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Foods you miss from the 1970s


Fat Guy
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Howard Johnson's - their fried clams and hot dogs.

In Philadelphia, the Restaurant Renaissance, when Philadelphians first found restaurants exciting.

Within the Renaissance, breakfast at Steve Poses's Commissary - a gourmet cafeteria which baked its own brioche and croissants every morning, prepare-to-order omelet bar (for me, creme fraiche, smoked salmon and fresh dill) and introduced Philadelphia to Colombian/French Roast blend coffee. The carrot cake reference above may have been the Commissary's carrot cake.

Jersey diners sans ferns and cocktail lounges.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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Tomatoes with flavour - I mean readily available in the shops as the default rather than the special, premium price exception they are now.

And like Mjx, the individual shops - butcher, baker, grocer, greengrocer, tobacconist, confectioner, newsagent - on a High Street that was where everyone went because all the individual shops were there - and each cosy enough that the customers chatted together.

High Streets belong to outsiders now, and supermarket shopping is convenmient but can be soulless.

QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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Don't forget Abalone- man I used to love the wild harvested stuff. Not that there is any left around these parts alas.

OK you got me- off the rocks on Catalina Island and grilled with butter on the beach

Yep! And it was cheap too if you had to buy it. Best enjoyed with some Mateus Rose- another blast from the past mentioned upthread.

You really got me with abalone. It is one of the few seafoods that I can have. When I lived in Canoga Park in the '70s, I had neighbors who were licensed divers and brought me buckets of abalone. Not only did I cook a lot of it, I also polished the shells and used them all over the house. I still have a few but sold most of them years ago.

The poaching that decimated the abalone population along the entire Pacific coast wasn't taken seriously until it was too late.

The first time I had abalone was at the restaurant in Marineland of the Pacific when I relocated to southern Cal. in 1959. I miss that too.

Oh, I also miss Van De Kamp's bakery/restaurants.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Clear the track for Eddie Shack! I miss the Pop Shoppe.

I also miss walking to The Hot Stove Lounge at Maple Leaf Gardens for a giant steak before the Hockey Game.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Food innocence.

It was a time when, for better or worse, we could pretty much eat what we wanted, guilt-free and without worrying about organic?, sustainable?, local?, humane?, cage-free, GMO?, carbon-neutral?, fair-trade?, trans fat?, low-carb?, gluten-free?, etc, etc, etc.

OK, there was the "macrobiotic" craze, but that didn't last long.

What I wouldn't give to be able to obliviously eat at a fast food restaurant again.

The Big Cheese

BlackMesaRanch.com

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I think maybe it was the way that eating more healthfully felt so exciting and new. I was only a kid in the 70s, but I definitely caught the grownups' feeling that they were being a little radical by making our own yogurt, or fruit leather, or freezer pops of yogurt and orange juice. I was the only kid in school with peanut butter and honey sandwiches on whole wheat bread, and I liked it. I liked browsing in the food co-op with its bins of bulk foods and the cloud of fruit flies hovering over the produce. You could buy a handful of chia seeds and hold them in your mouth until they swelled up to a big gelatinous mass, and pretend you were a famine-stricken Native American eating them to give your belly the sensation of fullness. And Nectar Pies--does anyone remember these? They were ice cream sandwiches made with carob cookies and honey ice cream. And then in the late 70s, I spent hours poring over the drawings in the Moosewood Cookbook. I don't cook from it now, but I still have it somewhere. I'm a shockingly unsentimental person, but it's one of the few keepsakes I've held onto purely for sentimental value.

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Howard Johnson's - their fried clams and hot dogs.

The carrot cake reference above may have been the Commissary's carrot cake.

Jersey diners sans ferns and cocktail lounges.

It was indeed the Commissary carrot cake.

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It was in the 70s that I began to learn how exciting food and wine could be. I experienced revelations (e.g. L'Auberge de l'Ill c. 1975, a glass of a 1955 Mouton-Rothschild) that have become increasingly rare.

It was the in the 80s that I started to (try to) learn to cook myself...

Charles Milton Ling

Vienna, Austria

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The amount of small regional breweries that were still making beer. Such brands I recall as Old Reading F&S, Steigmeier, Piels, Schaeffer, Schmidts, Ortlieb, Kaiers, Stoney's, Rolling Rock, Iron City, Strohs, Schlitz, Yuengling, Gennese, Utica Club.

As to that list , and it is a partial one done from memory, some of the brands still exist, but I think Yuengling is the only one that survives as an indepedant brewer. Not sure about the current ownership of Iron City, they may still be independant.

Those from other areas of the country, I'm sure, have many to add from their own region.

These places were not like the current craft brewers, no double IPA's from that crowd. But small regional brewers of American style lager beer.

And for college students in the 70's in PA, always something pretty cheap.

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Back when a jelly bean was just a jelly bean.

US Representative Ben Quayle, "When I was a child, President Ronald Reagan was the nice man who gave us jelly beans when we visited the White House.

I didn't know then, but I know it now: The jelly beans were much more than a sweet treat that he gave out as gifts. They represented the uniqueness and greatness of America -- each one different and special in its own way, but collectively they blended in harmony."

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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...

Oh, I also miss Van De Kamp's bakery/restaurants.

....

You and me both, Andie! I sorely, sorely miss the Dutch Girl cookies. And the Swedish Twist coffee cake, although I did find a copycat recipe for that on the web, and made it, and it turned out pretty darned close. But VdeK goodies were the best.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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How did all you abalone-eaters prepare it? My husband spent time in California when he was a kid, and he has memories of gathering abalone with his Dad. He said it was awful - like eating rubber tires. I can only assume they overcooked it, and his Dad also pounded it on a cement sidewalk pre-cooking to "tenderize" it.

I've never had it, and am curious as to what it was like when prepared well.

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How did all you abalone-eaters prepare it? My husband spent time in California when he was a kid, and he has memories of gathering abalone with his Dad. He said it was awful - like eating rubber tires. I can only assume they overcooked it, and his Dad also pounded it on a cement sidewalk pre-cooking to "tenderize" it.

I've never had it, and am curious as to what it was like when prepared well.

I pounded it with a cast iron skillet and marinated it overnight in buttermilk as that was the advice I got from a cook at the Albatross restaurant that used to be on Pacific Coast Hiway in Malibu.

(He said to use the "Lizzie Borden" method - forty wacks on each side.)

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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A predominance of real deal bakeries, and not the par-baked, made-from-a-mix crud that passes for baked goods these days, and is available in most supermarkets. I particularly miss Jewish bakeries. Even if I still lived in New York, I'd be hard pressed to find a decent slice of seven layer cake or, God forbid, an individual Charlotte Russe baked in a small paper cup. People don't value great bakery items like they did in the 70s. This saddens me.

I do live in NY and you CANNOT find real 7 layer cake - thin thin layers with light buttercream in between. Now they are huge monster cakes. And forget real checkerboard - with the icing all around all the squares.

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Definitely Fudgetown cookies, and maybe some of the others from the Burry stable (like Gauchos).

aka Michael

Chi mangia bene, vive bene!

"...And bring us the finest food you've got, stuffed with the second finest."

"Excellent, sir. Lobster stuffed with tacos."

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It is sad to read this thread over and realize that what everyone--including me--is really bemoaning is the commercialization and mass-marketing of food and food purveyors. Gone are the true butchers, bakers, small grocers, etc. No "artisan" place or Whole Foods can replace some of the wonderful small shops I used to go to. Even the restaurants, when going out to dinner was about food and service and neighborhood more than buzz and entertainment. I still miss Voyagers in Cambridge, MA. And Lutece, discussed in another thread,of course.

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Have we forgotten Fondue? My Mother had a fondue pot she bought with S&H Green Stamps, probably sometime around the late 60's early 70's. I remember getting green stamps when we got gas from the Mobil station. I think she also got green stamps in soap boxes. There was a Green Stamp store in downtown Salem,(OR), where we would go and redeem the stamps for merchandise. We got a tacky little metal fondue pot. Bright yellow as I remember and each fork had a different colored handle so everyone had their own dipping stick.

We didn't have much traditional cheese fondue, but I remember Mother making a savory fondue with hot oil and chunks of steak, probably green pepper and onion. I think the real treat was dipping meat in hot bubbling oil.

Funny how those old pots stayed dormant for a couple of decades, only to return to popularity in recent years and appear on kitchenware shelves as new designs called "retro." In my mind Fondue never went out of fashion--although the tux I

wore at my prom in 1975 sure did!

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Wish-Bone "Green Goddess" salad dressing. One of the classic salad dressings of the early 20th century that we always had in our fridge in the 70's. Sadly, it left the grocery store shelves for decades, but in recent years I've seen different brands of Green Goddess return.

I now make a very good version at home and everytime I do it reminds me of the wonderfully tangy flavor of Green Goddess.

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