eating:

Wimpys chips and hamburgers (better than McDonalds)
Birdseye fishfingers
Stringfellow chips (very thin cut french fries) smothered with Heinz baked beans
Wall's cornetto ice-cream
Marathon chocolate bars (now snickers i guess)
Treetop orange squash

(as you can see, my diet was very progressive for an 8 yr old!!)
posted by ramix at 12:01 PM on August 11, 2006

Sushi was cutting edge in the '80s, but in the '90s it showed up at every grocery store across the country.
posted by klangklangston at 12:02 PM on August 11, 2006

One thing that sticks in my memory of the 80s (perhaps it was just collegiate dining) was everything was served on bars. Salad bars, pasta bars, potato bars (baked potatoes with toppings), soup bars, sandwich bars. The 80s seemed a veritable buffet of (singularly themed) buffets.

Also: bar cookies, especially "blondies" which were essentially (IIRC) chocolate chip cookies masquerading as a brownie type thing.

And while we're still talking bars, Gallo wines (never served before their time) Riunite (on ice, very nice) and Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante (celebrate life!) would be appropriately themed. For the teetotalers, it'd be like totally awesome if you could put your hands on Pepsi Lite or Pepsi Free, Tahitian Treat or fruit flavored Nehi sodas. (I always liked the peach flavor, myself, quite yummy with ranch Doritos, for some reason.)

You could also go with food related to iconic 80s movies, birthday cake with Sixteen Candles, giant pancakes ala Uncle Buck, French bread, fries and dressing or hamburgers with faces for Better Off Dead (either way, skip the boiled bacon, please) Reese's Pieces for ET, pizza served with history books as decor for Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Cap'n Crunch and pixie stick sandwiches - with one slice buttered white and one slice buttered wheat - for Breakfast Club.
posted by Dreama at 2:14 PM on August 11, 2006

Jolt! (www.joltcola.com)
posted by tundro at 2:25 PM on August 11, 2006

Why not start with the sacred* and then finish up with the profane**?
*recreation of Babette's Feast (1987)
**make your own Cookie O'Puss (1982) (Google video)

posted by rob511 at 3:38 PM on August 11, 2006

Hamburger Helper
Wine Coolers
M&M's minus the blue and red and teal colors
Pesto (the garlic-basil-parmesan puree)
posted by Pocahontas at 6:26 PM on August 11, 2006

I don't know if this was as popular in the UK as it was in Holland, but when I think of eighties food I think of raclette and fondue. I don't know where the Swiss food hype came from all of a sudden (Switzerland, duh) but there was a big surge of these at dinner parties.
posted by easternblot at 6:54 PM on August 11, 2006

Eastern: I believe that fondue was a 70s thing around here.
posted by klangklangston at 8:35 PM on August 12, 2006

The raclette thing, too? I remember seeing commercials for those in the 80s.
posted by easternblot at 9:24 PM on August 13, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all, we ended up taking quiche, mini scotch eggs and chip sticks (yeah, fairly down market party). Alas, someone else bagsied the vol au vents early so that was out. Would definitely have picked up some vimto if had seen this in time.

As an aside, does anyone remember a soft drink from the 80s that is no longer available? It was fruit based but didn't taste of any specific fruit, fizzy, available in the UK in cans and bottles, I think it had a 7 letter name.
posted by biffa at 2:17 AM on August 14, 2006

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