The 80s were marked by a growing divorce rate, easy-to-find meals, and a desire for easy-to-prepare meals. In addition to the advent of the fridge and freezer, households also had appliances that made quick meals possible. Freezer food also opened up a wide range of new commercial opportunities, and the rise of Mags’s monetarist policies was the catalyst for the creation of crumb-coated garlic breast, Marks and Spencer’s ready-to-eat chicken kiev, and other products that were marketed to the male consumer market.
The 1980s were a decade of contradictions, from the popularity of the hamburger to the delicate nouvelle cuisine. But despite their popularity, there was much more to 1980s food than the hamburger. Menus from this decade will have you reliving the era’s restaurants. Here, Tom Provost, a food writer, gives us a nostalgic look back at the decade’s food scene. We’ve also got a look at some of the food trends of the era.
Disposable food became the norm. The emergence of VESTA revolution transformed Britain’s cuisine, and many people were able to enjoy a variety of exotic flavours at the supermarket. Home cooking and dinner parties became a thing of the past, as fast food chains and convenience food companies stepped into the gap in the market. Marks and Spencer and Findus introduced a range of minute-ready wonders. The emergence of ready meals was an attractive solution to the labour-intensive cooking imposed by the times. The monetarist policies of the time also brought about the introduction of a variety of new food products, including crumb-coated garlic breast and ready-made chicken kiev from Marks and Spencers.
The 80s were a decade of change and revolution. The decade brought with it a whole new wave of creativity and individuality. People were able to buy almost anything they wanted, from pop stars to shell suits. In addition to this, fashion was also a key feature. Shell suits were a staple of 80s fashion. The ‘New Romantics’ were also a hugely popular part of the 80s youth scene. The decade also brought the rise of food in a box.
The 1980s were a decade of contradictions: the rise of a delicate nouvelle cuisine, as well as the burger. While modern children would expect a high-quality meal when collected from school, 80s kids ate grey curls of mince, pies, soggy veg, and sausages. Thankfully, modern standards of taste are more advanced, but that doesn’t mean that they have no place in the 80s.
The 80s were a time of change, with a new pop culture and a new generation. Pop idols, PVC, and shell suits were all big in this decade. The young people of this era were often seen as eccentric and rebellious. The ‘New Romantics’ and the heavy metal scene were also a big part of the revolution, which was about the rise of new leadership in Britain. Luckily, food from the 1980s hasn’t suffered the same fate.
Those of us who remember the 1980s won’t have forgotten the delicious treats that were available in tuck shops and arcades. The golden arches of McDonald’s, along with Ronald McDonald, would instantly make children of all ages remember this decade. In fact, they were so beloved that they were featured in The Sun newspaper, too! Recently, they were re-launched in curry sauce flavour, and are due to be joined by pickled onion flavours in the future.
For the more adventurous, there is a vast selection of food from the 80s UK. Cocktail-sized sausages on sticks were a common snack, and you can easily find these at your local supermarket. The aforementioned vol-au-vents are also available ready-made in supermarkets. If you have the time and money, you can also try making your own Alcoholic Jelly. You can even buy mould kits and a recipe book, which will teach you how to make the iconic jelly. Alternatively, you can bake a batch of delicious cookies in the shape of Pac-Man.
During the 1980s, tinned goods made it possible for consumers to produce a variety of snacks. The infamous Black Forest Gateau was a British classic, but the rise of the trifle also helped to raise its popularity. Today, the White Forest Trifle is a delicious dessert made from black cherries and white chocolate, and it only takes 30 minutes to make. There were also tinned fruits and vegetables available in the 80s.
The craze for boozy drinks during the eighties is still strong, so here are five delicious cocktails from the 1980s UK. A spring-themed cocktail, the bramble was created in the 1980s by the legendary London bartender Dick Bradsell, who was a part-time employee at Fred’s Club in Soho. The drink’s simplicity is partly due to Bradsell’s experience picking blackberries on the Isle of Wight as a child. The basic ingredients of the bramble are dry gin, lemon juice, sugar syrup, and crushed ice. Bradsell’s recipe is best served in a low-ball glass, with a slice of lemon and fresh red fruit.
The cosmopolitan cocktail is a classic and is suitable for any palate. This drink is made up of vodka, cranberry juice, orange liqueur, and lime. Adding a bit of ice gives the drink a refreshing, creamy texture. A few drops of cranberry juice will add an extra kick. This cocktail is refreshing and is the perfect after-dinner drink. These drinks are the epitome of 80s British style.
The craze for retro cocktails has spread across the UK. Negronis and Blue Lagoons are the most popular drinks in the North, with Cosmopolitans coming in a close second. The Negroni, on the other hand, is the drink of choice in the East of England. The Negroni is also a classic cocktail that is still loved by many locals. The craze for cocktails from the eighties UK has lasted a decade, but the drink remains popular.
A decade-old cocktail with retro flavor is a delicious guilty pleasure. Snowballs, a mix of Advocaat and lemonade, are a great way to relive the eighties. And don’t forget to enjoy a Champagne Pina Colada at Coupette bar in London, where they are served with innuendo. These drinks are delicious, and have become classics of British cocktails.
The classic cocktail called the Pimm’s cocktail is served in a large jug and is the perfect refreshment during the summer. It is also a good choice if you are planning a picnic or barbeque in the countryside. The gimlet, on the other hand, is boozy and a perfect drink for warmer days. Its association with sailing has contributed to the popularity of this drink.
While ice lollies are popular summer treats, it’s no secret that ice cream from the 80s was far less glam than it is today. Wafer cones were the norm, and the ice cream itself was far less glamorous. During this decade, the ice cream business was on the decline, and it’s estimated that there are only a few thousand ice cream trucks left in the U.K. Now, many housing developments have banned ice cream vans over concerns about noise pollution and childhood obesity. Nevertheless, some people may find relief in the ban.
The ice cream wars were so prevalent that they became central to one of the most notorious miscarriages of justice in Scotland. A man serving ice cream in Glasgow was shot by a fellow ice cream gang member in 1989. The suspect allegedly attempted suicide after the shooting, but the victim recovered from the gunshot wound. In a case in Glasgow, two young men armed with revolvers robbed an ice cream van and planned to damage other ice cream vans in the Castlemilk district.
The Wall’s VIENNETTA was an iconic ice cream which was introduced in 1982. Developed by ice cream industry consultants Kevin Hillman, Ian Butcher and Gordon Stewart Carrick, this novelty flavour was inspired by the era’s pop culture. Its round, squishy texture is reminiscent of a concertina effect and the spongy base is made of thick cream.
Kids of the 80s loved ice cream shaped like Dracula, and the Wall’s Dracula ice lolly was a fang-tastic favourite. It was based on the Count Dracula lolly. But despite its fang-tastic shape, kids didn’t even think twice before buying it. In the 90s, there was a surge in ice cream shops, and now these ice creams are even sold in throwback boxes.
The first known use of the word ice cream in English is in 1682, in a court document by England’s King Charles II. In 1682, a Swiss emigrant named Carlo Gatti sold scoops of ice cream in shells for a penny. Back then, ice cream was a luxury treat only available to the wealthy. Eventually, the business was so popular that Gatti began to import ice from Norway to make ice creams.