The food we eat is a reflection of our culture, social norms, economic status, societal interest & popularity. Mode wanted to illustrate exactly how American eating has changed over the years. Of course, not everyone in America ate the meals we show, but it does represent a changing style throughout the past 100 years. People in 1915 would probably never imagine eating what we eat today! Click here for the full video.
1915 – Roast Beef and Potatoes
In the early 20th century, the American diet consisted almost entirely of meat and potatoes, so it is no surprise this meal was a staple in 1915. Immigration was at an all time high, which led to many new flavors and dishes.
1925 – Chicken a la King
During the 1920s, processed food started to become popular. It is also the time when kitchen appliances like toasters, gas stoves and refrigerators began to sell by the thousands. This led to the ability to make a dish like this Chicken a la King.
1935 – Creamed Beef With Buttered Peas
With the 1930s came the Great Depression, which required people to become frugal with their spending. Meals had to be inexpensive and feed as many mouths as possible. Meat was the most expensive, so people opted for cheaper meats and vegetables to pair it with.
1945 – Spam With Baked Potatoes and Lima Beans
The Great Depression Era also introduced the canned meat, Spam. Soon after the Great Depression, America entered into World War II. The government restricted each person to 28 ounces of meat per week as well as limiting other food items. Families chose Spam due to its long shelf life and potatoes and lima beans were cheap choices.
1955 – TV Dinner
The 1950s brought about a new era of food, TV dinners. At the time, they were very futuristic. It also saw the rise of processed food companies, like Oscar Meyer, and fast food chains, like McDonald's. Women found it difficult to go back to taking care of the home after working during the war, so quick meals became a staple.
1965 – Chicken Kiev With Carrots And Potatoes
In 1965, home cooking was reborn again. Chicken was a popular meat and played well with Herbert Hoover's promise of "a chicken in every pot." Slowly but surely, food began to make a comeback.
1975 – Cheese Fondue
The 1970s brought about our eclectic appetite, willingness to try new things, and indulgence. Brunch became a big thing as well. Americans were soon willing to try different foods and our food palate expanded greatly.
1985 – Sloppy Joes With Macaroni And Cheese
While our love for food continued to grow, we still wanted meals that were easy and simple. Thus, it's no surprise Sloppy Joes and macaroni and cheese were popularized in this era. It was also a great set up for another market crash in 1987.
1995 – Beef Tacos With Refried Beans
Our tastebuds began to want more. We became more adventurous with our foods and soon were experimenting with different cultures. The Internet was born, giving us access to many recipes we've never tried before. At this time, there was also a big movement regarding simplicity in the kitchen.
2005 – Sushi
Our adventurous tastebuds didn't stop in 1995. Once shunned ethnic foods, like sushi, continued to gain popularity. People wanted to try food from any and every place in the world. American families brought the flavors of other countries into their home weekly.
2015 – Grilled Salmon Over Quinoa And Kale Salad
Over the past decades, we've come to love food and eating. With that love of food came an epidemic of obesity. 2015 flipped the switch to healthier and fresher ingredients and foods. From kale to quinoa and leaner sources of protein, Americans soon became conscious of their diet, lifestyle and health. Even fast food restaurants began offering healthier choices.
What do you think will be on the menu in 2025?