Rediscovering the ’60s: Classic food trends that defined a delicious decade

Apr 28, 2024
Travel back in time and dive into the culinary delights of the '60s and savour the flavours that defined a generation. Source: Getty Images.

Do you remember the food trends we all embraced in the 1960s? I do.

One of the food items I can’t seem to forget from that era is French Onion Dip. It seemed quite a weird thing to me and my undiscovered pallet. Who would have thought cream mixed with a packet of dry French onion soup could taste so good?

I was raised in outback Australia so my knowledge of anything remotely different to meat and three veg in the ’60s was quite limited.

As well as the French Onion Dip, there were many other delicacies to be found.

Chicken à la King, for example, was very French sounding to me (even though I had never met a French person to know for sure).

To my way of thinking, the chicken was done in the oven; the whole chook was stuffed and roasted. Simple.

Not chicken a la king though. It was a dish consisting of diced chicken in a cream sauce, often with sherry, mushrooms and vegetables, served over rice, noodles, or bread. Fancy!

I had only had white sauce on corned meat so the thought of chicken swimming in it made me a little apprehensive to try it. I eventually gave it a go and it became a favourite dish of mine. In fact, it still is today.

Beef bourguignon, a fancy name for a beef stew cooked in a dish in the oven, was quite tasty and something of a favourite dish in the ’60s. It was another French dish too! Casserole was a new word added to my vocabulary.

What about Fondue?

Fondue parties were a social dining experience like no other! Source: Getty

Fondue parties were all the rage in the ’60s and ’70s. If you did not buy a fondue set, life was just not worth living. I do not think it was very healthy though, what with numerous people dipping their food into a smouldering pot of white cheese sauce. Double dipping at times… Yuck!

I loved melted chocolate fondue. I would take my own little bowl and put some chocolate in it so I avoided the double-dipped messy main pot.

Asparagus rolled in slices of white buttered bread was a popular appetiser. Tinned asparagus, not fresh. I never took to tinned asparagus and I also avoided the popular shrimp cocktails of that era.

Celery stuffed with cream cheese or peanut butter was always a hit, as were cherry tomatoes. I had only ever seen large tomatoes.

Desserts of fruit set in gelatine were a big hit. Any kind of fruit, set in any flavour jelly. My favourite was green jelly with pears and topped with cream. Yummy!

I also saw a new type of cake emerge in the 1960s too. A chocolate fudge cake cooked in a bundt pan. This was a round pan with a hole in the middle. This particular cake won the Pillsbury baking competition in the 1960s. Not sure what year, but it was called a Tunnel Fudge Cake.

Chocolate bundt cakes were the ultimate fudgey delight in the 60s. Source: Getty

Very fancy indeed.

Yes, the 1960s certainly opened my eyes to a gourmet range of foods. Each decade thereafter only got better.

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